PLANS to legislate and introduce compulsory monitoring of people who home-school their children have been shelved by the Welsh education minister.

In a statement published yesterday, Huw Lewis AM said that having considered the consultation responses, he had decided not to legislate for a compulsory registration and monitoring scheme during the current Assembly term.

But he has asked officials to develop non-statutory guidance on home education by May next year, to help councils support families, and create a consistent approach to how councils engage.

In 2012 the then education minister Leighton Andrews announced that, following Welsh Government’s consultation on the same plans, politicians would not legislate as part of the Education (Wales) Bill and promised an update.

“The consultation revealed a divide in opinion,” said Mr Lewis of the most recent round of public consultation.

“The majority of home educating parents, home educated children and young people and organisations representing home educating families were strongly opposed to any form of legislation.

“However, local authorities and organisations with responsibility for children were of the opinion legislation was necessary”

The consultation showed there is good practice and engagement by some councils with home-educators.

“We will draw upon this in developing the guidance,” said the AM.