British lawmakers are considering a measure that would force homeschoolers to register with the government. Homeschool groups worldwide are concerned about the possible government regulation.
The U.S.-based Home School Legal Defense Association said the bill gives local officials power to decide if families can homeschool. The bill also would require criminal background checks of parents.
"This bill is breathtaking in its scope and reflects a perverse level of suspicion towards parents who home-educate their children," says HSLDA Staff Attorney and Director of International Relations Michael Donnelly.
"If this bill were to pass, it would be the most restrictive and overbearing law in the English-speaking world," he continued. "It places total discretion in the hands of local educational officials to determine whether or not they will 'register' a home education program and would require criminal background checks for parents before they could begin homeschooling their own children."
In the U.S., most states simply require notification, and do not tell families if they can or cannot homeschool.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is supporting the proposal.