CAMPAIGNING Essex parents who choose to educate their children at home are celebrating after ministers dropped controversial proposals to tighten the rules.

The Children and Young Person’s Bill was set to include plans for closer monitoring of home educators.

This would have included a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to people’s homes for local authority officials.

But with Parliament now being dissolved at the end of the week ahead of the general election, MPs agreed to drop the home education proposals from the Bill.

Michelle Cook, 32, a teach-at-home mum to her six-year-old daughter Kate, is delighted with the news.

The mum-of-two, who lives in Church Road, Basildon, said: “This is excellent news and most of it is down to the hard work of a lot of people who campaigned to raise awareness about home education.

“The proposals implied there was something sinister about it and that simply isn’t true.

“We just want what is best for our children.”

The Bill was dropped as part of Parliament’s “wash-up” process, whereby governments try to rush through any legislation which is outstanding before Parliament is dissolved.

The tough measures originally proposed for the Bill were based on recommendations from an independent report produced last year by child protection expert Graham Badman.

The Badman report claimed home education could be being used as a cover for child abuse.

In response, home schoolers across the UK lobbied MPs and started petitions denouncing the proposals.

Southend West MP David Amess and Maldon and East Chelmsford MP John Whittingdale were among politicians who presented the petition in the House of Commons on behalf of their constituents.