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Guidance on improving LEAs

Page history last edited by starkfamily1@... 16 years, 4 months ago



This document is intended to give sound advice and ethics, based on experience, for local home education groups approaching their LEA with a view to improving the LEA’s policy and practice.


The starting assumption is that the LEA in question is behaving in oppressive or problematic ways with local home educators, and probably acting beyond their legal duty (acting ‘ultra vires’ in legalese).


Where an LEA insists on practices which have no statutory foundation, the home educator commits no offence by not complying with them, but life is not always as simple as that, and LEAs have many ways of giving you a hard time for refusing to allow them to give you a hard time!


The primary aim of this document therefore, is not merely to point out what we do and do not have to tolerate from LEAs in the way of unwanted interference, but to offer a model for seeking to improve relations, and to build mutual trust, thereby setting practice and policy on a proper foundation that meets the needs of home educators, and the statutory duties of LEAs.


This is a first draft based on the experience of the Milton Keynes group with Milton Keynes LEA. It is hoped that this model may prove useful with other LEAs, and already there is such work in progress elsewhere.

Also, that the experience of other groups may feed back into the testing and improvement of this advice.


It is assumed that any group approaching their LEA will have first properly acquainted themselves with the law as it relates to home education. This is absolutely essential, as to not be properly informed, almost guarantees that some arrangement will be entered into with the LEA that erodes existing freedoms in law. The object of this guidance is to help local groups avoid such potentially divisive and disastrous pitfalls. However, this is not a summary of the law, and so the first thing to do is to read such an account, or accounts if you are at all unsure about any aspects, before meeting with the LEA. It is a good idea to do so even if you do feel confident, as it is very easy to slip into making assumptions that might not be valid.


The document ‘Elective Home Education Legal Guidelines’ was edited by this author from the contributions of the widest possible consultation of home educators on a consensual basis. Like all interpretations of the law, this is one that favours the case of home educators, whereas LEAs may or may not push for interpretations that favour their control. This document will also attempt to advise on how to approach such potential competitions between interpretations in a way that favours the home educator.


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