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A page for information, news and comment in Hertfordshire





related links:


Meeting the LA Education Department

Guidance on improving LEAs


EHE Consultation


(The first part of the consultation response form was missing from the information provided by Hertfordshire. This is the part that indicates whether it was an official response etc with the address of the department answering the consultation. AHEd has requested this information for later inclusion on this page.)


1 Do you agree that it is helpful for the DfES to issue guidelines to local authorities?





• We feel that it would be useful to provide guidance for Local Authorities. Safeguarding is a key issue and it would be helpful if consideration could be given to placing a greater emphasis on this in the document.

• There are a number of practical problems that Local Authorities face in carrying out their statutory duties in respect of EHE and further detail and examples which address possible ways of discharging these would be beneficial to include.

• Further clarification of terminology such as the definition of ‘reasonable’ would assist the understanding and practice of Local Authorities.

• Whilst the document contains one or two recommendations it would seem of benefit to consider making recommendations for all key areas


2 Do you agree that the description of the law (paragraphs 2.1-2.3) relating to elective home education is accurate and clear?





• This is an accurate description of the law as it is now. However in practical terms this can be extremely challenging. For instance later in the document it notes that the Local Authority has no statutory duty in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis.

• We also feel that as the Every Child Matters Agenda is a key document it should be given due weight in these guidelines promoting both the education provision and the welfare of the child.


• DfES research clearly shows the benefits to be gained in seeking the child’s views and it would therefore be helpful to mirror this in the document.


3 Do you agree that the description of local authorities’ responsibilities (paragraphs 2.5-2.11) is accurate and helpful?






• It would be helpful if there could be clarification of what constitutes minimum standards of suitable education provision.


• It would be helpful if consideration could be given to emphasising the development of positive working relationships between the LA and families as we feel this is crucial.


• 2.7 and 2.8 pose particular challenges in relation to how information is to be obtained coupled with the fact that parents are under no duty to comply with a LA request about the education they are providing. Practical guidance on dealing with these issues would be appreciated.


• 2.11 is of great concern in respect of the safeguarding of children as the LA does not have the power to see children for the purposes of monitoring the provision of elective home education. Further advice on this critical area would be appreciated.


4 Do you agree that the section on contact with the local authority (paragraphs 3.4-3.7) is accurate and helpful?






• It would be helpful to clarify LA engagement with parents in more detail in order to provide for increased consistency of approach.


• We have concerns about the ‘risk based approach’ indicated and clarification is therefore requested on this point.


• It would be useful if the document could reflect more fully on issues that arise if parents do not co-operate with the process.


5 Do you agree that the section on providing a full-time education (paragraphs 3.11-3.14) – and in particular, the characteristics of provision (paragraph 3.13) – is accurate and helpful?






• The system proposed does not allow for the LA to be made directly aware (3.9) by parents that they wish to home educate their child.


• It would be helpful to include examples of good practice within 3.11.


• Whilst it is acknowledged that there is no legal definition of ‘full time’, education for children who attend school also takes place out of school hours as is the case for children receiving home education.


• 3.13 is felt to be useful.


• Clarification on 3.14 would be helpful as this seems to suggest that monitoring would be required in order to determine whether an efficient and suitable education is being provided.


6 Do you agree that the section on developing relationships (section 4) is useful?






• It would appear that some of this section is directed to parents rather than to LAs


• 4.1 refers to recommendations relating to the promotion of positive relationships – one recommendation is noted in 4.6. It would be useful


• for ease of reference if recommendations were headed ‘recommendations’ and signalled boldly in the text


• The central aim as specified in 4.1 varies from the purpose of the document as set out in 1.3.


• Clarification in relation to 4.4 would be helpful as it would appear to be at variance with other parts of the document in stating that parents may provide some indication of their objectives and resources.


• 4.5-4.6 relates to providing information for parents. This would already seem to have been covered in 2.5.


• 4.9 – child protection in relation to home educated children is a major concern. The LA will properly refer concerns as appropriate when these arise, but children who are never seen remain a concern. Further guidance to LAs with regard to discharging their responsibilities in respect of child protection would be helpful.


7 a) Are the suggested resources in section 5 and appendix 2 useful?






• It may be helpful to outline the challenges for schools when considering the provision of flexi-schooling. Eg monitoring of pupils, timetable, SATs, recording of days when the pupil does not attend school.


• Some of section 5 would seem to have been written for parents and part of it for LAs.


• Whilst it is recognised that the additional support mechanisms outlined in 5.2 constitute examples it may be useful to recognise the potential resource implications for LAs.


• As the Education Maintenance Allowance is not available for learners whose parents elect to educate them at home after the age of sixteen it may not be wholly appropriate to include this section within Support and Resources.


7 b) Should any other contacts be included?


Not Sure


8 Please use this space for any other comments you wish to make about the guidelines




• We feel that there needs to be a greater emphasis in the document on safeguarding children and young people. Whilst there are many examples of successful home education there are also examples of parents who use the option inappropriately.


• It would be helpful in 3.10 to clarify the definition of a reasonable timescale.


• The document is titled Guidelines for Local Authorities. However the introduction indicates that these guidelines offer advice to parents and advice to support local authorities in carrying out their statutory responsibilities. It would therefore be helpful to confirm the proposed remit of the document.
































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