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A page for information, news and comment in Kent


table of contents:


related links:


Meeting the LA Education Department

Guidance on improving LEAs


EHE Consultation

Tim Fox

Kent County Council


Sessions House

County Hall


Kent  ME14 1XQ


Local authority

Kent County Council


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






It would be more appropriate for the DfES to issue separate (or at least restructured) Guidance to reflect the

different roles of parents and Local Authorities.



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







The guidance sets out the rights of parents to elect for home education.  It is less clear how, at the level of national legislature framework and national policy, this guidance relates to the wider vision for all children; for example, the five key outcomes within the ECM framework and the rights of all children.


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






It is clear that the LA should provide written information on home education but they have no statutory duty to monitor home education.  The role of the LA needs to be more clearly defined.  For example, in 2.5 – is the LA expected to define and apply criteria for judging reasonable progress?  Is that the progress expected for all children?


2.7 – What should a local authority consider as a goof reason to intervene if they believe parents are not providing a suitable education?

2.7 – it is unclear if the LA is expected to make a judgement about progress or suitable education within a particular cultural or community context.  How would we ensure this was fair?  The guidance makes explicit reference to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children as being at high risk of not receiving suitable home education.  The Guidance, if unchanged, could result in LAs discriminating against Gypsy, Roma and Travellers by unfairly targeting them through disproportionate application of the procedures to this group.


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


Not Sure




The guidance (3.4) makes an assumption that Traveller Education Services have a role to play with elective home education.  This is potentially in contradiction with other DfES guidance where the focus is on ensuring that Traveller Education Services promote access to school-based education.  How does the Local Authority ensure that the child’s views and voice are heard?  The guidance needs to make clear if LAs are expected to seek the child’s views in line with other statutory processes/guidance.



As currently drafted, the guidance suggests a passive role for the Local Authority.



Paragraphs 3.8 and 3.9 De-registration – in order to address failings or weaknesses in the education system, it would seem appropriate to seek the reasons for de-registration, particularly the views of the child or young person.



3.13 Many parents employ tutors.  Tutors often work with several families at the same time.




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 guidance states very clearly what home-educating parents are not required to do, but it does not provide guidance on what they are expected to do within the characteristics of provision set out in 3.13.  The characteristics do not address or relate to the five key outcomes for all children.  As currently drafted, they may not be applicable to all cultural or community contexts, and they pre-suppose the family has a history of literacy.



3.18  This needs padding out.  It should say that the LA may only arrange education provision otherwise than at school if it would be inappropriate for it to be made in schools (s 319).  That is quite different from what this paragraph says and will lead to serious confusion for parents (LOVAAS and other home programmes come to mind).  It’s very misleading as it is.


3.19 Statutory Assessment – do the criteria not pre-suppose education within a school context?


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





4.1 – Local Authorities need to clearly define the role of professionals in working with home-educating parents (Children’s Workforce Strategy).

4.3/4.4 – In the context of the development of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, ‘diversity’ is being used to promote an understanding of and respect for differences between communities; it is confusing to use the term in relation to models of home education.

4.5 – Local Authorities need to be aware of parents in communities with no history of literacy.

4.8 – In circumstances where relationships are positive, there should be no barriers in terms of access to the child.

4.9/4.10 – Are the expectations set out in these paragraphs comparable to the arrangements for safeguarding all children?

4.12 – Local Authorities should equality impact assess their policies to ensure they are not discriminating.



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



Not Sure





5.6 – Schools should consult widely, including asking the views of the child, before putting in place arrangements for flexible school attendance.  Arrangements should be subject to regular review.



5.11 – The guidance should acknowledge the barriers and racism experienced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families.  This community should not be presented as always needing the support of specialist services.  Many access education in the same way as the majority of families, through direct contact with the school.



5.6 – Flexi –schooling.  Is this considered authorised absence or B education off site (not dual registration)



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


(no other comments.)


























Regional Groups: 


http://www.ukhome-educators.co.uk/ - UK (Kent) Home Educators, with e-mail group at http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/uk_home_educators



http://www.flags-education.org.uk/ - Family Learning and Group Support, based in Edenbridge, Kent. Mailing list at







http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medway_homeschooling/ - Medway Towns






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