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Newham LA

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago



a page for information, news and comment in Newham


table of contents:


related links:


Meeting the LA Education Department

Guidance on improving LEAs


EHE Consultation


Request to keep response confidential.









Barbara Burke


Organisation (if applicable)


London Borough of Newham




Credon Centre Annexe


Kirton Road




E13 9BT




Which of the following best describes you:



Local Authority



Please Specify:



Local authority officer responsible for elective home education





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









A clearer legal framework would enable local authorities and home educating parents to work more co-operatively.



It would be helpful if the following areas could be clarified: -



i)                  Do the guidelines clarify child protection responsibilities?



ii)                Can the criteria against which local authority officers are expected to monitor be clarified?  The present wording is very loose ie there is an expectation that parents provide an efficient education appropriate to the child’s age, ability and aptitude.



iii)             Is there any assumption that local education officers will meet with home-educated children?  If so, should officers be able to insist on home visits?



iv)              What are the responsibilities of local education officers when health or social services colleagues inform them that a child is being home educated?  Should any action be taken if the parents insist that they want no contact with the local authority?



v)                If parents are being prosecuted for the non-attendance of their child can they, at any point, say that they are home educating and thus avoid prosecution?



Will this consultation more fully involve Roma and Traveller parents as well as parents from various Faith groups?  Many of these parents do not belong to Home Education Support Groups and their opinions are frequently not sought.






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 omits key legislation relating to the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people ie Children Act 2004, Section 11.



The lessons learnt from the Victoria Climbie case and the Every Child Matters agenda are not tackled in these Guidelines.






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









It is not clear what action can be taken when parents refuse to provide information






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









This is a weak section that assumes that parents will willingly engage with local authority officers.



A key concern is the inability of the officer responsible for home education to insist on seeing a child, rather than just their school work.



Another concern is that schools can take a child off their register before it is confirmed by the LA that they are receiving home education.





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?









Children who are home educated should not receive less protection than children who attend school.



Where there have been school attendance concerns, some parents decide to home educate, following pressure by EWOs






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









Relationships can only develop if there is an expectation that parents will engage with local authorities.





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









The child’s viewpoint should be sought.  Some children have stated that they would prefer to return to school.  They state that they are bored at home and miss their school friends. 






7 b) Should any other contacts be included?









Faith groups other than Christian should be included.  (The majority of home educating parents in my authority are Muslim.)





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






This Consultation appears to ignore the diverse nature of home education.  Some families only home educate as a last resort following difficulties at school.  These parents struggle to provide home education.  This would particularly appear to be the case for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families who, across the country, frequently attempt to home educate following experiences of social exclusion and racial discrimination by schools.



Home education is often portrayed as innovative and pioneering.  However, in this authority most families seek to replicate the traditional teaching that they have experienced at school.  Workbooks and worksheets, mainly from WH Smiths are commonly used and there is little evidence of the new or radical approaches to learning.



























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