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NorthumberlandLA

Page history last edited by starkfamily1@... 11 years, 9 months ago

Northumberland

A page for information, news and comment in Northumberland

 

contents:


 

 

related links:

 

Meeting the LA Education Department

Guidance on improving LEAs

 

EHE Consultation

 

In response to a FOI request, the following information has been received:

 

Alison Porteous

Northumberland County Council

County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF

 

Local authority

Please Specify:  Local Authority designated person responsible for elective home education

 

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

 

Yes

 

Comments:

 

 

These guidelines are almost exactly the same as the draft guidelines written nearly 3 years ago for which we have been awaiting formal consultation and confirmation.

 

 

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

 

No

 

Comments:

 

 

Information as written is clear, however, see below.

 

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

 

No

 

 

Comments:

 

 

2.5/2.6  Parents are not required to inform the LA they are home educating their child or children if they have never been on roll of a school.  How is the LA to build up a supportive relationship with parents in this position if it is not known they exist and how will we be able to identify them as not missing education if parents are not required to inform the LA of their intentions.  I consider that the nos of home education children may be considerably higher than we realise.  If home education youngsters  move out of our LA without any indication of their future whereabouts I count them as part of my statistics for children missing from education.

 

 

 

2.7 – No stat duty to monitor quality of education on a statutory basis, - how does this comply with the Education and Inspections Act 2006, - “duty on local authorities to promote high standards and, for the first time, the fulfilment of every child’s educational potential.

 

 

How are LAs to have any indication of education at home if parents are not required to respond to queries re provision and will not provide any information.  I understand that the charity, Education Otherwise advises parents that the interpretation of the law as it stands its that they do not have to have contact with the LA or provide any relevant information re provision as LAs must assume this is suitable unless there is information to the contrary.

 

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

 

No

 

 

Comments:

 

 

See above – the law as it stands in this guidance puts LAs in a difficult position, and can be confusing for them and parents.

 

 

2.11 – Promoting the safety and welfare of children – I appreciate that LAs cannot extend their functions, however, this year Eunice Spry was found guilty of abusing and chronically neglecting 3 children, all of whom were home educated.  We do not know how many home educated children wish to be home educated, they do not have the opportunities to have contact with other adults or children, and a report written by a parent re provision may sound suitable but may not be what is happening in practice.

 

 

I am a strong believer that parents should be able to choose to take responsibility for their child’s education, however, I consider that this should be balanced with statutory powers of LAs which should be strengthened so that there is annual confirmation that each home educated child is healthy, is being provided with suitable education and is willing to continue education at home.

 

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?

 

Yes

 

Comments:

 

 

3.13 – Some parents have refused to indicate that these characteristics are part of the provision for their children, on the basis that the LA must assume the education provided is suitable unless we have reason to believe otherwise.  They have emphasised that they are not required to give us any information

 

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

 

Yes

 

 

Comments:

 

 

Our LA has a good relationship with most of our parents – but see above.

 

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

 

Yes

 

7 b) Should any other contacts be included?

 

No

 

Comments:

 

 

We have a comprehensive list already available for parents.

 

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

 

 

Comments:

 

 

The numbers of home educated children with special needs have risen this year.  I am not certain what help the LA could/should provide to assist parents to provide suitable education at home.  The financial implications are not clear.

 

 

 

 

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