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A page for information, news and comment in Sheffield





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:



Andy Kerr

Sheffield CYPD


Floor 3

Howden House

1 Union Street


S1 2SH


Local authority



Please Specify:

Sheffield LA (Children and Young People’s Directorate) – Local Authority Officer with responsibility for managing the provision of service to families wishing to home educate. This includes liaising with parents/carers who are considering or who indicate that they are educating their children at home by choice.


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






Such a document is to be welcomed as a means of further encouraging all LAs to have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in this area. If it meets its aim, it will hopefully ensure a consistent approach and common practice across the country.


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







An Annex with examples of case law outcomes would be a helpful addition to the guidelines.


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


Not Sure






Accurate – yes. Generally helpful? Helpful in clarifying and confirming the legal position but it needs to be appreciated that if LAs were not proactive in seeking to engge with parents of children being educated at home there may be a number of children for whom no “efficient”, “suitable” and “full time” education would be provided.

2.8 States that ‘If such a concern were to be raised’ the LA could ask a parent as to what education they are providing. What do you understand and envisage “concern” being interpreted as.  How do you envisage that such a concern be raised other than a school informing us that a parent has informed them that they intend to home educate, a parent informing us themselves that they are home educating, or a member of the public informing us that a family are not sending their children to school and we as a local authority are not aware of the provision they are delivering. We can only be satisfied that the parent is providing a suitable education if we ask questions, but the guidance states we can only ask for information if we have a concern. If a parent declines, where then? Unless we can evidence a reason for concern.


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 section is generally helpful although there are issues regarding the reference, in Para 3.4, to a “risk based approach” and to “taking into consideration the individual and community’s circumstances”. How should a LA calculate risk? What criteria should be used? How can risk be calculated if there is no means of identifying it other than by information the LA receives from other services and agencies? Is there an implication by referring to a “community’s circumstances” that some communities are at risk or more likely to be at risk? If so, what types of risk are being considered? What criteria should be utilised? Is it being implied that LAs have greater “authority” to seek contact with parents/carers who live in areas with certain socio-economic characteristics?



3.5 “If information exists”. Please provide examples of what this might mean in practice


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?


Not Sure






At the centre of all that is done, is the child. The 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters should be the focus of the assessment in whether a child’s needs are being met.

  • Are they healthy
  • Safe
  • Enjoying and achieving

    Making a positive contribution

  • Able to achieve economic well-being



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





Generally No.



Once again the issue is raised for LAs of “You don’t know what you don’t know”.

How do LAs safeguard children’s learning at home if LAs are not allowed by parents to engage with them?



The guidance does not allow LA’s to be proactive


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







You mean Annex B? Yes.



But need to be updated with new diploma based curriculum information.


7 b) Should any other contacts be included?







BBC bitesize is often found to be useful



Please consider removal of LAC website information (see additional information)


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





3.15 should be ‘Children with additional needs’



also the last sentence states that a LA must ensure that the parents can make suitable provision. How can we if we do not have the right of access and contact?



There is no reference the LDD or tie in with this guidance.



In our opinion LAC should not be home educated as they are the responsibility of the LA as corporate parent.



ECM 5 outcomes should be the theme throughout all provision and the assessments/ reviews/ support meetings should consider them. LA monitoring protocols/ processes should look at reasonable programs being delivered across all outcome areas.
























Regional Groups:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SYHEC/ - South Yorkshire


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/friendsrendezvous/ - (a small quiet, Christian group.)













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