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Wandsworth LA

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



A page for information, news and comment in Wandsworth



related links:


Meeting the LA Education Department

Guidance on improving LEAs


EHE Consultation


Please tick if you want us to keep your response confidential. – not ticked



Name                                        [No name entered]



Organisation (if applicable)   Children’s Services dept, Wandsworth Council



Address:                            Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street


London SW18 2 PU



Which of the following best describes you: Local authority




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











Clarification of regulations relating to elective home education is helpful but the clarification should be written within the context of Every Child Matters. The Staying Safe and Being Healthy outcomes are of particular importance where children remain outside the maintained education and health systems.



It is acknowledged that many parents who decide to home educate their children have considered their options carefully and made this choice for sound reasons.


These parents provide effective education for their children and consider their children’s holistic needs. However others may have taken the decision for different reasons and without due understanding and a small minority may be adversely affecting their children’s life chances, either wittingly or unwittingly. The current legal framework often makes it difficult to identify accurately all children who are being electively home educated (EHE), and to effectively monitor those we are aware of when parents do not wish to co-operate.



The guidelines should highlight areas where the law as it currently stands is in need of review in relation to balancing parents’ rights to home educate their children and local authorities’ duty to safeguard children. The government should set out a timetable for changes to the current arrangements which will address the inadequacies of the current arrangements.



As an absolute minimum a requirement for EHE parents to notify the LA should be introduced by new legislation. This should also apply if the family move into a different area.



If the welfare of children in EHE situations is to be effectively safeguarded and promoted additional safeguards also need to be built in to any update of the legislation. Current legislation in this area gives children no voice and no easy access to adults outside the family where they can express their concerns when things are not going well or where abuse or neglect may be taking place.



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 description of the law is clear and accurate as it stands at present



3 Do you agree that the description of local authorities’ responsibilities


(paragraphs 2.5-2.11) is accurate and helpful?



Not Sure






We already have a written policy and guidelines for EHE parents and have worked to try and establish relationships with EHE parents (in many cases successfully) however we remain concerned that some parents can ‘hide behind’ current legislation and prevent effective (or in some cases any) monitoring taking place.



Para 2.8 underlines parents’ right not to comply with a request for information. The guidelines should instead emphasise that parents’ refusal to provide information about the education they are providing might constitute an alert for local authorities from a safeguarding or educational point of view.



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









It is helpful within current legislation. However it makes the assumption that parents will automatically engage with local authorities – an assumption which is not substantiated in practice. Some parents refuse to engage with their local authority and some are encouraged not to engage.



We are concerned that Para 3.4 singles out Gypsy/Roma and Traveller parents when there are other parents who may equally not have the knowledge, skills and resources to provide or deliver a full-time education that is efficient and suitable



It would be helpful if regulations relating to de-registration are re-visited to allow a period of checking to take place before removal from roll.



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






The list at 3.11 detailing what is not required of EHE parents is not particularly helpful. It would surely be better to provide a list of the minimum requirements necessary to be providing a good educational experience



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









It is useful and in line with our current practice however it should be clearly stated that parents too have a responsibility to engage with the local authority and health services. This should be strengthened by changes to the current statutory arrangements



Para 4.10 Parents should be required to request the local authority to carry out a CRB check on anyone they are engaging in the education of their children.



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



Yes No Not Sure [no box ticked]






Provision should be made for children who are educated at home to be provided


with an independent advocate (independent of the school, local authority and


parent) to help secure the child’s views.



Para 5.6 “flexi-schooling” is a complex area – and needs more detailed guidance



7 b) Should any other contacts be included?












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







On reading the rationale behind this piece of work and the proposals to issue guidance it seemed that a positive step forward was being taken.


However the overall outcome feels like an opportunity missed to actually make a difference and ensure these children can be safeguarded and effectively educated.





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