Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Education Committee - Fifth Report Support for Home Education

The report is now published and I and a fair few of my facebook friends stayed up to read it, it was late!

The submissions from most of us are missing even though there was originally a link.  I emailed the webmaster and received this reply:

Dear Maire,

Thank you for your email.

We have contact The Stationary Office who look after this content and the link was added in error. It has been removed and will be republished on the 20th December.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Yours sincerely,

Webmaster | Parliament Website | webmaster@parliament.uk

Why?  There has been various speculation about the methods used to produce the report!  My 

favourite,, "copy and paste is so last year".

Again I have not read it carefully yet, trawling things with a fine tooth comb is not my forte.

A few things noticed on first pass:

"2.  We believe that the case law definitions of 'suitable' and 'efficient' education are sufficient, and encourage local authorities to use these as required. However, some aspects of existing guidance require clarification, and we recommend that the Department for Education undertake a review of the guidance concerning home education, working with local authorities and home educators to iron out any tensions. (Paragraph 15)"

So it looks like those new guidelines we have all strenuously opposed are coming anyway.  :( more time taken from our children answering yet more consultations.

A facebook friend and Bruce got a mention in the report, the friend (who made a very good point) unfortunately renamed and with  typos introduced into her comment!  Why are they not just cutting and pasting?  Bruce for his suggestions about mandatory training and certification of EHE officers; he has yet to check whether his contribution has been accurately reproduced.

The committee clearly found this shocking:

"12. Local authorities have a responsibility to follow the law, and to be seen to do so. Considering evidence that only thirty [out of 152] do not currently have ultra vires statements on their websites, regarding home education, we urge all local authorities to undertake a swift review of their own material, and to ensure that their policies reflect the guidance available."  (information obtained by Alison Sauer)

Liking this:

"Whilst Government guidance sets out the role of local authorities with regard to home education, we heard evidence that some authorities are acting outside the law. We urge all local authorities to undertake a swift review of their own material, including websites, and to ensure that their policies reflect the guidance available"

and this:

"It is not the role of the local authority to routinely monitor wether a suitable education is being provided, and local authorities should not act as if it is, or cause parents to believe that it is.[8]."

And The Guardian has reported it and not suggested we might be trying to hide something which is good.

I am hoping to see analysis from other bloggers more skilled at the task in the near future and will be watching my sidebar for it.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Consultation on the revised statutory guidance on children missing education for local authorities

Just had a very quick glance at what I assume is the revised guidance although it didn't seem to be labelled as such.

This bit jumped out immediately, could be helpful or could be problematic.

"Children with statements of special education needs can be home educated but the relevant local authority must provide the special educational provision specified in the child’s statement."

It is a very simple consultation form, very different from the leading questions and hidden agenda of the ones we are used to.

Consultation Response Form
Consultation closing date: 15 February 2013
Your comments must reach us by that date.

Department for Education statutory guidance for local authorities in England to identify children not receiving a suitable education 
Consultation Response Form

Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be subject to publication or disclosure in accordance with the access to information regimes, primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998.
If you want all, or any part, of your response to be treated as confidential, please explain why you consider it to be confidential.
If a request for disclosure of the information you have provided is received, your explanation about why you consider it to be confidential will be taken into account, but no assurance can be given that confidentiality can be maintained. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the Department.
The Department will process your personal data (name and address and any other identifying material) in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and in the majority of circumstances, this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.

Please tick if you want us to keep your response confidential.

Reason for confidentiality:


Organisation (if applicable)


If your enquiry is related to the DfE e-consultation website or the consultation process in general, you can contact the Public Communications Unit by e-mail: consultation.unit@education.gsi.gov.uk or by telephone: 0370 000 2288 or via the Department's 'Contact Us' page.
Please tick the box that best describes you as a respondent.

Local Authorities

Governing Bodies

Head Teachers

Youth Offending Teams


Please Specify:

1 Do you have any comments on the draft guidance?


Thank you for taking the time to let us have your views. We do not intend to acknowledge individual responses unless you place an 'X' in the box below.
Please acknowledge this reply 

E-mail address for acknowledgement:

Here at the Department for Education we carry out our research on many different topics and consultations. As your views are valuable to us, would it be alright if we were to contact you again from time to time either for research or to send through consultation documents?



All DfE public consultations are required to meet the Cabinet Office Principles on Consultation

The key Consultation Principles are:

  • departments will follow a range of timescales rather than defaulting to a 12-week period, particularly where extensive engagement has occurred before

  • departments will need to give more thought to how they engage with and consult with those who are affected

  • consultation should be ‘digital by default', but other forms should be used where these are needed to reach the groups affected by a policy; and

  • the principles of the Compact between government and the voluntary and community sector will continue to be respected. 

Responses should be completed on-line or emailed to the relevant consultation email box. However, if you have any comments on how DfE consultations are conducted, please contact Carole Edge, DfE Consultation Coordinator, tel: 0370 000 2288 / email: carole.edge@education.gsi.gov.uk
Thank you for taking time to respond to this consultation.
Completed questionnaires and other responses should be sent to the address shown below by 15 February 2013
You can respond to the consultation by completing the response form and emailing it to SchoolAttendance.CONSULTATION@education.gsi.gov.uk or sending it by post to:

Department for Education
C/o Juliette Duah
Behaviour and Atendence in Schools Division
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street

There is a consultation document here.

Might need to have a look at this when it comes out.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Support for Home Education - Education Select Committee report published 18th December 2012

Press Release

No mention of the submissions so don't know if they will be published at the same time.   Hope it is a pleasant surprise.

Education Committee


Select Committee Announcement

12 December 2012
For Immediate Release:

Publication of the Committee’s Fifth Report of Session

The Education Committee publishes its Fifth Report (HC 559-I) at 00.01am on Tuesday 18 December: Support for Home Education, Session 2012–13.

Hard copies of the Report will be posted on Tuesday 18 December to those who gave oral evidence to the original inquiry.

Embargoed electronic copies of the Report can be supplied upon request to Government departments, media and witnesses who gave oral evidence from 10.30am on Monday 17 December.  Non-media requests to educom@parliament.uk by 9.00am on Monday 17 December. 

All media enquiries should be addressed to Hannah Pearce, on 020 7219 8430 / 07917 488162 (pearcehm@parliament.uk).   

The report can also be ordered from The Stationery Office (tel: 0845 702 3474) or from the Parliamentary Bookshop (020 7219 3890), or can be viewed on the Committee’s website from 00.01am on Tuesday 18 December 2012.


Committee Membership is as follows: 
Mr Graham Stuart (Chair), Conservative, Beverley and Holderness
Neil Carmichael, Conservative, Stroud
Alex Cunningham, Labour, Stockton North
Bill Esterson, Labour, Sefton Central
Pat Glass, Labour, North West Durham
Charlotte Leslie, Conservative, Bristol North West
Ian Mearns, Labour, Gateshead
Siobhain McDonagh, Labour, Mitcham and Morden
Chris Skidmore, Conservative, Kingswood
David Ward, Liberal Democrat, Bradford East
Craig Whittaker, Conservative, Calder Valley

Specific Committee Information
educom@parliament.uk / 020 7219 6181

Media Information: Hannah Pearce pearcehm@parliament.uk 020 7219 8430 / 07917 488162

Watch committees and parliamentary debates onlinewww.parliamentlive.tv 

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 2 hours after publication) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Leicester and Leicestershire Local Authority Elective Home Education Departments

Would do well to study Lancashire Local Authority's web site.  As would the majority of Local Authorities who mostly bend he law to suit their purposes.

Educating Your Child At Home

Main Details
Most people choose to send their children to school to be educated, but you are legally entitled to educate your child at home.
You don't have to be a teacher, operate to a timetable or follow the national curriculum (although you're perfectly at liberty to do so if you wish).
If your child has never been to school or you are new to the area you don't have to tell us. 
If your child is registered at school you will need to send a letter to the head teacher informing them that you wish to educate your child at home.  We will then contact you to and ask for some basic information.
Please note:
  • Where a child is registered at a school as a result of a school attendance order parents must ask the local authority to revoke the order.
  • Where a child is placed at a special school under arrangements made by the local authority, parents need to contact us to ask for the child to be removed from the school register.
If you would like to talk to one of our Elective Home Education (EHE) support workers about your decision to home educate or you would like any further support and advice about any information on this site please contact us.
This was not achieved without a tremendous amount of work from Local home educators over a considerable amount of time and a willing and enlightened (by them) EHE officer, however it is a tremendous achievement and all LAs should take note.

If you are trying to work with your LA to establish a more truthful and respectful relationship this is an excellent example of how it could and should be done!

The history of the negotiations and actions involved in reaching this point can be found here.

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