Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

A) Can you please categorise how those known to the team dealing with elective home education became known? E.g. School, Doctor, self-referral, concerns about the educational provision reported etc.

i) Does the local authority seek to satisfy itself that the educational provision the parent(s) are providing is suitable to the child's age, aptitude, ability and any SEN as soon as they become aware that parents are electively home educating, regardless of how they become known to the local authority?

ii) How many instances have there been from June 2016, 2017 and to the date of this FOI where the person dealing with elective home education has or has had concerns that a 'suitable' education is not being provided?

B) I would also appreciate it if this information could be broken down into categories:

1) whether they feel that no education is taking place?
2) whether they feel that the philosophy of education is inadequate - for example in the case of autonomous or child led learning, that the particular child is not appearing to be learning 'enough'?
3) whether there are concerns because the family have not implemented a structured approach?
4) or whether the fact that the national Curriculum is not being followed is causing concern?
5) a qualified third party is not involved in the child’s education?
6) An educational report has not been provided by a third party such as; a teacher etc.

C) I would like to know of these children, how many of these concerns were proven?

i) Of the children in the above 6 categories, please indicate if further steps have or are being taken - for example, referred to CME or issued with a School Attendance Order. Please break it down into each year asked for.

ii) Please indicate how many of these went to court in 2016 and 2017.

iii) Please also indicate if any Education Supervision Orders are currently in court for this population?

Finally, please provide all recorded documentation relating to elective home education including policies, procedures (2015 - present) and recorded communications relating to elective home education (2017 - present), including any e-mail attachments. This does not include communications between the Elective Home Education team and electively home educating parents or information that falls under S40 (which I expect to be redacted).

Yours faithfully,

J Carter

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been allocated the reference number NELC/8581/1718.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at:
https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

North East Lincolnshire Council

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

3 Attachments

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 8581_1718.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

A) Can you please categorise how those known to the team dealing with
elective home education became known? E.g. School, Doctor, self-referral,
concerns about the educational provision reported etc.

 

Each year, the overwhelming majority of children are registered as EHE
when - following their withdrawal from a school roll - Head Teachers
return Form SA5 (Leaver's Form) to the local authority. Some children
also  become known when parents inform the LA (for example, not Starting
School for the First Time or having moved into the area).  A very small
number become known due to other agencies passing on information which may
on occasions include professional concerns.

 

i) Does the local authority seek to satisfy itself that the educational
provision the parent(s) are providing is suitable to the child's age,
aptitude, ability and any SEN as soon as they become aware that parents
are electively home educating, regardless of how they become known to the
local authority?

 

For all new EHE referrals, the initial contact with families is made by an
Educational Welfare Officer who visits or meets parents (with their
consent) to provide information and guidance (please see the attached).
The EWO discusses with parents our subsequent request (on the basis of
parental agreement) to arrange an education review typically between two
to three months from the time which EHE begins.

 

ii) How many instances have there been from June 2016, 2017 and to the
date of this FOI where the person dealing with elective home education has
or has had concerns that a 'suitable' education is not being provided?

 

Over this time period, there have been between 10 -20 children each year
for whom concerns are discussed with parents as to whether they are
providing a 'suitable' education. As part of this process, we encourage
and support parents to self-review through EHE officer visits or meetings
in terms of identifying what is working well and areas for improvement. 

 

B) I would also appreciate it if this information could be broken down
into categories:

 

1) whether they feel that no education is taking place?

 

This is the reason for the overwhelming majority of cases where a
'suitable' education is not being provided. An increasing number of
parents - and characteristically those whose children become EHE for the
first time between the ages of 14 -16) explain that they are unable to
plan, deliver or support their child's education. Typically, these parents
will state that they did not know what EHE entailed or that they did not
anticipate the consequences of their decision. Anecdotal evidence suggests
that a growing number have not made an 'informed' decision which then
self-limits the provision of a 'suitable' education.

 

2) whether they feel that the philosophy of education is inadequate - for
example in the case of autonomous or child led learning, that the
particular child is not appearing to be learning 'enough'?

 

We would not assess a family's philosophy or a child's preferred learning
style in terms of determining whether the education being provided by the
parent is 'suitable'.

 

3) whether there are concerns because the family have not implemented a
structured approach?

 

As above: we would not determine whether an education is 'suitable' in
terms of whether a structured approach is used since parents do not have
to plan or deliver educational provision through a timetable or direct
teaching. We fully recognise that parents are at liberty to use a diverse
range of educational philosophies and learning styles.

 

4) or whether the fact that the national Curriculum is not being followed
is causing concern?

 

Parents are not required to follow the National Curriculum.

 

5) a qualified third party is not involved in the child’s education?

 

As above, there is no requirement or local authority expectation that
parents involve a qualified third party unless they choose to arrange
additional support such as tuition.

 

6) An educational report has not been provided by a third party such as; a
teacher etc.

 

As above: no reports have been provided by a third party nor have they
been requested by the local authority.

 

C) I would like to know of these children, how many of these concerns were
proven?

 

In the vast majority of cases, the concerns are discussed and agreed with
parents. Advice is offered and additional support is provided: for
example, some parents seek help to re-enter the school system. The local
authority has not issued any legal proceedings during these years as we
believe that support is - invarraibly - a more constructive and timely way
of addressing concerns.  

 

i) Of the children in the above 6 categories, please indicate if further
steps have or are being taken - for example, referred to CME or issued
with a School Attendance Order. Please break it down into each year asked
for.

 

For children who are registered as EHE, they would not be referred to CME
in our local authority (since they are known) regardless of whether the
education being received is suitable.

No School Attendance Orders have been issued.

 

ii) Please indicate how many of these went to court in 2016 and 2017 =
None

 

iii) Please also indicate if any Education Supervision Orders are
currently in court for this population = None

 

Finally, please provide all recorded documentation relating to elective
home education including policies, procedures (2015 - present) and
recorded communications relating to elective home education (2017 -
present), including any e-mail attachments. This does not include
communications between the Elective Home Education team and electively
home educating parents or information that falls under S40 (which I expect
to be redacted).

 

Please find attached the EHE Policy as well as guidance and information
documents which are issued to parents

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

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