Dear Reading Borough 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 in the years (from January 1st to December 31st) 2015, 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 2015, 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

FOI, CRT, Reading Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear J Carter

 

Thank you for your request for information under the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act (2000).  In accordance with the Act, you can
expect to receive a formal response to your enquiry by the 29 May 2018.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Mr N Bullough

Senior Customer Relations Officer

Customer Relations | Corporate Support Services

Reading Borough Council

Level 1

Plaza West

Bridge Street

Reading Borough Council

RG1 2LU

0118 937 2726 (72726

[1]Website | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter | [4]YouTube

[5]cid:image001.jpg@01D3A71D.49188430

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI, CRT, Reading Borough Council

4 Attachments

Dear J Carter,

 

Thank you for your request for information under the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act (2000). 

 

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 in the years (from January 1st to
December 31st) 2015, 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 2015, 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).

 

Our response is as follows:

 

N.B. The EHE team consists of one person on a 0.5 contract working under
teacher pay and conditions.

 

A)   Can you please categorise how those known to the team dealing with
Elective Home Education became known?

·         School child is withdrawn from

·         RBC School Admissions Team

·         Education Welfare Service

·         Parents

·         Children’s Social Care

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 the parents
are electively home educating, regardless of how they became known to the
local authority?

 

·         Yes. 

·         However we have to work within the law which very clearly states
that any contact with the Local Authority is voluntary for Electively Home
Educating families so all advice and support visits are dependent on the
family being prepared to accept them. 

ii] How many instances have their in the years (from January 1^st –
December 31^st) 2015, 2016, 2017 and to 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?

 

As we are part of education, all our records are kept in academic years
not calendar years.  There has been one clear case of a suitable education
not being provided spanning 09/2015 – 07/2016.  This was due to severe
mental health issues which with my support were resolved with weekly home
therapy sessions from the Child and Adult Mental Health team during this
time.  The young person has since successfully returned to full-time
education.

There were four instances in 2016 – 2017. This was due to families being
new to EHE.  They adopted the advice and used the support offered by the
local authority and within three months of commencing EHE were providing a
suitable education for their children.

 

B)   Broken down into categories:

1] Where no education is taking place –

·         There has been one clear case of a suitable education not being
provided spanning 09/2015 – 07/2016.  This was due to severe mental health
issues which, with my support , were resolved with weekly home therapy 
from NHS qualified psychiatric therapists during this period.  The young
person has since successfully returned to full-time education.

 

2] The philosophy of education is inadequate – for example in the case of
autonomous or child led learning, that the particular child is not
learning “enough”

·         The law is very clear that parents can choose the style of
learning adopted and that style therefore maybe child led learning.
“Enough” is very difficult to define for EHE as they have total control
over the time, timetable and curriculum delivered to their child. However,
there has been visible and adequate progress in monitoring visits carried
out since September 2015.

     3] Whether there are concerns because the family have not implemented
a structured approach

·         By law the family are not required to implement a structured
approach so this would not necessarily trigger any cause for concern.  No
families with a non-structured approach have given cause for concern.

     4] Whether the fact that the National Curriculum is not being
followed is causing concern

·         Again the law does not require families delivering EHE to follow
the National Curriculum. It requires the education to be “efficient”
defined in law as achieving  was what it sets out to achieve and
“suitable” if it “primarily equips the child for life within the community
of which s/he is a member, rather than the way of life in the country as a
whole, as long as it does not foreclose the child’s options in later years
to adopt some other form of life if s/he wishes to do so”  

No families were identified as breaching this in the years requested.

    5]  A qualified 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.

·         In answer to both these questions, legally, parents do not have
to involve any third party in their child’s EHE programme, qualified or
unqualified.  A number of families do employ tutors who may or may not be
qualified teachers, but this is a private arrangement between the family
and the tutor or agency.  They family do not have to inform the local
authority that they have employed a tutor/tutors and if the tutor/tutors 
provide the family with a report/reports, the family are not obliged to
share it/them with the local authority.  I have seen several reports over
since September 2015, including more than one from some families but
without trawling each child’s individual file for the last 2.5 years
cannot give exact number of either how many tutors have been privately
employed or reports written and shared with the local authority.

 

    C]  How many of these concerns were proven:

·         As there were no registered concerns  - zero

i], ii] , iii]  are all N/A as in the years requested, there have been
zero School Attendance Orders, no court proceedings and no Education
Supervision Orders are currently in place

 

Documentation attached

 

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own personal
purposes or for non-commercial research, private study or news reporting.
However, you do not have the right to re-use the information in a way
which infringes copyright, for example, by distributing, making copies of
or publishing the information, without the permission of the copyright
holder, which in most cases will be Reading Borough Council. If you wish
to obtain permission for such use, please contact Mr C Brooks, Head of
Legal and Democratic Services, at Reading Borough Council.

 

Please note that your request may itself be the subject of a FOI request
and will be disclosed in that event.

 

If you are unhappy with this response to your request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act then you may ask for an internal
review.  Please make a request in writing to Mr C Brooks, Head of Legal
and Democratic Services, at Reading Borough Council.  If you request such
a review and are not content with its outcome, then you have a right to
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Mr N Bullough

Senior Customer Relations Officer

Customer Relations Team| Direcororate of Resources

Civic Office

Reading Borough Council

Plaza West

Bridge Street

Reading Borough Council

RG1 2LU

0118 937 2726 (72726

[1]Website | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter | [4]YouTube

[5]cid:image001.jpg@01D3A71D.49188430

 

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