Elective Home Education and CME

A Thurstan made this Freedom of Information request to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council,

I understand that, as part of the document, Ofsted WMBC Single Inspection Report under section 'The experiences and progress of children who need help and protection' Page 13. Para 31, WMBC reported that;

'Good arrangements are in place to monitor children who are electively home educated and those who go missing from education. The designated teacher is in contact with all of the families of children who are electively home educated and carries out regular and comprehensive reviews to track each child’s progress. A new Fair Access panel ensures that school placements are found quickly and children experience smooth transitions. Children in alternative provision are monitored effectively to ensure that they receive a good education.'

Does the system in place;

1) Record all children as a child missing education (CME) when they are;
i) under compulsory school age who have not taken up a school place,
ii) have been removed from the school roll, or
iii) when they have not applied for a school place.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

2) Require parents register their children as EHE?

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

3) Consider that a child is CME unless their parents have registered them as EHE.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

4) Make lateral checks with other LA departments and with partner agencies.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

5) Inform parents that they will have a home visit or, if their child has shown progress, they are then able to choose to send in a report. (February 2017 Newsletter)

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

6) Tell parents that their child's progress will be monitored, reviewed, and recorded on an ongoing basis.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

7) Inform all families they are required to provide information annually for the purpose of satisfying the LA that a suitable education is being provided.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

8) Request all children fill in;
an education plan and
the 'Child's View Report'

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

I also want to know whether parents are fully informed of;

A) the system in place and whether their fully informed consent is sought for registering their children as EHE.

B) i) the sharing of data with a wide range of departments and agencies
and
ii) whether their informed consent is sought for processing data.

In regards to the EHE team making lateral checks on ALL children referred to them as EHE, I require information on the policy and process that the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) follow when the checks take place.

Yours faithfully,

A Thurstan

Dear Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please acknowledge receipt of this freedom of information request.

Yours faithfully,

A Thurstan

James Sparrock, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Thurstan,

Request for Information

Thank you for your request for information about Elective Home Education and CME, which was received on 30 October 2017.

In accordance with provisions within Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations, the council will respond to your request within 20 working days, saying whether we have the information that you want, and if there will be any charges.

If, for any reason, we cannot provide you with the information, we will tell you why. If we need to clarify your request, we will contact you again.

In the meantime, if you need to contact me about your request, please do so quoting the above reference number and using the contact details below.

Yours sincerely

James  N A Sparrock
Lead Assurance Officer (Information Rights and Complaints)
Walsall Council
3rd Floor (HR Suite),
Civic Centre,
Darwall Street,
Walsall,
WS1 1DG

[email address]
web site: walsall.gov.uk

Tel: 01922  65 0950

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Dear James Sparrock,

Please advise when I will receive a full response to my freedom of information request.

Yours sincerely,

A Thurstan

Yvonne Tarring, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Thurstan,

Freedom of Information Request

Further to your request for information about Elective Home Education and CME I can tell you the following:

1) Record all children as a child missing education (CME) when they are;
i) under compulsory school age who have not taken up a school place - Children who are eligible for admission to Reception but have not yet reached compulsory school age are recorded and monitored by the Children Missing Education Panel. These children are not counted in CME statistics until they reach compulsory school age as they are not required to attend school at this time.

ii) have been removed from the school roll, or NO – A child’s base is recorded on the database when it is known or changes.IE School/ EHE/CME

iii) when they have not applied for a school place. Only children with a known base are recorded on the Education Management System

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

2) Require parents register their children as EHE?

No – However, schools are requested to inform the local authority when they delete a child’s name from the register.

The school must delete the child's name from their admissions register upon receipt of written notification from the parents that the pupil is receiving education otherwise than at school. However, schools should not wait for parents to give written notification that they are withdrawing their child from school before advising their local authority. Schools must make a return (giving the child's name, address and the ground upon which their name is to be deleted from the register) to the local authority as soon as the ground for deletion is met, and no later than deleting the pupil's name from the register.
(Regulation 12(3) of the Education (Pupil Registration) England) Regulations 2006)

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

3) Consider that a child is CME unless their parents have registered them as EHE.

NO. However: Local authorities have a statutory duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996,
inserted by the Education and Inspections Act 2006, to make arrangements to enable them
to establish the identities, so far as it is possible to do so, of children in their area who are not receiving a suitable education. The duty applies in relation to children of compulsory
school age who are not on a school roll, and who are not receiving a suitable education
Therefore enquiries will be made to establish whether children re receiving a suitable education. Those enquiries will determine how a child is recorded.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this? Above

4) Make lateral checks with other LA departments and with partner agencies.

Education Management System will record a child’s base. IE where they are registered at school / EHE / CME. There is restricted access and only individual service areas will see case notes.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

5) Inform parents that they will have a home visit or, if their child has shown progress, they are then able to choose to send in a report. (February 2017 Newsletter)

This is voluntary arrangement that some families prefer and provides wider opportunities to communicate with the Specialist Officers. Policy is clear.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

6) Tell parents that their child's progress will be monitored, reviewed, and recorded on an ongoing basis. No. However, the LA will meet it’s obligations under

No. However, the LA will meet it’s obligations under Sec 7 Education Act and in line with DfE Guidance for EHE (November 1st 2017)

Contact with parents and children
3.4 Local authorities should acknowledge that learning takes place in a wide variety of environments and not only in the home. However, if it appears that a suitable education is not being provided, the local authority should seek to gather any relevant information that will assist them in reaching a properly informed judgement. This should include seeking from the parents any further information that they wish to provide which explains how they are providing a suitable education. Parents should be given the opportunity to address any
specific concerns that the authority has. The child should also be given the opportunity, but not required, to attend any meeting that may be arranged or invited to express his or her views in some other way. Parents are under no duty to respond to such requests for information or a meeting, but it would be sensible for them to do so.
3.5 If it appears to a local authority that a child is not receiving a suitable education it may wish to contact the parents to discuss their ongoing home education provision. Contact should normally be made in writing to the parents to request further information. A written report should be made after such contact and copied to the parents stating whether the authority has any concerns about the education provision and specifying what these are, to give the child's parents an opportunity to address them. Where concerns about the suitability of the education being provided for the child have been identified, more frequent contact may be required while those concerns are being addressed. Where concerns merit frequent contact, the authority should discuss them with the child's parents, with a view to helping them provide a suitable education that meets the best interests of the child.
3.6 Some parents may welcome the opportunity to discuss the provision that they are making for the child's education during a home visit but parents are not legally required to give the local authority access to their home. They may choose to meet a local authority representative at a mutually convenient and neutral location instead, with or without the child being present, or choose not to meet at all. Where a parent elects not to allow access to their home or their child, this does not of itself constitute a ground for concern about the
education provision being made. Where local authorities are not able to visit homes, they should, in the vast majority of cases, be able to discuss and evaluate the parents' educational provision by alternative means. If they choose not to meet, parents may be asked to provide
evidence that they are providing a suitable education. If a local authority asks parents for information they are under no duty to comply although it would be sensible for them to do so parents might prefer, for example, to write a report, provide samples of work, have their educational provision endorsed by a third party (such as an independent home tutor) or provide evidence in some other appropriate form.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this? Above

7) Inform all families they are required to provide information annually for the purpose of satisfying the LA that a suitable education is being provided.

Policy quote

If it seems that a child is not being provided with a suitable education Childrens Services - Education will try to gather information to help the authority reach a properly informed judgement. Parents will always be informed in writing of any specific concerns.

You will be asked for some basic information about your provision but this is not intended to be 'inspection' or 'monitoring'.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

8) Request all children fill in;
an education plan and the 'Child's View Report'

This is voluntary many of the children complete it and enjoy doing so.

If it does, what is the legislative basis for this?

I also want to know whether parents are fully informed of;

A) the system in place and whether their fully informed consent is sought for registering their children as EHE.

This is explained during the initial contact and first meeting.

B) i) the sharing of data with a wide range of departments and agencies and
ii) whether their informed consent is sought for processing data.

• Only applicable in matters of Safeguarding when professionals have a duty to share information.
• Children are still entitled to support services offered by School Health and on occasions they will ask the LA to send out advisory information to EHE families.
• The LA will request information from schools regarding the circumstances of the deletion for EHE

In regards to the EHE team making lateral checks on ALL children referred to them as EHE, I require information on the policy and process that the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) follow when the checks take place.

Most of the information that we provide in response to Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 requests will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases the copyright will be owned by Walsall Council. The copyright in respect of other information may be owned by another person or organisation, as indicated.
You are free to use any information supplied to you in response to this request for your own non-commercial research or private study purposes. The information may also be used for any other purpose allowed by a limitation or exception in copyright law, such as news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the information in analogue or digital form, including on the internet, will require the permission of the copyright owner.
I hope that the information provided is useful to you. However, if you are dissatisfied, you should set out in writing your grounds for complaint and send to: Information Risk & Governance Manager, Business Change, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall WS1 1TP.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. Please remember that, generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have first exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the council. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

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