Home Visit from Council

(10 Posts)
TootsieRoll99 Mon 09-Sep-13 17:17:40

Hi, I'm brand new here, just joined Mumsnet to ask this question!
I have been home-schooling my 12 year old since September 2012. Today I have had a letter form the local council to say they are coming round to meet me and my child and discuss her education.
I didn't think they did this..?
Anyway, what should I expect? I assume they will want to look at the work she has done. What else? I don't know why, I just feel nervous of all of a sudden!

EauRouge Mon 09-Sep-13 17:35:31

They told you they are coming round? How nice of them to invite themselves hmm You do not have to if you don't want to. If you want to show them some of her work, then do, but I don't think you're under any obligation.

This is a really good website that might help you out.

It amazes me how different LEAs can be. My friend in the next town over (different LEA) was posted a school registration form where there were spaces for choices of schools or home education, and she was posted reams of forms to fill in about her DD's progress. I haven't heard a peep from my LEA.

EauRouge Mon 09-Sep-13 17:38:46

This page is relevant to you:

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.10 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.

HTH.

TootsieRoll99 Mon 09-Sep-13 17:58:51

That's the information I had, which I assumed was correct.

This is the wording of the letter:

"Our records indicate that you have not received a visit from an elective home education adviser recently.
I will be in the area next week and would like to take this opportunity to visit you, meet your child, and discuss the educational provision that you are providing for her." Then the date and time.
I feel like if I say no, actually, I don't want/need to meet you thanks, they could somehow make things nasty for us. But, really I don't feel happy about this!
I guess I should just accept she's coming, and make sure all the work is laid out, I just want to be prepped with what else could happen.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 09-Sep-13 18:06:40

Hello Tootsie.

There is no law that says you have to have anything to do with the LEA unless you want to.
You do need to respond to their request though, even if its just no thank you.
We sent our education philosophy to them that just stated the reasons for H.ed and our belief.
We enclosed an A4 sheet that listed the resources that dd would be using throughout the year. This included everything from writing materials to ballet shoes. Staples to ring binders.
Then a year later they ask for the same.
That is it, no more contact unless you would like to.
There really is nothing they can do to make life difficult for you, that I know of.
Good luck and don't be bullied into doing something you don't wish to do.

EauRouge Mon 09-Sep-13 18:06:44

How about offering to email some information? Or maybe meet somewhere on neutral ground- library perhaps?

I'm sure there'll be someone else who's been in a similar position that can advise you.

TootsieRoll99 Mon 09-Sep-13 18:16:31

She can come, I don't have anything to hide, I just feel a bit resentful, although I'm not sure why! I'm nervous that she'll think my educational provision is inadequate and demands DD return to school. Feeling a bit stressed about it, TBH.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 09-Sep-13 18:23:23

Tootsie.

I know where you are coming from and this is why we refused. I think it was also reading about so many other peoples experience of over zelous LA's presuming they could just call round.
We too felt like we had nothing to hide, but I suppose it was the rebel in me that said no thank you.
I also couldn't see what could be gained. Our LA were good and didn't bother us again, but an example of not having anything to offer. My dd left school to pursue an increasing love of playing music, they sent us details of the music provision available from the LA which she had already been involved with for several years and couldn't really tell us much else, we have the info of every private and public sector availability on a national scale. So they really couldn't offer anything. They were very pleasant though, but I saw a meeting as a complete waste of our and their time.

Saracen Tue 10-Sep-13 07:38:34

I really don't think it's an issue of whether you have anything to hide. I wouldn't be keen to allow the police to come searching my house and every other house in my street "just to check" that there were no stolen goods inside, when there was no evidence to suggest I'd been involved in a crime. I am sure they wouldn't find anything. But that isn't the point.

In my case, I think I might possibly have considered accepting a visit if my LA had been completely above-board and polite about it. But they think it is appropriate to mislead the public and imply that people must be inspected at home annually. They even specifically told me on the phone that there was a legal requirement for this. And I know they know better, because I and other local HE parents have written to them repeatedly over the years to "remind" them of the law! Frankly, this behaviour infuriates me and doesn't give me reason to trust them any farther than I can throw them.

As morethan says, you are quite entitled to decline your LA's pushy "offer" of a home visit. The main thing to do to avoid any hassle is to ensure you always reply to any communications from them. So, if you don't want a visit, write and tell them so. You could offer to supply information in writing instead, if you are happy to do so. There is not even any legal basis for them to request information in writing, however. Unless they have some reason to believe your child is not being educated appropriately, they have no statutory duty to be involved with your family at all.

As far as I can tell, most HE families prefer to supply some information to the LA even though they don't have to. Then they are in a position to point to it and say, "Look, I have already given you more than the law requires. Unless you have specific concerns, there is no need for anything more."

Once you have decided how you want to play it, if you need any help with phrasing a letter, just shout! Many people here will have been in exactly the same situation as you and can help you quote the law if you want.

FionaJNicholson Fri 13-Sep-13 10:50:44

Hi

What did you decide with this in the end? Are you OK with saying which LA it is?

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