LA process...

(21 Posts)
Thinking2014 Tue 24-Jun-14 18:44:15

I'm starting another thread because its hard to create new questions in a old thread so hope that's OK...

Basically I read that after deregistering at the school the LA will get in touch and someone from social services too? Wondering if this is true for all cases and how did you find the whole process? (Stressful, not bad etc)

Thanks in advance x

Tinuviel Tue 24-Jun-14 21:23:51

You shouldn't get anyone from Social Services - home ed is not supposed to trigger that at all. I have had LA visits but chose not to last year as they seem to have a different person each year now. When they had a specific HE person, it was fine as he was very supportive and was willing to help (eg with somewhere to sit GCSE exams) and organised meet-ups/a newsletter but once he went, there is no value to meeting with them - they can't offer me anything!

Saracen Wed 25-Jun-14 09:56:03

As Tinuviel says, education and welfare are supposed to be entirely separate. (Personally I think the two are inextricably linked, but never mind!)

You may have heard of families whose home education triggered someone to contact Social Services. This is often malicious; for example school staff may be trying to pin the blame for the child's unhappy school experiences on the family. But SS tends to see right through this ploy, and such cases are usually open-and-shut. After all, if the school had genuine concerns about the child's home life then they would have reported it immediately rather than waiting until the child leaves school!

Your LA is very likely to get in touch to ask you to provide information about your child's home education. Depending how honest your LA is, they may or may not tell you that providing this information is entirely optional and that you do not have to allow a home visit. Most HE parents feel that it is advisable to provide some information if asked, to avoid future hassle, but this can be in a format of your choice.

Being well clued-up about all this (I'd home educated for years before my dd went to school briefly), I found my interaction with the LA annoying, as they lied to me. I put in a complaint, whereupon they denied ever having told me that a home visit was a legal requirement. After some assertive letters from me, they have finally stopped writing to me about my older child, and they don't know the younger one exists!

When they do get in touch, feel free to post here to ask whether you have to do what they are asking you to do. In the meantime you might think about what you would ideally like. Do you think you would enjoy a home visit, for example?

Thinking2014 Wed 25-Jun-14 10:54:59

Thanks, I've read up on the law because I've heard they're not always accurate in their wording....I've had some dealings with ss before as a minor so I'm aware of how they behave sometimes...I wouldn't want a home visit because I've heard they can use the setting of your home against you if they so wish. I was thinking perhaps an initial meeting on neutral ground if needed then as someone here said, I'll post them any lessons plans or philosophies they need after that if requested (in writing)...?

Saracen Wed 25-Jun-14 16:05:11

That sounds like a good plan if it is what you want to do. You shouldn't need to post them anything after the meeting. After all, unless and until you are taken to court you are not required to prove that you are educating your daughter suitably. The purpose of the meeting would be for you to give the LA some information about your daughter's education, enough to convince a reasonable person that you don't appear to be failing to educate her adequately.

So it doesn't have to be totally comprehensive, and you don't have to supply "evidence" as such. If they have any questions, they should be able to ask them at the meeting. And it is totally fine if you are still formulating your educational plans; just tell them "this is what we are doing right now, but I plan to reassess and adapt as I learn more about my daughter's needs".

There's also no requirement for you to supply updates or have further meetings as a matter of routine, though most LAs welcome annual contact and some seem to expect it. If they don't raise any concerns after meeting with you, there is no legal basis for them ever to make any further enquiries. (Unless some evidence comes to their attention which would lead them to believe you have ceased to educate your children suitably; for example if your neighbour claims you are making them work in a sweatshop instead of educating them.)

Thinking2014 Thu 26-Jun-14 10:13:06

Thanks so much for that, I've noted it down to remember. Glad there's help here. :-)

I'm thinking my teaching style will be some structured/time tabled type lessons but mostly relaxed, day to day learning. I'm very much a believer in making learning fun, that I've got lots of ideas that will help my daughter learn new things without her even realising!

For example I have poor map skills, so we could go out together with the map and I'll let her plan the journey, how to get there, where we could go, surrounding areas etc...what transport to take back....there's so much one day trip can hold in terms of useful knowledge that I'm sure we'll never run out of ideas!

Thanks for your input (everyone) I really appreciate it x

Thinking2014 Wed 02-Jul-14 11:17:35

I've just been reading the Education Otherwise website and they say an Education Welfare Officer will want to visit to asess the child's safety, has anyone experienced this?

Tinuviel Wed 02-Jul-14 14:21:56

They tried flinging safeguarding at me when they phoned to organise our 'annual visit' last year and I said I didn't want one. I asked them which bit of legislation meant that they had to visit me; after a short silence she said she would put me down as not wanting a visit!

I got a letter recently trying to organise a visit. I have now asked in writing what legislation says that I have to have a visit and asking if they believe an education is not taking place, on what grounds. I am awaiting their reply.

I am always polite but firm. I'm more than happy to send them a short account of what we've been doing but I'm not going to meet with some random person who probably doesn't know anything about HE.

Thinking2014 Wed 02-Jul-14 14:35:54

Good point, thanks, I thought I'd have to meet with them at least once but after a thorough read of Education Otherwise website I believe I don't have to meet with them even once which would suit me fine!

streakybacon Thu 03-Jul-14 07:04:01

I only met with my LA twice. They were useless so since then I've just submitted an annual report, but to retain control I send it before they ask for it. My LA has improved a lot since those early days but I still don't accept visits as there's no need. A report is fine.

Thinking2014 Thu 03-Jul-14 09:24:32

I spent about 2 hours writing my draft philosophy, but I think I need to add more...

Tinuviel Thu 03-Jul-14 18:08:23

If they insist, I will spend 2 minutes printing our latest work plan and add a quick note explaining the abbreviations! I would definitely not spend any longer than an hour on it!

Saracen Thu 03-Jul-14 19:14:51

Have you got some examples of other people's educational philosophies to work from, Thinking? That might make it easier to figure out what sorts of things you might include and how to explain what you are doing. I know that some people post theirs online.

I wouldn't hesitate to spend over two hours on the document if it is all you are planning ever to supply to the LA. Easier than having to correspond with them.

Thinking2014 Fri 04-Jul-14 00:36:19

I guess I'll just tidy it up then and leave it at that! wink

morethanpotatoprints Fri 04-Jul-14 20:10:21

Hello OP

When we decided against having a visit I was advised by a Mnetter not to state what style I was to use, what my aims were etc in case they held me to this on the following revue.
Once we got into the swing of things and tried various approaches it became apparent which way we were going to go.
Do yourself a huge favour and keep it simple and then at least you have time to breathe for a while and take in your new situation.
We are beginning our 3rd year and so far have only sent letters back and to. Each year they send a simple form asking about what we have done, resources, philosophy etc and this has all been fine.
Good luck OP, and i'm sure there are philosophies on here somewhere. I will look for you also.

Thinking2014 Fri 04-Jul-14 20:52:57

morethanpotatoprints thank you, I was going to say we will begin with a "child led" approach therefore we are unable to give a timetable. Also at the end I was going to say that whilst this is the approach were taking now, it may change based on our daughters educational needs...or something to that affect...I don't have my notes to hand atm.... Is that OK? I didn't want to declare we're going autonomous because tbh im not 100% sure we will...

Saracen Fri 04-Jul-14 23:30:40

I think that sounds good, Thinking. You could add to it with examples of things you have already done or are doing now, while stating that this is not necessarily what you'll do in future.

You don't have to have this document finished soon. Six months is commonly suggested as a reasonable amount of time for HE families to start finding their feet before supplying any info to the LA. It may be easier to write later, once you have some examples to hand of what you have done.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 04-Jul-14 23:41:19

fantastic Thinking it sounds similar to what I put.

I also added our reason for H.ed because it was a positive reason not negative. I know I included obvious positives like looking forward to more time to do x and to explore y, but only things I knew for certain were going to happen, if that makes sense.
I only submitted a couple of short paragraphs and they were happy with that and sent a letter stating this almost by return.
They said they would contact in a year and that January was my review month. It all sounded very formal but the following year I completed their form, sent it off and received the same letter as before by return.
I could give them evidence now if they asked for it, but they haven't.

Thinking2014 Sat 05-Jul-14 01:31:34

Thank you smilethanks I reread it tonight but I think I need to change some things.
It might be beneficial to say I may be using the national curriculum as a 'guide' in future once we have settled in?
Also I've read its good to mention that you receive support from other HEs & you're a member of local groups too...guess it tells them you don't require their input...

Saracen Sat 05-Jul-14 10:23:02

That's a good idea, I never thought of that! It also tells them not to try pulling the wool over your eyes because you know the law!!

Thinking2014 Sat 05-Jul-14 14:45:34

Saracen exactly I think I read that one from the Education Otherwise website, they're really good for letter help and such but I've been looking at all sorts of sites for a while now, even LAs stance on HE... Quite interesting to read the differences in the way they inform you of the law and your rights as a HEdder...

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