Sunday, March 26, 2006

Government Advice on Home Education

As of today, government advice to Home Educators remains as it has for at least the last eight years or so. The advice is mostly fair, apart from two areas of obfuscation:

*the bullet pointed section on how to provide evidence to the LEAs when that they enquire as to the suitability of a child's education, is ambiguous since it could be read as meaning that you have to do all of those things including home visits, when it is the case that just a written report, for example, can be taken as sufficient evidence.

*the section where HEors are encouraged to inform the LEAs that they are HEing. Ime, it is the actually the case that most HEors who are in contact with their LEA don't get anything out of the relationship and often instead experience a significant amount of hassle, stress and a sense of being intruded upon. Naturally enough none of this is mentioned, despite the fact that this would be a fair picture of the situation.

I suppose, though that we should be grateful for what we have here, and we will therefore be keeping a close eye on this website, particularly in view of the changes that may result for Home Educators from the current Education Bill.

5 comments:

4 girls and 3 boys said...

Our LEA took issue with me over the provision of evidence of education. They were "confused" and thought many ways of evidence should be provided. I.e they came to my house, saw projects and still wanted a report!!!Also the meaning of the word "sample" seemed beyond them too.They still do not like the idea that a home visit is sufficient proof and still like to see "work" but have finally come round to the idea of HE sending them reports. However do not even get me started on the row over no duty of ongoing monitoring. That is one they do not want to give up. However I am grateful cos until things change we do hold all the cards for our kids.

Carlotta said...

So sorry to hear that, FG&TB. It is worrying to hear how much they can already pester us, without any further expansion of their powers.

Leo said...

There should be an official method of monitoring. Perhaps a child should be required to send some work samples or the parent could evaluate the child (in Portugal it's more like this).

I know people fundamentally disagree with this, but isn't it better than risk random authoritiy from a LEA and being constantly distressed and hysterical about the potential inspection?

This whole "suitable" is just vague and of course the LEA's would be confused and unsure how to evaluate if the children are being educated or not. The law should be more specific. If a national curriculum is not to be followed what applies exactly as full time education? Does exclusive indoctrination into a religion would count as education, for instance?

Carlotta said...

Hi Leo,

I can't see how being monitored would reduce the anxiety about being monitored. Plus, the problems over subjective assessment of suitability will not go away, even in the situation that we all had to take the same test! If a child fails in school, for example, should we all be arguing that they should be HE'd?

And let us not be fooled...the National Curriculum is as riddled with agenda as any religious education ever is. It just depends upon which constraints you recognise as being significant.

No, I'm sorry...I don't go for this line of argument at all.

Leo said...

I personally would prefer to know what is expected. Like at school, I rather know when the test was than have those surprise ones. You know why, right? ;)

A law clearly forbidding home visits from the LEA would be great and giving the parent the power of evaluation would be great too. Like knowing when the tests are. ;)

I have the impression home-educators miss certain fundamental concepts of life. *scratches head*

I have to disagree the national curriculum at school is worse than religious fanacitism at home. It seems self-evident why.