Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Review's Recommendations

Out of their PDF form, and open for criticism, please see all the recommendations from the review, as listed below.

Please do feel to fire at will! I fully intend to be doing so very shortly.

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Recommendation 1

That the DCSF establishes a compulsory national registration scheme, locally administered, for all children of statutory school age, who are, or become, electively home educated.

This scheme should be common to all local authorities.

Registration should be renewed annually.

Those who are registering for the first time should be visited by the appropriate local authority officer within one month of registration.

Local authorities should ensure that all home educated children and young people already known to them are registered on the new scheme within one month of its inception and visited over the following twelve months, following the commencement of any new legislation.

Provision should be made to allow registration at a local school, children's centre or other public building as determined by the local authority.

When parents are thinking of deregistering their child/children from school to home educate, schools should retain such pupils on roll for a period of 20 school days so that should there be a change in circumstances, the child could be readmitted to the school. This period would also allow for the resolution of such difficulties that may have prompted the decision to remove the child from school.

National guidance should be issued on the requirements of registration and be made available online and at appropriate public buildings. Such guidance must include a clear statement of the statutory basis of elective home education and the rights and responsibilities of parents.

At the time of registration parents/carers/guardians must provide a clear statement of their educational approach, intent and desired/planned outcomes for the child over the following twelve months.

Guidance should be issued to support parents in this task with an opportunity to meet local authority officers to discuss the planned approach to home education and develop the plan before it is finalised. The plan should be finalised within eight weeks of first registration.

As well as written guidance, support should encompass advice from a range of advisers and organisations, including schools. Schools should regard this support as a part of their commitment to extended schooling.

Where a child is removed from a school roll to be home educated, the school must provide to the appropriate officer of the local authority a record of the child's achievement to date and expected achievement, within 20 school days of the registration, together with any other school records.

Local authorities must ensure that there are mechanisms/systems in place to record and review registrations annually.


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Recommendation 2

That the DCSF review the current statutory definition of what constitutes a "suitable" and "efficient" education in the light of the Rose review of the primary curriculum, and other changes to curriculum assessment and definition throughout statutory school age. Such a review should take account of the five Every Child Matters outcomes determined by the 2004 Children Act, should not be overly prescriptive but be sufficiently defined to secure a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum that would allow children and young people educated at home to have sufficient information to enable them to expand their talents and make choices about likely careers. The outcome of this review should further inform guidance on registration.

Home educators should be engaged in this process.


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Recommendation 3

That all local authorities analyse the reasons why parents or carers chose elective home education and report those findings to the Children's Trust Board, ensuring that this analysis contributes to the debate that determines the Children and Young People's Plan.

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Recommendation 4

That the local authority should establish a Consultative Forum for home educating parents to secure their views and representative opinion. Such a body could be constituted as a sub-group of the Children's Trust with a role in supporting the development of the Children's Trust, and the intentions of the local authority with regard to elective home education.

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Recommendation 5

That the DCSF should bring forward proposals requiring all local authorities to report to the Children's Trust Board making clear how it intends to monitor and support children and young people being educated at home, in accord with Recommendation 1.

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Recommendation 6

That local authorities should, where appropriate, commission the monitoring and support of home education through the local Children's Trust Board, thereby securing a multidisciplinary approach and the likely use of expertise from other agencies and organisations, including the voluntary sector.


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Recommendation 7

The DCSF should bring forward proposals to change the current regulatory and statutory basis to ensure that in monitoring the efficiency and suitability of elective home education:

That designated local authority officers should:

- have the right of access to the home;

- have the right to speak with each child alone if deemed appropriate or, if a child is particularly vulnerable or has particular communication needs, in the company of a trusted person who is not the home educator or the parent/carer.

In so doing, officers will be able to satisfy themselves that the child is safe and well.

*That a requirement is placed upon local authorities to secure the monitoring of the effectiveness of elective home education as determined in Recommendation 1.

*That parents be required to allow the child through exhibition or other means to demonstrate both attainment and progress in accord with the statement of intent lodged at the time of registration.

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Recommendation 8

That reasonable warning of intended visit and invitation to exhibit should be given to home educators, parents and carers, not less than two weeks in advance.

A written report of each visit must be filed within 21 days and copied to the home educating parent and child. A suitable process for factual correction and challenge to the content must be in place and made known to all parties.

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Recommendation 9

That all local authority officers and others engaged in the monitoring and support of elective home education must be suitably trained. This training must include awareness of safeguarding issues and a full understanding of the essential difference, variation and diversity in home education practice, as compared to schools. Wherever possible and appropriate, representatives of the home educating community should be involved in the development and/or provision of such training. It is recommended that all officers be trained in the use of the Common Assessment Framework.

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Recommendation 10

That all local authorities should offer a menu of support to home educating families in accord
with the requirements placed upon them by the power of wellbeing, extended schools and community engagement and other legislation. To that end local authorities must provide support for home educating children and young people to find appropriate examination centres and provide entries free to all home educated candidates who have demonstrated sufficiently their preparedness through routine monitoring, for all DCSF funded qualifications.

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Recommendation 11

That in addition to Recommendation 10 above, local authorities should, in collaboration with schools and colleges:

* Extend and make available the opportunities of flexi-schooling.

Extend access to school libraries, sports facilities, school visits, specialist facilities and key stage assessment.

*Provide access to specialist music tuition on the same cost basis.

* Provide access to work experience.

*Provide access to post 14 vocational opportunities.

* Signpost to third sector support where they have specialist experience and knowledge, for example, provision for bullied children.

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Recommendation 12

*BECTA considers the needs of the home educating community in the national roll out of the home access initiative.

* That local authorities consider what support and access to ICT facilities could be given to home educated children and young people through the existing school networks and the use of school based materials.

*That the QCA should consider the use of ICT in the testing and exam process with regard to its impact on home educated children and young people.

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Recommendation 13

That local authority provision in regard to elective home education is brought into the scope of Ofsted's assessment of children's services within the Comprehensive Area Assessment through information included in the National Indicator Set (Recommendation 25), the annual Local Safeguarding Children Board report (Recommendation 21) and any other relevant information available to inspectors.

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Recommendation 14

That the DCSF require all local authorities to make an annual return to the Children's Trust Board regarding the number of electively home educated children and young people and the number of School Attendance Orders and Education Supervision Orders as defined in the 1996 Education Act, issued to home educated children and young people.

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Recommendation 15

That the DCSF take such action as necessary to prevent schools or local authorities advising parents to consider home education to prevent permanent exclusion or using such a mechanism to deal with educational or behavioural issues.

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Recommendation 16

That the DCSF bring forward proposals to give local authorities power of direction with regard to school places for children and young people returning to school from home education above planned admission limits in circumstances where it is quite clear that the needs of the child or young person could not be met without this direction.

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Recommendation 17

That the Ofsted review of SEN provision give due consideration to home educated children with special educational needs and make specific reference to the support of those children.

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Recommendation 18

That the DCSF should reinforce in guidance to local authorities the requirement to exercise their statutory duty to assure themselves that education is suitable and meets the child's special educational needs. They should regard the move to home education as a trigger to conduct a review and satisfy themselves that the potentially changed complexity of education provided at home, still constitutes a suitable education. The statement should then be revised accordingly to set out that the parent has made their own arrangements under section 7 of the Education Act 1996.

In the wake of the Ofsted review, changes to the SEN framework and legislation may be required.

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Recommendation 19

That the statutory review of statements of SEN in accord with Recommendation 18 above be considered as fulfilling the function of mandatory annual review of elective home education recommended previously.

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Recommendation 20

When a child or young person without a statement of special educational needs has been in receipt of School Action Plus support, local authorities and other agencies should give due consideration to whether that support should continue once the child is educated at home - irrespective of whether or not such consideration requires a new commissioning of service.

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Recommendation 21

That the Children's Trust Board ensures that the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) reports to them on an annual basis with regard to the safeguarding provision and actions taken in relation to home educated children. This report shall also be sent to the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit. Such information should be categorised thereby avoiding current speculation with regard to the prevalence of child protection concerns amongst home educated children which may well be exaggerated. This information should contribute to and be contained within
the National Annual Report.

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Recommendation 22

That those responsible for monitoring and supporting home education, or commissioned so to do, are suitably qualified and experienced to discharge their duties and responsibilities set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children to refer to social care services children who they believe to be in need of services or where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.

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Recommendation 23

That local authority adult services and other agencies be required to inform those charged with the monitoring and support of home education of any properly evidenced concerns that they have of parents' or carers' ability to provide a suitable education irrespective of whether or not they are known to children's social care, on such grounds as:

* alcohol or drug abuse

*incidents of domestic violence

*previous offences against children

And in addition:

*anything else which may affect their ability to provide a suitable and efficient education.

This requirement should be considered in the Government's revision of Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance.

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Recommendation 24

That the DCSF make such change as is necessary to the legislative framework to enable local authorities to refuse registration on safeguarding grounds. In addition, local authorities should have the right to revoke registration should safeguarding concerns become apparent.

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Recommendation 25

That the DCSF, in its revision of the National Indicator Set indicated in its response to the recent Laming Review, should incorporate an appropriate target relating to the safeguarding of children in elective home education.

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Recommendation 26

DCSF should explore the potential for the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services (C4EO) and other organisations, to identify and disseminate good practice regarding support for home education.

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Recommendation 27

It is recommended that the Children's Workforce Development Council and the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit include the needs of this group of officers in their consideration of national training needs.

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Recommendation 28

That the DCSF and the Local Government Association determine within three months how to provide to local authorities sufficient resources to secure the recommendations in this report.

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ISBN: 9780102961133

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

15 says it all!

But to be honest, I don't know where to start!

I hope that everyone is going to write to Graham Badman to tell him what we think of him and his facist recommendations.

I see too much red at the moment to be able to answer this in anything other than swear words! Give me a day or 500 to calm down!

Lisa G said...

OMG where do I begin, I think I need to calm down first especially as found out if it passes into law then Wales will be subject to said law irrespective of what the WAG make of these recommendations.
Just off the top of my head number 1 loks like a charter to allow LA bullying of parents who want to deregister, as I recall I was in a very vulnerable state by this point and I would have felt greatly intimidated by visits, registration, being forced to provide plans and attempts to 'resolve difficulties'etc etc
Recommendation 3 and 4, ha bloody ha, tptb have shown no inclination to take on board what we have to say so far!
Recommendation 7, this is the one that really riles me, how can they legally see a child alone and who decides on the vulnerability of SEN kids and who would the trusted person be in that case, trusted by whom the parent or LA? And what if the child does not want to 'exhibit' on demand, what are the other means allowed and would the child's wishes be paramount?That is all I've got for now, my blood pressure can't take it!

Clare said...

I am working through the review at the moment. There are some positives to be taken from it: Badman points the finger at LEAs who are guilty of not providing good support and displaying a lack of understanding of Home Education in general. He points to good practice such as Somerset LEA paying for exams and providing residential courses for HE kids. Badman also says that schools should open up their facilities to Home Educators, such as libraries and music lessons, and fund national exams like GCSEs and A Levels (although that should be where the children have demonstrated that they are capable of sitting them?).

I don’t even mind about compulsory registration, as I think that in some ways people seeing how common HE is can go some way to promoting it and fighting misconceptions. And even providing a statement of education is ok, imho, as long as the options of unschooling / autonomous education are properly understood and catered for.

However: prescribing curriculum guidelines; the right of access to the home and seeing a child without its parents present; that parents and children will be forced to prove their attainment and progress; that LEAs will have the authority to refuse the right to home education to those they deem unsuitable… uh uh.

Back to the review!

PS – sorry if this gets posted twice, my computer went funny!

Anonymous said...

I came across this:

'Registration' of anything transfers superior ownership to the entity accepting the registration. Once an item has been registered, you are no longer the OWNER, but instead you become the KEEPER. This includes cars, houses, children (who become 'wards of the state' by virtue of a birth registration), etc. ('regis ...' = handing ownership to The Crown ...)

Iain Norman said...

"That the DCSF take such action as necessary to prevent schools or local authorities advising parents to consider home education to prevent permanent exclusion or using such a mechanism to deal with educational or behavioural issues."

Well that kind of says everything we need to know about what Badman thinks about HomeEd.

Clare said...

Also... read section 10, which is not included in the summary. Badman states that autonomous home education should be subject to its own review as to its efficacy, and also that he does not accept the evidence that home educated children out-perform their schooled peers. Badman also says that there is no way of knowing how well HE children go on to do in higher education or careers, and that all these things should be looked into as well.

WHY? What possible motive could there be, other than to further restrict people's right to home educate?

Iain Norman said...

I can't believe he's quoting German case law. That's getting dangerous?

Raquel said...

The closest I can get to fisking it is to say that it utterly stinks. And my children will not be *exhibiting* to anyone!

Carlotta said...

'Registration' of anything transfers superior ownership ...etc)

Thanks for this Anon. Have asked Ian Dowty about this on a list.

And yes, Iain N, the point you picked up on managed to exacerbate my headache all the more. It is just SOOOOO stupid. So you have a problem, and instead of seeking alternative solutions that might work for a child, you just force them back into the problem.

Also, I wonder what GBs mate Stephen Heppell made of that, given that his Notschool stuff would at least involve some form of deregistration, as I understood it. Perhaps I had this wrong...

Lisa G said...

Iain, which section is he referring to German case law, I missed that? That is really scary.

Iain Norman said...

Gotta love the quote from the Church of England stating bullying is good for you!

"Children who do not go to school may not experience the social and cultural diversity encountered there; they will not learn how to deal with the rough and tumble of everyday life. All such encounters, even the difficult or painful ones are
enriching."

Iain Norman said...

Lisa, section 3.9, ref10

Dani said...

I've blogged something I hope people can use as a campaigning tool, to get other parents to respond to the consultation and to understand what is going on here.

Comments welcome at http://www.reflectionsinthegreenhouse.blogspot.com

Feel free to use my text if you think it's any good

Clare said...

Re: Iain N / C of E comment - I know! That would have made me laugh if it hadn't been so tragic. I know they are supposed to be famed for their tolerance, but this is going a bit too far. "Yes dear, but what about the poor Bully? How would he feel if he didn't have you to take out his frustrations on day in and day out? You just stay in school now, there's a good child."

Iain Norman said...

I was gonna print it out on both sides of the paper, then I thought it'll make great ironic rough paper for the kids.

Katherine said...

Not happy. In a big way. I'm outraged at the misconception that home education and child protection are basically the same issue. If the government want to review home education, that's one thing. Child protection is another. I shouldn't have to prove that I'm not mistreating my kids, it shouldn't be any kind of assumption. Will children who attend school be inspected in school holidays, just in case they're being neglected/abused once they're out of the teacher's sight?
I also question the notion that the government be allowed any kind of say in how and what my children learn - any notion of desired outcomes, planned curriculum, and especially testing (exhibiting?! Says it all, really.) - this is exactly the kind of guff that has screwed up the state educational system, and now they're planning on forcing it on us. No thanks.

Firebird said...

Total and utter bastards!

I've blogged as far as point 2 but then the real work of home ed got in the way. I'll be back to it after Springwatch.

But .... BASTARDS!

Oh, and very my dead body will I let any potential pedo get my child in a room alone!

Firebird said...

very=over

I'm going to have to slow down and check for typos.

Did I say bastards?

Firebird said...

Quoting German case law = Hitler had the right idea. Charming! But it rather tells you ALL you need to know.

Iain Norman said...

"Did I say bastards?"

You did, yet you missed out the word "fascist" before it.

Iain Norman said...

Acutally just noticed this piece of trash costs £19.15 from the Stationary Office.

So you missed out the word "Capitalist" as well :)

Joy said...

So so angry about this!! To link 'home ed' & 'child protection' is so damned insulting. Like to see govt try this stunt with any other minority group!!!! Recommendation 7 re: LA officer having right to speak to child alone -- the police don't have that right, what makes them think they can/should?!! Grrrr.... Need to take lots of deep breaths.

Anonymous said...

Can't we sue them big time for discrimination now?

Diane

Clare said...

Phew! Finished. Summary of the reports and thoughts here: http://notatschool.today.com/2009/06/11/the-government-commissioned-review-of-home-education-out-today/

Bless mum for having the kids all afternoon! :)

Big mamma frog said...

Trying not to cry. Rage, confusion, despair. Will need to calm down before I can make any rational response to this.

Anonymous said...

Clare, please be careful about agreeing with registration. Registration is the way they get control over you, and also, if you agree to it, that can be used to compel other people to agree. Once you register, they can then bring in even more terrible legislation that you do not even know about. Once they have you on their system, you will never be able to get out, and they can do what they like with you and your children.

This review should be rejected completely and IMHO nothing done to soften its impact. It should all go into the garbage.

Firebird said...

Registration isn't about registering you, it's you registering your child, putting them on a government database. If you think there's something wrong with ContactPoint and the National ID database, well this will feed into those, count on it.

Raquel said...

registration which can be rescinded is really another term for *permission*. You have no autonomy once you agree to registration especially when it is compulsory. The balance of power has then shifted and you are in a position of subservience.

Anonymous said...

Since the majority of children who die at the hands of their parents are aged under 5, maybe we should change the regulations as below and run the idea through some parenting forums to see if we can encourage wider support for opposition to the recommendations. This seems the next logical step after all - at least there is some evidence of risk for this group!

Recommendation 1
That the government establishes a compulsory national registration scheme, locally administered, for all children from birth to statutory school age who do not attend a nursery [though this idea seems particularly ironic ATM].

This scheme should be common to all local authorities.

Registration should be renewed annually.

Those who are registering for the first time should be visited by the appropriate local authority officer within one month of registration.... etc

Recommendation 7

The DCSF should bring forward proposals to change the current regulatory and statutory basis to ensure that in monitoring the safety of infants and young children:

That designated local authority officers should:

- have the right of access to the home;

- have the right to physically examine pre-verbal children [how else could they check for abuse in a pre-verbal child] and speak with older child alone if deemed appropriate or, if a child is particularly vulnerable or has particular communication needs, in the company of a trusted person who is not the parent/carer.

In so doing, officers will be able to satisfy themselves that the child is safe and well.... etc.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't like to be the CofE's author/respondent at Greenbelt this summer... I wonder who it was, and if its too late to go back to my old volunteer post in the press office?
....

Anonymous said...

Have read and re read the recommendations over and over in disbelief and horror. Some of the sections you've all pointed out already but what about Recommendation 6 "securing a multidisciplinary approach and the likely use of expertise from other agencies and organisations, including the voluntary sector." That's very threatening and scary.

Joanna said...

Thanks to 'anonymous' (1.07am) I have posted the bulk of your comment on Mumsnet - will see what others think!

Clare said...

@Anonymous re: registration - ideally I certainly think that registration is a bad thing, but I don't see how we can avoid some sort of compromise (although we can definitely try).

At the moment I'm working through the response form, and am thinking that people should only have to register in order to access support and facilities on offer (i.e. examinations etc). However, as it's very unlikely that this will be forthcoming, then I can't see any point to it either.

I don't think it's going to be possible, realistic or helpful to absoutely refuse to engage at all with any suggestions - the more we can offer solutions that give them some of what they want, the less likely we are to get steamrolled over (naively optimistic!).

Anonymous said...

clare - I think there is a massive legal ramification in the term "register". It means that the person doing the registering TRANSFERS OWNERSHIP of the registered thing. When we register our cars, we transfer ownership of them to the State which then generously permits us to drive them.

I would have less objection to HEers being required to inform the authorities that they are HEing. At least, unless someone points out to me a problem with that.

But registering places us in the position of being permitted (or not) to educate our children by the people with the power over our children.

Clare said...

Ah, ok, I assumed that 'informing the authorities' and 'registering as HEing' was the same thing.

Thanks - will try and find out more about that.

Bonnie said...

Semantics, it's all the same thing.

Most HE families I know have not been lucky enough to fall below the LEA's radar (even though I have been HEing since my twins were born, the LEA still found out about us). You can argue the semantics all you like, in the real world, it's no different from being on the 'register' they propose.

Really, to most of these comments I want to say: get a bloody grip! Most of the general public consider us to be hippy weirdos anyway - do you really want to enforce that opinion by campaigning against home/child visits? Thanks to various sickos, we're already tarred with the child abuse implications - what do you think the conclusions will be if we refuse visits because of our precious 'rights'? We are more likely to gain public approbation if we are seen to be open about our education choices.

My children are totally autonomous - so I worry a little about the whole goals and targets thing. But on the other hand, no one has suggested that we have to follow the NC - merely that we submit a plan for achievements. That is very loose wording. No one is insisting on specific school-related goals and targets.

yoli said...

you the bast man