Independent Review of Home Education in England
Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire about processes for
supporting and monitoring home education. Completion of the questionnaire is
entirely voluntary. Responses will be completely confidential and used only for the
purposes of the independent review.
The Government is committed to ensuring that systems for keeping children safe are
as robust as possible. As part of this continuing commitment, an independent review
of home education will assess whether the right systems are in place for ensuring that
home educated children have access to the five Every Child Matters outcomes. This
includes whether Government should do more to support local authorities in
discharging their duties in relation to home educated children. The full terms of
reference for the review are available online at:
As organisations responsible for ensuring the safety, wellbeing and education of
children and young people in your localities, we very much value your input into this
You may find it helpful to read through the questionnaire before attempting to
complete it. Please note you cannot save the questionnaire and go back to it at a later
date. Therefore, if you need to discuss responses with colleagues before submitting
the form, please do so before attempting to complete the questionnaire. Please also
note that we ask that the Director of Children's Services and Lead Member for
Children and Young People 'sign off' the questionnaire before it is submitted and you
will be asked to confirm whether that has happened at the end of this questionnaire.
Thank you for taking time to respond to these questions.
About your local authority
Q1 Name of LA
Q2 Tel. No of main contact
Q3 E-mail of main contact
Q4 Would you be willing to take part in the next phase of the research in
February/March (including in-depth interviews with key personnel in your
Q5 Which team(s) have the main responsibility for supporting and monitoring
home educated children within the local authority and other agencies?
Lancashire Education Inclusion Service (Elective Home Education Team)
Q6 List all teams / professionals involved in supporting home educating families
LEIS (EHEteam). Wider support available through the LA, eg Pupil Access team
where entry/return to mainstream school is considered
Children's Integrated support team wher additional needs are identified eg Integrated
Assessemnt support team/Children and Parent support Service/ SEN assessement
team for Statemented children
Q7 List all teams / professionals involved in monitoring home educating families.
LEIS (EHE team) and SEN Assessment team
Q8 Describe how you ensure collaboration and communication between these
teams / individuals
Regular meetings, formal referral processes, email contact as required, flowcharts and
Data and Tracking
Q9 How many children are currently home educated in your local authority of
primary age (Registered with LA)
Q10 How many children are currently home educated in your local authority of
primary age (Non-registered with LA)
Q11 How many children are currently home educated in your local authority of
secondary age (Registered with LA)
Q12 How many children are currently home educated in your local authority of
secondary age (Non-registered with LA)
Q13 Total (Registered with LA)
Q14 Total (Non-registered with LA)
Q15 Are these figures accurate or based on estimates?
Q16 If accurate, where do you get this data from?
Registration forms completed by parents and entered onto our MIS database systems
Q17 If accurate, how do you know the data is accurate?
registration forms completed by parent are in the majority of cases supported by
information from the school where they have been on roll. in addition our data base
refers only to children who are Electively Home Educated
Q18 If estimated, what data have you used to arrive at this figure? (List all
Q19 How confident is the local authority in the accuracy of this data?
Q20 How often does the local authority get updated data? (List frequency for
each source separately)
Annual and termly total reviews, but info regarding children going into/out of EHE
occurring daily. sources either parents or schools
Q21 What proportion (as a percentage) of your home educated population is
statemented for SEN? (please state whether accurate or estimate)
Q22 What proportion (as a percentage) of your home educated population is
non-statemented for SEN (please state whether accurate or estimate)
Q23 What proportion (as a percentage) of your home educated population is
from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heritage (please state whether accurate or
Q24 What proportion (as a percentage) of your home educated population is
made up of other Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups
unknown at this time
Q25 Please list which BME groups.
Q26 Do you believe the local authority knows about all the home educated
children in your area?
Yes, we are confident we know about all home educated children in the area
We think we know about the vast majority of home educated children in the area
We probably do not know about a fair number of home educated children in the
We probably do not know about a significant proportion of home educated
children in the area
Q27 Do you think that you will be better able to track children in your area in
the near future? e.g. planned changes to your own systems, ContactPoint, other
Q28 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
Although work on refining protocol agreements between teams, and updating
Children Missing Education policy and procedures in light of new guidance will go
some way towards improvement in tracking, the lack of requirement of parents to
register their child /children on EHE remains the major barrier to effective tracking.
Children who have never been on a school roll and who do not register for EHE will
remain diffcult to track.
Supporting Home Educating Families
Q29 How does the local authority ensure families know about their rights and
responsibilities in relation to home education? (List all approaches used)
Information available via website. Information pack sent to all interested parents.
awareness raising amongst other teams working with families and with Governing
bodies and schools
Q30 What support does your local authority provide to home educating families?
(List all forms of support offered)
Two initial visits folllowed by annual visits. Staemented children have Annual
Reviews supported by SEN team and specific support can be targetted. Advice to
parents where concerns exist which can be supprted by additional visits. Advice
available via phone between visits if required. Parents are signposted to appropriate
resources, courses, qualification routes..largely online
Q31 How does the local authority let families know about the services provided
to support them in home educating their children? (List all approaches used)
website. Customer contact centre. Information packs sent to interested parents.
Information supplied to schools
Assessment and Monitoring
Q32 Following the initial assessment visit, are further monitoring visits made to
a home educated child?
Q33 If yes, how often, on average, are these carried out?
More than twice a year
Twice a year
Once a year
Less than once a year
Q34 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
More visits if concerns exist. May be less than annual if meetings rescheduled at
Q35 On average, how often is the child seen when a visit is made?
Always, at each visit
Usually, but not always
Depends on the child / circumstances
Q36 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
In some instances parents decline visits,and in such instances neutral venues are
sought. when engagement is declined, reports only may be available annually.
Sometimes parents specifically refuse access to the child/children, or the child may be
elsewhere receiving provision at the time of the visit.
Q37 If the child is seen, where is s/he usually seen?
In the home
At the home, but do not go inside
Depends on the child / circumstances
Q38 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
May be seen at parental request at other venues
Q39 If you are not permitted access to a child, is any further action taken?
Q40 If yes, what further steps are taken?
Depends on circumstances and evidence supplied.
1)Another visit may be scheduled
2)Referral to CME may be appropriate
3) could be considered for Child in Need/CAF
4) Referral under Child Protection procedures
5) Any other action as circumstances dictate
Q41 How is the suitability of the education provided to the child assessed?
Using teacher's professional judgement. Where possible, inclusion of testing results or
other benchmarking evidence if made available. as a minimum, some evedence of
progression between visits
Q42 Is the local authority clear about what the definition of a 'suitable
Q43 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
Within the LEIS (EHE team) work is underway to moderate teacher level judgements
and to ensure consistency of approach and judgement. However , the absence of any
National Guidelines on standards which form a framework for a suitable education
makes any local judgement as to suitability or otherwise diffcult to prove.
Q44 Does the local authority have systems in place to track the educational
progress of home educated children?
Q45 Please use this space to add further detail to the answer you have just given
Tracking systems currently under development
Q46 Of the home educated children in your area of whom you have knowledge,
what proportion (as a percentage) in your estimation is receiving a suitable, full
time (20hrs a week) education? (Please describe)
Unable to estimate percentages as it depends on the understanding of "suitable" .
currently this would vary dpending on the subjective judement of the officer.
however, it is worth mentioning that we beleive that amongst those parents who ahve
elected to home educate because of philosophical reasons the percentage would be
quite high. Amongst Y10 and 11 students who have elected to home educate because
of reactive reasons I would expect, due to the numbers who refuse or decline any
engagement, that the percentage would be quite low.
Q47 Does the local authority take any further steps if a home educated child's
education was found to be unsuitable or not full time?
Q48 Please use this space to add further detail to the answer you have just given
Advice for improvement given, followed by opportunity to improve and revisit. wher
no improvement takes place case is referred to CME for inclusion on database and
follow up intervention, including duty to investigate. Collaboration with other LAs if
Q49 Does the local authority face any challenges in assessing whether home
educated children receive a suitable education?
Q50 If you answered yes to Q49, please describe the challenges and what you
think could be done to overcome these
1) lack of duty on parents to register child for EHE
2) Lack of duty on parents to provide evidence
3) Absence of any national definition of "Suitable" education or common framework
4) Lack of duty on parents to meet with LA officer
5) Staffing and resources within the LA as numbers of EHE children increase
This could be improved by:
1) A requiremnt to meet and provide evidence to the LA officer at least annually
2) the development of guidance on Standards of evidence to promote consistent
national benchmarking. this is especially relevant now in the light of the Participation
age and our ability to make a judgement against EHE children as to whether they are
achieving Level 2 or equivalency.
Q51 Thinking about your local area, in the last five years, how many cases have
you come across that use the premise of home education as a 'cover' for child
abuse, forced marriage or other aspects of child neglect?
Q52 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given. Please
include the number of Serious Case Reviews you know about that have a home
Advice from safegaurding and child protection teams reveal some are suspected but
none are known to have Home Education elements
Q53 Do you think the current system for safeguarding children who are
educated at home is adequate?
Q54 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
Non requirement to meet annually or to have child present
Non requirement of parents to notify LA of children being home educated
Frequency of contact
Whereas we have no reason to believe that children educated at home are at greater
risk than any other , they are at greater risk of any abuse/neglect not being identified
or being identified more slowly, and of interventions being implemented slowly if at
Q55 Do you think that home educated children in your local authority are able
to achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes? Please say why you think that
for each of the five outcomes
Be healthy.. in the majority of cases the LA officer sees the child and can make a
judment but not possible for those who do not agree to visits or have child available.
Stay safe ... see answers to Q 53/54 . Majority.. Yes Minority.. No. Failure to clarify
how children who are home educated against exploitation under child employment is
Enjoy and achieve... Some will have possible expectaions and attainment of high
standards. others may not achieve any formal qualifications.
Achieve Economic wellbeing... Opportuniies to develop social /communication skills.
some EHE children do not access the opportunities which would come through a
school placement ie Connexions service or absence of formal qualifications as an
expectation. this would impact on their economic wellbeing
Make a positive contribution... Children on EHE have in many cases fewer
opportunities for their efforts to be recognised in the wider community compared to
children in schools
Q56 Do you think there should be any changes made to the current system for
supporting home educating families?
Q57 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
Guidance suggests that LAs offer support but this is not a duty . The absence of
Statutory duty requirement for EHE can cause funding issues. If it were a Statutory
duty on LAs to provide this support, funding streams may be easier
Q58 Do you think there should be any changes made to the current system for
monitoring home educating families and ensuring that home educated children
are able to achieve the five outcomes?
Q59 Please use this space to add detail to the answer you have just given
1) Parents required to notify LA when they elect to home educate.
2) Parents and child/children required to meet with and provide evidence of education
to LA officer at least annually
3) Requirement of parent to notify the LA when leaving the area as potentially they
could be missing for months between the last annual visit and re registering with a
4) A change in regulations requiring schools to remove children from roll when EHE
is decided. A 3 month cooling off/handover period is suggested to allow registartion
and initial EHE visits to take place and reintegration to school if decision to EHE
found to be unsuitable.
5) A national agreement as to what constitutes a "suitable education" with
Q60 Has the Director of Children's Services and the Lead Member for Children
and Young People seen and agreed with the answers you have given above?