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Old 22-03-12, 10:23
FlibbleFamily FlibbleFamily is offline
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Default My local council's home ed "advisory" service

I have no idea if joining this is the right thing to do. I am a newbie! please help! is this the right thing to do, or is it a trap?!

Basically, we've already written the de-registration letter to the head teacher, ready to be set when we're set up properly (this week or next probably) and are weighing up whether or not to join the council's voluntary home ed advisory thingy...

the only thing I dislike about it is the idea of them judging the education to not be good enough; how do they chart if it's good enough?!

http://www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Sc...n-Service.aspx


Please advise! Thank you.
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Old 22-03-12, 11:41
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llondel llondel is offline
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Before signing up, ask yourself what benefits you would get from it, and what downsides there are. Then ask yourself if you can get those benefits in another way that doesn't involve signing up.

Of course, if you're deregistering from a school then you'll probably end up with the downsides anyway, because they'll know who you are and probably try the inspection and monitoring thing anyway. (Note that you don't have to let them visit you, and they don't have a statutory duty to monitor home education anyway).

If you know any local home educators then talk to them about what the council people are like, although note that you'll find a range from "nothing wrong with visits, the council are lovely" to "lock the doors and don't let them anywhere near your children". Most of the regular posters on here tend to the latter.

I'm sure Essex has local groups, but another way to find people is via the East Anglian Yahoo group.
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Old 22-03-12, 15:25
FlibbleFamily FlibbleFamily is offline
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Thank you for your answer, how do I get them not to monitor us without seeming like a crazy person who can't care for her child properly?
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Old 22-03-12, 18:24
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llondel llondel is offline
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Quote:
Thank you for your answer, how do I get them not to monitor us without seeming like a crazy person who can't care for her child properly?
Therein lies the problem. According to a lot of LA people, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, and if it saves just one child then it's worth it. They can't quite handle the fact that some of us don't need or want services (or interference) from the state.

Most LAs have the mistaken idea that they are required to monitor home education, despite there being no such requirement in law (S437 of the Education Act 1996 merely states "if it appears that..." which implies they need evidence before acting) and the EHE guidelines issued in 2007 state quite clearly that there is no duty for routine monitoring.

Some consider it is a safeguarding issue. Hillingdon seem to be the current experts on this theme where they want to make sure that your child is seen by one of a short list of 'professionals' or they'll insist on a visit.

Ultimately you just need to know the law and the limits to their powers and stick to it through all the harassment you might get. You won't be alone in doing so, and there's plenty of support and advice for dealing with LAs that don't know the law.
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Old 22-03-12, 18:36
FlibbleFamily FlibbleFamily is offline
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Well, I know I'm not the first in my town to start HE, so surely that's a good thing?! you never know. we might get in interference at all.... yeah. and pigs might fly!
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Old 22-03-12, 19:36
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Elaine Kirk Elaine Kirk is offline
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Are you prepared to keep a detailed record of your child's diet along with receipts for the ingredients as evidence of providing your child with an adequate diet and are you prepared to have a state employee enter your home on an annual or more frequent interval to check with your child that he/she is being fed properly and to also present said public employee with evidence of your dietary provision???
You are legally responsible for the well-being of your child and the state can only intervene if they have good reason to believe that the child is at risk. That applies be it diet, education etc.
By all means if they make reasonable requests for information then provide information in writing be it ink or electronic , keep copies, and most important keep in mind you are the ultimate authority on your child and his/her needs
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Old 22-03-12, 19:42
FlibbleFamily FlibbleFamily is offline
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even my landlord needs to give notice to enter this house, and I've already had altercations and legal battles with him over this, I don't see the LEA as any different. I know my rights regarding refusal of entry but I had no idea I'd be having to provide dietary information too.

I am willing for them to get involved in her education by only providing the bare minimum. the thing I am worrying about is them thinking my education for her isn't good enough.
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Old 25-03-12, 13:19
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You won't have to provide details of diet. It's an argument to prove the point that an LA has no right to monitor any part of our lives. As long as we're acting lawfully there is no duty to investigate us.

welcome to HE
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Old 25-03-12, 13:45
FlibbleFamily FlibbleFamily is offline
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Thanks for giving a less alarmist answer lol!

We are going to deregister Sophie in the summer, but we will be giving school notice despite not having to. they're a good school with regards to exams etc, they're just not good for Soph. she's too stressed, unhappy, angry etc.

We've already started doing more of the things we've always done with Sophie for instance: growing a grass-seed head, reading about animals she's interested in, writing stories etc. she's already beginning to open up and do more, so this is definitely the right path for us.
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Old 26-03-12, 16:51
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You might get a hostile reaction from the school should you give them notice. As you know, you don't have to give them a heads up. It is your duty to send (or take) in a deregistration letter and the school's duty to inform the local authority.

Diane
P.S. Best to hand in the letter and get a receipt. They have been known to deny that they've ever seen any such letter!
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