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Admin 26-07-11 12:04

Child tax credits
 
Has anyone been denied child tax credits for young people 16+ remaining in full time home-based education?

We are hearing some alarming stories of families receiving demands for alleged over payments, despite having clearly indicated their child(ren)'s continuing home educated status on renewal applications.

The eligibility criteria should not exclude home educated children over 16, who are by definition still in full time education, but the child tax credit office is either unable or unwilling to provide a detailed explanation for the exclusion policy they are evidently now implementing to the detriment of home educating families.

If the regulations have been changed to allow such discrimination, HE families are being penalised retrospectively for errors on the part of CTC staff.

Hopefully this is something that Graham Stuart may be able to raise with the Minister as a matter of urgency, but anyone who has been affected by this issue might want to ask their local MP to investigate the matter on their behalf.

Clarity and consistency from public servants should surely not be too much to expect.

Elaine Kirk 26-07-11 19:31

.
The tax credits website says
.
Quote:

If your child is aged 16 to 19 and in full-time education
If your child is aged 16 but under the age of 20, you can still get Child Tax Credit as long as they're in certain types of full-time education.
Usually this will be in a school or college, studying for qualifications like:
A levels
Scottish Highers
NVQ at Level 3
You won't be able to get Child Tax Credit if your child's education is:
provided by their employer
provided through any office they hold - for example if your child has an official role such as scout leader or councillor, and the education is provided as part of that role
an advanced course at higher education level, such as a degree
Full-time' means they're taught or supervised for more than an average of 12 hours a week.
.
Home Education is recognised as such as described here I cannot find any later ammendments surely? -
taken from

.
Quote:

"qualifying young person" means a person, other than a child, who -
(a) has not attained the age of [
6
twenty], and
11 (b) satisfies the conditions in regulation 5(3) and (4);
"recognised educational establishment" means an establishment recognised
by the Secretary of State, the Scottish Ministers or the Department for
Employment and Learning, as the case may be, as being, or as comparable
to, a university, college or school;
.
Quote:

(5) For the purposes of paragraphs (3) and (4) full-time education is education
received by a person attending a course of education -
(a) at a recognised educational establishment, or
(b) if the education is recognised by the Secretary of State, the Scottish
Ministers[
1
, the Board] or the Department for Employment and Learning,
elsewhere,
where in pursuit of that course, the time spent receiving instruction or tuition,
undertaking supervised study, examination or practical work or taking part in
any exercise, experiment or project for which provision is made in the
curriculum of the course, exceeds or exceeds on average 12 hours a week in
normal term-time, and shall include normal gaps between the ending of one
course and the commencement of another, where the person is enrolled on
and commences the latter course.
(6) In calculating the time spent in pursuit of the course, no account shall be
taken of time occupied by meal breaks or spent on unsupervised study.
[
6
(7) In determining whether a person is undertaking a course of full-time
education or approved training, there shall be disregarded any interruption—
(a) for a period of up to 6 months, whether beginning before or after the
person concerned attains age 16, to the extent that it is reasonable in
the opinion of the Board to do so; and
(b) for any period due to illness or disability of the mind or body of the
person concerned provided that it is reasonable in the opinion of the
Board to do so.]
.
So can they be working towards accessing advanced education/work if they are Home Educated ?
Well this from the prospectus of the Scottish Agricultural College appears to answer that question.
.
Quote:

Entry Requirements
General Policy
SAC’s policy is to encourage participation in, and wider
access to, our courses. Ultimately, admission will be at
the discretion of the College Principal, acting on the
advice of the Head of Admissions. The primary criterion
to be satisfied by any applicant seeking entry will be
that he or she has a realistic chance of success and
of benefiting from the course. SAC aims to offer
flexibility whilst securing entry standards. Maturity,
work experience and motivation are recognised as
alternatives to formal qualifications and entry is also
possible with appropriate access-level qualifications.
.
My findings appear to be supported by cpag and Simon Osborne
.
Of course there is the possibility that another S.I. has been added but then the government is at fault for not updating the copies of legislation made available to the public .
.

Elaine Kirk 26-07-11 19:37

.
Quote:

"recognised educational establishment" means an establishment recognised
by the Secretary of State, the Scottish Ministers or the Department for
Employment and Learning, as the case may be, as being, or as comparable
to, a university, college or school;
.
The above works on the premise that home education is recognised by governments as legitimate there is nothing that says Home Education is not recognised after age 16

HomeEdMum 26-07-11 20:36

Thank you for this. It will help us as the CTC has refused our son and is querying it now that I have been in touch with them. I am waiting for a call back, but if they refuse our son they will then question the credits we have received for our daughter. They are saying that home education doesn't count once the child is 16. You can imagine I argued this, which is why it has been referred to someone else in "quality."

SueBarnicoat 27-07-11 00:33

Something wrong with the system. My 15 year old has just completed his 2nd Open University short course.
Nice choice: Discontinue his OU education so that we are entitled to CTC or go without CTC so he can continue to be home educated at the level he works at.
Sue

Diane 27-07-11 13:49

If home education is equal to school education in status, then home educating young people should be treated the same as schooled children.

Young people who are studying between 16-20 get CTC. Home educating young people studying between 16-20 should get CTC. Anything else is hypocritical and prejudice.

Diane

Admin 28-07-11 16:53

A big thank you to Graham Stuart MP, who has just indicated via his Facebook page that he will send a letter to Ministers as we requested and relay their response.

Let's hope no one else will have to suffer unnecessary stress and anxiety at the hands of the child tax credit office minions, and that those home educators who have been left in limbo are soon reassured as to their continuing CTC eligibility.

HomeEdMum 29-07-11 10:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ali P (Post 51237)
A big thank you to Graham Stuart MP, who has just indicated via his Facebook page that he will send a letter to Ministers as we requested and relay their response.

Let's hope no one else will have to suffer unnecessary stress and anxiety at the hands of the child tax credit office minions, and that those home educators who have been left in limbo are soon reassured as to their continuing CTC eligibility.

I had also sent Graham a privat message on facebook and he gave me the same reassurance. :-)

Diane 29-07-11 10:44

I think Graham has been great. Three cheers for him!

Diane

HomeEdMum 01-08-11 11:10

I have had a call from CTC who say that my son's education does not count for child tax credit purposes but I have asked me to send in some written information for a further consideration. Which I will do.


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