Thursday, 16 October 2008

Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities

I fly under the radar. My local education authority know nothing about me or my children. Many people ask me if I am regular inspected or monitored in any way; sometimes I am asked it it is legal not to send my children to school. I am tempted to reply that it isn't and I'm on the run, but I am aware that being facetious does not aid communication.

I have been having a look at the Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities which were published in 2007.

I am surpirsed to find that they are really helpful. I think I will cut out the bits I like, laminate them and post them over my desk.

I frequently worry that I am not doing enough, that my children won't learn enough and that if the Local Authority ever discovered me, they would not be satisifed that I was educating my children enough. However, I have discovered, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has a pretty good handle on Home Ed. Apparently, my provision may be reasonably expected to include:

  • consistent involvment of parents ... although not necessarily constantly ... involved in providing education.

  • recognition of the child's needs, attitudes and aspiration

  • opportunities for the child to be stimulated by their learning experiences
  • Access to resourses/materials ... such as paper and pens ... and the opportunity for appropriate interaction with other children and other adults.

This is great - I do all this! (Although I'm not sure how anyone could not.) I don't even have to think about it, it's just what we do. There is also a list of what parents are not required to do. most of which I don't (like marking by children's work or giving formal lessons).

I have always felt a little apprehensive of what will happen if and when the Local Authority uncover me. However, if they have read the document and grapsed the ideas in in, I believe I have nothing whatsoever to fear. And if they have not read it, then I shall politely suggest that they do!


Anonymous said...

That kind of knowledge is such a relief isn't it? I bet you had all kinds of low level anxiety that will now just disappear.

I also figure that your LEA is already understaffed and overworked and the last thing they need to do is spend all kinds of time harrassing you.

Gaynor said...

You're so right, it was a relief - and from such an unlikely source. I am very much a check-list kind of girl and to see such a 'list' of what I 'should' be doing and feel that I am doing it is very freeing!