Table of Contents
Funding Report 2012
There are 152 local authorities in England which are responsible for education (1). All authorities can be viewed on this map here http://edyourself.org/articles/latotalnumber.php
For more bar charts and detailed information on local authority funding, click here
In June 2012 I sent Freedom of Information requests to all local authorities in England (5), asking if they had claimed Alternative Provision Funding on behalf of home educated children during the academic year 2011-12. I also asked whether they would be claiming funding in 2012-13.
There was a very high response rate to my request and all the answers can be read by clicking on the web links here (6). (Percentages have been rounded up or down and therefore may not always sum to 100.)
Summary of Results
The bar chart on the left shows percentages of local authorities in England who will be claiming Alternative Provision funding on behalf of home educated children in the academic year 2012-13
The 3 broad categories are:
- YES will be claiming funding
- NO won't be claiming funding
- NDY Not Yet Decided (which includes those who may claim or who are looking into it)
Overall, 31 out of 150 authorities in England (21%) have told me that they will be using the funding for the academic year 2012-13. Nearly twice as many authorities (41%) have not yet made a decision, and 30 authorities have told me that they won't be using the funding for home educated children. Of the remainder, 6% will decide on a case by case basis and a further 7% are looking into claiming.
Size of Local Authority
Size would seem to be one of the determining factors in whether or not a council made use of Alternative Provision funding. The smaller local authorities make much less use of the available funding. In councils with fewer than 50 home educated children, not a single authority has decided to claim the funding and 19% have definitely decided not to claim, whereas in councils with 250 to 500 home educated children, 38% have confirmed that they will be claiming funding and only 10% have said they definitely won't be claiming.
27 out of 150 (18%) local authorities have fewer than 50 home educated children on their books. A further 59 (39%) hae between 50 and 100 home educated children. This means that 86 out of 150 local authorities (57%) have fewer than 100 home educated children.
41 out of 150 (27%) local authorities have have 100 to 250 home educated children, which means that 85% of local authorities (127) have fewer than 250 home educated children, and only 15% of local authorities have more than 250 home educated children.
Home education numbers have been taken from Freedom of Information requests sent to all local authorities in England at the end of 2011 (7).
Comparison of Authorities By Size
When the charts are placed side by side, it it easy to see how larger authorities are more proactive in sorting out funding for home educated children, since the left-hand column, representing authorities who are using the funding, increases in size from the smallest to the largest authorities. Of the authorities with fewer than 50 home educated children, none are claiming funding.
Structure of Local Authority
Another factor which could be important in whether or not a council claims funding, is how the council is structured, though to an extent structure mirrors size, with the smallest authorities being Unitary Authorities (including London Boroughs) and also being the least likely to claim Alternative Provision Funding.
Networking and Decision-making
A third factor at play in determining whether or not a council will claim funding for home education is whether or not a council is networking with other councils who are already making use of the funding, and whether the people working within the council have the opportunity to resolve queries in a timely manner.
To an extent these factors could be seen as inter-related. Where a council has 40 home educated children and covers less than a hundred square kilometres, the job of overseeing home education will not be full-time, and will probably involve someone working in "Integrated Family Support"; "Education Outside School"; "Behaviour" or "Traveller Education", driving to visit families one-to-one at home. In such circumstances, it is unlikely that the person dealing with home education queries will have ready access to the relevant high-level decision-makers.
The bar chart on the left shows the percentage of local authorities in each region who will be claiming funding.
Authorities in the West Midlands are most likely to claim (4 out of 11)
Authorities in the South East also likely to claim (6 out 17)
Authorities in the North East are least likely to claim (0 out of 8)
Across all LAs in England, 1 in 5 is claiming funding on behalf of home educated children
In order for Sheffield Council to develop a protocol for using Alternative Provision Funding on behalf of home educated children, meetings were required between Data Management, Lifelong Learning, Children's Commissioning Services, Inclusion and Learning Service, and the Multi-agency Support Teams, as well as Open Meetings with home educating families.
Nick Duggan, Assistant Commissioning Director for 14-19 Service in Sheffield, gave a presentation on the Sheffield Pilot to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education in September 2011. (8)