Table of Contents
Hesfes 2013 Workshops
All workshops ran from 11 till 1 with half hour overview of the topic followed by questions http://edyourself.org/hesfesflier.pdf
Friday: Local Authorities + Educational Philosophies Workshop
Local authorities have a duty to act if it appears that a child is not being educated, but they should not be actively investigating or carrying out inspections or asking for "evidence." The LA does have the power to issue a School Attendance Order but ONLY after many other steps have been taken. The process is set out in the Government Home Education Guidelines which are referenced in the Children Missing Education Guidance. The Government Education Committee recommends that local authorities should be supportive. Parents are advised to set out their own aims for their children's education, because it is up to parents to decide how and what their children learn. An educational philosophy and report need not be long or complicated. You have to decide what is in your comfort zone. A number of local authorities are seeking to improve and update their procedures and want to hear from home educators how they can better support families. I am currently involved in group meetings with Staffordshire, Nottingham City and Doncaster.
Read more here http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php http://edyourself.org/articles/sao.php http://edyourself.org/articles/edphilgeneral.php http://edyourself.org/articles/autonomous.php http://edyourself.org/articles/councilwebpages.php (including copies of widely-praised Lancashire paperwork)
Monday: Special Educational Needs Workshop
20,000 home educated children in England with 1,000 having a statement of special needs, and only 200 of those having formerly been in a special school. In schools 4 out of 5 of the children who have special needs don't actually have a statement. You will likely be dealing with someone who doesn't know about the interplay between home education and special needs regulations. The SEN Code of Practice paragraphs on home education are not clearly written, and we anticipate improvements in the new Code. Benefits of having a statement include insurance for the future and access arrangements for exams. Christine Waterman spoke about successfully home educating her son Charlie, including tips on adapting the autonomous approach when children are not able to self-regulate to the same degree.
Read more here http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php#specialneeds http://www.ehe-sen.org.uk/ http://edyourself.org/articles/seninchildrenfamiliesbill.php http://edyourself.org/articles/allpartygrouphomeeducation.php#apgsen
Tuesday: Exams Workshop
Home educated young people will select an exam board with suitable courses and find an exam centre which accepts private candidates. Controlled assessments make most GCSEs virtually impossible for external candidates so home educators will take IGCSEs instead. The Government Education Committee and Ofsted say that local authorities should help home educators find somewhere to sit exams, and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Home Education is also doing a lot of work in this area, and the next meeting on Exams will be at Westminster on October 22nd. A panel of parents with experience of navigating the system was on hand at the workshop to answer questions, and discussions continued long after the workshop finished. From September it will be possible to do free GCSEs part-time 14-16 at college if you can find a local college which offers this. Sheffield College online (ie not just local area students) and Halesowen College were highlighted for GCSEs.
Special exams access arrangements are required for candidates with additional needs and these can be complicated for private candidates.
Read more here Angela's handout http://edyourself.org/articles/exams.php http://edyourself.org/articles/examsfaq.php http://edyourself.org/articles/allpartygrouphomeeducation.php#examsjuly2013 http://edyourself.org/articles/WolfReport.php#14-16scollegeevents2013
Wednesday: 14-16s College + Flexischooling Workshop
College: From September 2013 home educated young people aged 14-16 in England will be able to attend college part-time or full-time and the Government will pay for the course. There will be 4 funding bands. It is up to the colleges whether or not to admit under-16s. These students can do any course agreed by the college, not just a designated 14-16 course. The rules are different for home educated young people because the parent retains responsibility and so the college does not have to make special arrangements for pastoral care or offer a full curriculum. Government guidance was published following action taken by the All Party Group for Home Education. Many colleges still won't be aware of the new rules specially for home educated young people, as the guidance was only published in June. Query sent to DfE August 3rd
You can find all the relevant paperwork and references here http://edyourself.org/articles/WolfReport.php#14-16collegelatest
After the workshop I sent 2 queries to DfE. Firstly I asked whether home educated young people could attend more than one college part-time. DfE response: "Students can only be enrolled at one institution (the "home" institution), and that one institution takes on the responsibility for claiming all the relevant funding for the student. So, if a home-educated student wants to take courses at more than one college, then the college where the majority of learning is taking place has to take the responsibility to be the "home" institution and claim all the funding for the student, then pass across the relevant part to the other college(s) involved. There would have to be some agreement between the colleges ahead of the funding claim, for this to be able to happen."
I also asked whether the home educated young person had to be 14 at the start of the course. DfE response: "There are slightly different interpretations of the rules, depending on whether the college is going for direct recruitment of 14-16 year olds, or whether they are taking home-educated students. For directly recruited 14-16 year olds a young person starting a course in the academic year 2013/14 would need to be aged 14 or 15 by 31st August 2013 in order to attract funding under the 14-16 direct enrolment rules. See http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/youngpeople/qandlearning/f00225819/full-time-enrol-14-16-fe
DfE also said: "For home-educated students, there are no age restrictions for funding purposes, it is for the college to decide whether they wished to take younger students onto their courses. If they agree to take a younger home-educated student onto their courses, then we will fund in the usual way."
Additional Learning Support DfE Funding Unit September 4th 2013: Where a home educated 14/15 year old needs additional support, the college enters this information on the ILR in November and it will count towards the amount which the college receives in lagged funding next year. Where the student has low to moderate additional support needs the unique determining factor for funding eligibility will be the individual student's postcode. Where a home educated 14/145 year old has high additional support needs, the college will ask the LA for a top-up in the current academic year, record this on the ILR, and receive an additional £6k the following year.
Flexischooling: Flexischooling is where the child or young person is registered pupil at a school but only attends school for part of the time. The rest of the time the pupil is absent by leave of the headteacher. In the past the pupil was regarded as being educated offsite, but since March the Government has said the register shouldn't be marked as educated offsite but must be marked as authorised absence. This is set out in http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/behaviour/attendance/a00223239/clarification-on-flexi-schooling 2013 as follows: "Schools should not mark a pupil as attending school, using the attendance code B for off-site education activity, unless the school is responsible for supervising the off-site education, and can ensure the safety and the welfare of the pupil off-site. Schools are ultimately responsible for the attainment of every child registered on their roll. Whilst being home educated, parents and carers are responsible for pupils, not schools. Where parents have entered in to flexi-schooling arrangements, schools may continue to offer those arrangements. Pupils should be marked absent from school during periods when they are receiving home education." I felt that this does not appear to give much wiggle room at all, though some participants expressed a different view. The Government's position is that where it pays for a school place the pupil should attend regularly.
Read more here http://edyourself.org/articles/flexischooling.php