2023 Consultation Revised EHE Guidance

The Department for Education is proposing to issue new guidance on home education. A consultation opened on October 26th 2023 which runs till January 18th 2024. Unlike in Wales, the guidance for England remains non-statutory.

The starting page for the consultation is here https://consult.education.gov.uk/elective-home-education-team/elective-home-education-guidance-review/ with links to

(The 4th link on the list is to the current home education guidance published in April 2019)

The main way to respond to the consultation is via the online form which can be found here https://consult.education.gov.uk/elective-home-education-team/elective-home-education-guidance-review/consultation/intro/

Most of the consultation questions are multiple choice (agree, disagree etc) but where there are free text boxes there is no word limit specified.

The online form asks parents for the local authority where they live but if you scroll down there is a final option “prefer not to disclose.”

Questions where you can express your thoughts as opposed to just ticking a multiple choice box

  • The overall tone and content of parents’ and local authority guidance
  • Anything that needs simplifying in the parents’ guidance or saying more for reasons multiple choice boxes ticked in previous answers
  • Inconsistencies between parents’ guidance and local authority guidance
  • Examples of good practice local authority guidance
  • LA guidance – suitable education, splitting guidance into informal enquiries/formal process; proportionate level of engagement families and LAs
  • LA guidance – school attendance orders – information on different stages of formal process – preliminary notice, the order itself, revoking the order
  • The expanded section of the guidance that deals with home education and special needs and disabilities [SEND]
  • Local authority support – suggested list in new guidance mainly about signposting also at discretion of LA (no new funding, unlike Wales), frequency of contact between families and LAs
  • More on your views about local authority support
  • Case studies – expanding your views on case studies in draft guidance + further case studies you would like included
  • More on your views about the safeguarding section including out of school settings, unregistered schools, child employment and work experience

First Impressions

  1. The revised draft for local authorities puts things in a more logical order than in the current guidance, irrespective of any proposed changes to the content
  2. There seems to be more for local authorities to do BEFORE they issue a preliminary notice to satisfy in relation to School attendance Orders. Paragraph 3.8 also says that AFTER a preliminary notice has been served, if the LA is unsatisfied on some specific point “there can be a duty on the local authority to give some indication of what that point is” (which is A Good Thing although NOT the same as the 2007 Guidelines saying explain to parents what concerns are so they can address them prior to an order being served)
  3. The proposed case studies are problematic since local authority approval hinges on having met the family previously or the family now agreeing to meet in person or to have a virtual meeting even though the draft guidance itself does not push meetings to the same extent as eg the new Welsh guidance
  4. The special needs section has more useful and relevant information than the current guidance

Related Pages