2023 Consultation Revised EHE Guidance

The consultation on new home education guidance closed on January 18th 2024. The new guidance is not ready to be used. It is still at the draft stage. The current guidance remains in force until such time as a final new version is published. The current guidance can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elective-home-education

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

Most of the consultation questions are multiple choice (agree, disagree etc) but where there are free text boxes there is no word limit specified. (250 words in any given answer is a rough guide from another current consultation) The online form asks for the local authority but there is a final option “prefer not to disclose.”

Free text boxes for:

  • The overall tone and content of both sets of guidance
  • Anything that is not clear or helpful in parents’ guidance
  • Inconsistencies between parents’ guidance and local authority guidance
  • What is good practice for local authorities
  • Comments on new advice about suitable education and proportionate level of engagement
  • School attendance orders – understanding the stages of formal process
  • Special needs and disabilities [SEND]
  • Local authority support
  • Case studies – reasons for saying why they are/are not helpful NB this is the first (and hopefully the last) time case studies appear
  • Safeguarding (including but not restricted to out of school settings, unregistered schools, child employment and work experience)

My 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 is much more investigating of “suitable education” for local authorities to do BEFORE they issue a preliminary notice to satisfy in relation to School attendance Orders – this is perhaps the biggest change
  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met the family previously or the family now agreeing to meet in person or to have a virtual meeting even though the draft guidance itself does not push meetings to the same extent as eg the new Welsh guidance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 been changed and not necessarily for the better

All Consultation Pages