2012 Education Committee Report: Support for Home Education
On December 18th 2012 the Education Committee published its report on Support for Home Education which can be found here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmeduc/559/559.pdf via these pages http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmeduc/559/55902.htm http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/education-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/support-for-home-education/
Provision of services and other support for home education extract from Education Committee Report, including exams access and transition to post-16 further education.
Minister Liz Truss on SEN support
2021 UpdateFor more information on the 2020-21 Education Committee Enquiry, please click here.
Research2014 Local Authority Survey summarised here; 2012-13 Survey to establish where home education is located and what is the support for SEN; 2013 Survey Exams to ascertain LAs' support for exams access
All Party Group Home EducationAPPG Discussions Chaired by Graham Stuart MP following up the recommendations of the Education Committee
Recommendations from the Education Committee1. We urge all local authorities to undertake a swift review of their own material, and to ensure that their policies reflect the guidance available.
Government Response: We support this recommendation. Local authorities should ensure that their websites do not contain misleading statements about their powers.
2. We recommend that the Department for Education undertake a review of the guidance concerning home education, working with local authorities and home educators to iron out any tensions.
3. We encourage more local authorities, especially smaller ones, to develop shared services, and to join existing networks of home education officers.
Government Response: Local authorities must decide their own priorities.
4. The development of a more formalised professional association of, and/or annual conference for, home education officers, driven by those in the profession themselves, could be a welcome step in terms of sharing best practice nationally.
Government Response: We agree that local authorities have much to gain by learning from the experiences of others, and that officers with responsibility for home education should be properly trained.
5. We recommend that the Department for Education carry out an audit of local authorities’ performance regarding home education, and the information they make available on their websites and elsewhere, and publish the results, ascertaining which local authorities are performing well with regard to home education.
Government ResponseLocal authorities must decide for themselves the services they offer to home educators.
6. Local authority officers dealing with home education ought to be situated within a dedicated team, or sit within a neutral location such as learning or library services.
Government Response The way in which local authorities approach home educators in their area is an important factor in establishing good relationships.
7. Where funding is available, central Government needs to explain better how this can be obtained and utilised.
8. We recommend that the Government place a duty on every local authority to ensure access to local centres for home-educated young people to sit accredited public examinations.
Government Response The Department will continue to encourage maintained schools and further education colleges to provide facilities for young people who are home educated to sit their examinations. However, it is important to be clear that schools and colleges are under no obligation to provide examination facilities for candidates who are not on their roll. The Government believes that individual institutions are best placed to make decisions about how to manage their own examinations themselves. Therefore the Government does not plan to place a duty on local authorities to ensure access to examination centres for home educated students.
9. We recommend that the costs of sitting public examinations be met by the State.
Government Response It is possible for local authorities to provide financial support for home educators such as examination fees under section 19 of the Education Act 1996. However, home educating parents have always taken on the financial responsibility for the education of their children and the Government is not seeking to change this principle.
10. We recommend that the Government monitor, as part of the audit previously recommended, local authorities’ current provision of advice regarding transitions to further education for home-educated young people.
Government Response Local authorities are responsible for quality assuring any advice they give to home educators, and they will want to consider evidence presented to the Committee about the advice that many of them give. This is a matter for local authorities, not Government.
11. We congratulate the Government on giving further education colleges the power to admit 14 to 15-year-olds directly.
Government Response Local authorities will cease to be funding gatekeepers so accessing further education courses should become easier for home educating parents.
12. Local authorities should be expected to produce a ‘local offer of support’ for home educators, stating what services are available, how these differ from those for parents of schooled children, and enabling home educators to compare with practice elsewhere. Critically, local offers must be developed in consultation with home educators and their families. We recommend that the Department for Education support pilots for such a scheme, and play a role in monitoring the quality of local offers and the adherence applied to them by local authorities.
Government Response We agree that home educators and local authorities should work co-operatively to shape the services that the local authority provides. However, it is not the role of Government to monitor those services.
13. We urge local authorities to comply with statutory guidance and ensure that home-educated young people with SEN or medical conditions are not being discriminated against [Q236 Minister's answer October 17th 2012]
Government Response Local authorities will remain responsible for ensuring that the SEN of children with Education, Health and Care plans, which will replace statements, are met. We are working with home education representatives to make sure that the statutory guidance in a new SEN Code of Practice, which will reflect the provisions of the new Bill, will promote appropriate support for children with SEN, whether they have EHC plans or not.