Case study 1 in the new draft home education guidance presents a home educator with a very structured approach. In the past she and her son have met the local authority and shown examples of work. There are no case studies in the current guidance.
The proposed new guidance is not ready to be used. It is still at the draft stage. The consultation closed 18.1.24. 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
Are Case Studies Helpful
The consultation document for the proposed new guidance refers to “case studies on EHE topics that can sometimes cause misinterpretation and result in queries being raised to the Department. Through these case studies, we have tried to clarify a few factors within the process of EHE”
The consultation asks whether you think the suggested case studies are helpful. I would say it depends what you mean by helpful. If you are a local authority seeking justification for annual monitoring visits then I assume you will find case study 1 in the proposed new guidance very helpful in bolstering your approach because virtually no-one will tick all the boxes in case study 1 that made “only a report” acceptable.
Remember though that the Department interprets helpful as meaning fewer queries because the proposed new guidance will have made things clearer. Considered in this light, adding all the details in the case study make it the OPPOSITE of helpful because so many people will be wanting the Department to adjudicate where there is a difference of opinion in all the scenarios which do NOT exactly mirror the case study.
My Comments On Case Study 1
- This child has always been home educated ie not been deregistered from school. This could be seen as a “positive” reason for home educating rather than “negative” due to problems at school
- The family is known to use a structured approach with a timetable including work set plus lessons in individual subjects
- The parent has previously provided examples of the child’s work (unclear whether this is physical samples of work completed by the child or whether examples are described in detail by the parent)
- The parent has previously agreed to home visits [“meetings” in the plural, so given that the child is 9, possibly every year since age 5?] where the LA officer has also been able to see the child
- The LA has never expressed any concerns or doubts about the provision in the past
- The case study refers to “the following year” as though the same level of engagement is expected every year
- This time the parent is allowed to send in a detailed written report which “sets out Said’s educational programme and progress being made” rather than the home visits etc as in the past
- This hypothetical LA “prefers to receive information that clearly demonstrates that the work is taking place” [home visits, meeting the child, discussing work done] and this preference means there have to be SPECIAL REASONS before a written report is EVENTUALLY allowed – remember that the heading for the case study is “A parent report deemed sufficient to assess suitability”