Case Study 2 LA Draft Guidance

Case Study 2 in the new draft guidance for local authorities portrays a child who has been home educated for a few months after struggling in school. 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

Are Case Studies Helpful

The consultation 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. If you are a local authority wanting to talk to the child and to assess the child, while at the same time not being overly bothered about home visits, then I assume you will find case study 2 helpful because you will read it as endorsing your approach.

Remember though that the Department interprets helpful as meaning fewer queries because the case study is supposed to make things clearer. The problem is that a case study must have detail but detail then becomes a distraction since every element makes it overly specific which gives everyone ammunition for their own interpretation of how it might apply – or not – to their own situation.

My Comments

  • This child is similar in age to Case Study 1 but here it might be perceived as a “negative reason” for home educating since the child has been removed from school after he has “struggled in a classroom setting”
  • Another way of saying struggled in class is to say school was unsuitable and unable to meet his needs
  • Because school has failed, the family adopts an approach that is far removed from “school at home”
  • After home educating for a month the parents have a telephone conversation with the LA about the provision they are making which is deemed to be suitable to age ability aptitude and special needs and no issues are identified. Despite this, the LA says it will be back in 3 months
  • We are not TOLD that the LA always wants to meet and talk to the child and see examples of the child’s written work but lo it happens to turn out that parents writing a report about what they are doing is deemed “insufficient”
  • Without seeing written work and/or talking to the child, the LA is apparently unable to fulfil its self-appointed task of judging the provision as suitable, and moreover not because what parents describe sounds in any way UNSUITABLE [to the child’s age ability aptitude and SEN] or UNREALISTIC or UNLIKELY, but because the LA feels it needs to see for itself that what parents are saying is true ie the burden of proof is reversed
  • By a stroke of great good fortune this child happens to be absolutely fine with talking to a stranger in the park who has the power to send him back to school and so the family earns a reprieve … till next time

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