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on July 14, 2014 at 10:35:48 pm

Please note that most of the content on this wiki relates to the 2012 draft HE policy and campaigning but will be updated in the following days. Content relating to the 2014 draft HE policy can be found by scrolling down to Latest News on this page.


Welcome to KentHEPublic


This wiki has been created by Kent home educators to share information, ideas and to collaborate on projects in response to Kent County Councils Proposed Changes to its home education policy.

Our aims are:

  1. to educate and ensure that KCC adheres to the existing legal framework for education otherwise than at home,
  2. to lobby KCC to undertake a full public consultation with all home educators on all home education policy changes.

You will also find advice on writing to councillors and MPs. All actions relating to our response will be posted here and will be available for comment and for your reference if you are writing your own letters. Please feel free to browse and if you would like to join us or send in your own content, please email me, and we will send you an invite to join our action wiki.


Please click here to find out how to use the public wiki. 


***Latest News***




BBC Radio Kent - Interview finally happened. They spent a good time on it about 1 hour 15 minutes into the show with an interview with Roger Gough. My bit was about 2 hours and 30 minutes into the show - not sure I did my best as I was in transit and on the hop (they had cancelled so many times that week that I couldn't make any more special arrangements!!). Listen again.





Roger Gough's office is inviting home educators who wrote to Paul Carter to a meeting in September at County Hall. Agenda yet to be set. If you have been invited, please email me and we can come together to discuss way forward, consulting all the groups, of course.




Result - well, temporary!! KCC Cabinet have agreed to defer the decision to approve the revised policy until the autumn. Two things stood out for me:


1 - Patrick Leeson still insisting in all that he says that they have a duty to ascertain whether the education taking place is suitable.

2 - The leader of the council stating that they acknowledge that off-rolling by head teachers is exacerbating the issue.


So, we remain to see what the next step is. In the meantime, we will continue to come together and start to work on the revised policy. You can watch the meeting here. On the right hand side is an agenda which you can scroll down to view the EHE discussion.




Roger Gough (Cabinet Member for Education at KCC) phoned to discuss what our issues were with the revised home ed policy ahead of the cabinet meeting on Monday 7th. We discussed the issues surrounding KCC believing they have to seek out unsuitable education, the referrals to CME and Social Services and the 10 day deregistration cooling off period. 
He said that he assumes when reading rationale documents and policy drafts that the department submitting the policy would know their homework, so was surprised that there were so many complaints. He acknowledged Graham Stuart's letter, but I'm not sure that was enough to dissuade him from voting for the policy - he needed to review the legislation for himself.
His and the leader of KCC's main concerns are the children, post 14, who are being excluded, truanting etc and then become home-educated with no follow up support. I said that the issues surounding that particular group of children were a school (rather a failure of school) issue than a home education one, that schools are often off-rolling problematic students and encouraging reluctant parents to home educate rather than finding how to engage those children. I stated that the LA needs to find other ways of ensuring their education (virtual schools, apprenticeships, working with other partners etc) and pull them out from the home education category as, for all intents and purposes, they weren't being educated in that way if the parents were relcutant. He agreed. 
We talked about how a parent, who hasn't already decided prior to school, goes about making the decision to withdraw their child/ren from school. We discussed that it wasn't an overnight, week or even month long decision but one that goes on for many months after several meeting with teachers and heads and, in most cases, no resulting action or solutions. I tried to get over the point that it is a hard decision but that once made, it needs to happen immediately as currently allowed for in law. A cooling off period is not needed and that a parent's decision to deregister should be respected.
The other point I hope I got across was the need to consult and involve home educators when formulating policy. We are not averse to working with the LA but they need to respect our freedom and duties so that we can work together positively to ensure everyone gets the support they want without impacting those that don't want the support. 
I came away thinking that it isn't certain what will happen in cabinet on Monday, he was spending this weekend going through the legal references, because although they have their priorities he did concede that they need to look again if they are stepping outside of their powers and duties. Not sure what his conversations with other cabinet members were. Gary Cooke will have had this all before from 2 years ago, so whether the letter from Graham Stuart will suffice who knows.



Thank you if you emailed KCC or Graham Stuart. 


Roger Gough emailed back to set a time for us to talk. He has yet to confirm. In the meantime, Graham Stuart sent this email to me and this letter to Roger Gough, all KCC cabinet members AND all Kent MPs! All eyes will be on the Cabinet meeting on Monday to see what happens. GS has put it in unequivocal terms that what they are trying to do is outside of their remit and totally unacceptable. I don't think this is the end of it by any means, but I hope it opens up the lines of communication and consultation. Please email me if you wish to contribute to this campaign and future meetings with KCC, and I will send you the link to the private, Action wiki which allows us to communicate and collaborate on documents and next steps. All finalised documents and decisions are then published on this public wiki.


If you wish to share your correspondence with KCC or MPs, please email me and I will add it or I can change your permissions to be able to add it to this wiki.



I sent an individual email to Roger Gough summarising the concerns and requesting a time to speak with him to detail why the policy is so wrong (read it here). I also emailed Graham Stuart to see if he could help - read it here. 



Well, 2 years on and they're at it again!! Patrick Leeson and his team are seeking approval from KCC cabinet members for their draft HE Policy.

You can read it here. Two years ago they promised to consult with us before they tried to cement their plans. Two years on we find ourselves fighting yet again!


BBC Radio Kent contacted me for my thoughts on the latest report and, once again, I am astounded that they are attempting to register and monitor HE through the back door. Bottom line, if you refuse a visit then it will not be deemed that the child is receiving a suitable education and their name will be added to the Children Missing Education register and passed onto Social Services Teams. There will also be a 10 day cooling off period prior to deregistration where the child will still be on-roll.


The proposed policy will be debated and is being asked to be approved by the KCC Cabinet on 7th July. You can read it here.

The policy is accompanied by a rationale for the policy which includes incomplete stats, no qualification of figures used and quotes school-related problems as HE ones. 


Cabinet members will vote on this policy on Monday. We need to complain in order to stop this policy before it has a chance to be implemented. In the next few days we will be submitting a formal response which you can contribute to by emailing us, but in the meantime, please write to your local councillor and notably the Cabinet Members stating what your views are on the new policy. 

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/how-the-council-works/the-cabinet but especially Roger Gough (Cabinet member for education) and Gary Cooke (cabinet member for democracy).




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