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Response from Gary Cooke - 21012012

Page history last edited by Sarita 8 years, 10 months ago

FrontPage  Individual Letters to KCC 21012012 CM email to KCC



I don't think any specific statute has been identified as yet, but Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education has made it clear that he intends to introduce a requirement whereby home educated children will be linked to a school and their academic achievement will contribute to the schools results. Rightly or wrongly I believe that will mean an assessment based on exam results.
I do agree with you that children's needs can and should be met in different ways. But it is also important that appropriate measures are in place to ensure proper safeguarding. Sadly nobody actually knows the full extent of home education, but we do know that many more than the 823 children of which we are aware, are educated outside of traditional settings. Clearly there are many very sincere families that make considered decisions in the best interests of their children and that is to be welcomed. However, I am concerned that all children are given opportunity through education. Kent County Council will have to adhere to policy as laid down by Government but I can assure you that we fundamentally believe in a mixed economy of education provision of which home education is a contributor. The issue though has to be ensuring that an individual child's needs are appropriately met and the child is adequately safeguarded. May I remind you that for many children f rom not just in Kent, that they are safest when they are at school.
The emphasis on educational attainment being measured through exam success does not in my opinion properly reflect the skills and abilities of all our children. Kent has had a policy of encouraging a vocational curriculum for those where such skills are more appropriate and we will continue with that.
I am not and nor is KCC anti home education, we are increasing three fold the resources that we commit to supporting home educated children, but a major part of that is that we do need to know where all these children are and then ensure that they receive an appropriate education that meets their needs and helps to prepare them for adulthood.
I am quite sure that any visit to yourself would demonstrate clearly the benefits of home education. It is the one to two thousand children who are outside of traditional settings and unknown to the authorities that concern me.
I wish you well and thank you very much for contacting me.
Kind regards
Gary Cooke


Comments (5)

phoenix said

at 10:44 pm on Jan 23, 2012

"..we are increasing three fold the resources that we commit to supporting home educated children..."

I need some clarification on the above as this is the second time I've picked it up in as many responses from 2 Cllrs. Though I live in Kent (Orpington), I am under the London Borough of Bromley, and receive absolutely nothing from my borough. By the same token, my LEA doesn't interfere as it has minimal or no stake in my ed methods. I got involved in this 'movement' because London might decide to follow suit if KCC forges ahead undeterred. BUT, it seems to me KCC and London Boroughs within Kent have different approaches towards home education - KCC provides resources and therefore requires feedback, London does not. Is this a wrong call?

Lisa Dillon said

at 11:50 pm on Jan 23, 2012

The resources referred to are three new council employees to monitor HE, quite beyond their remit and not at all useful to anybody.

Sarita said

at 12:01 am on Jan 24, 2012

I would take anything that any of the KCC council members say with a pinch of salt. In just the last few days they have shown such a lack of understanding of not only home ed but what the different types of activity that the council are involved in that it is a shambles. When they talk about computers they are talking of registered pupils who are tutored at home because of illness or exclusion. when they talk about attaching HE children to schools they are in fact quoting Gove talking about excluded pupils and schools (see From Government page and quote from Graham Stuart). In essence they do not have a clue about HE and LA activity. We MUST educate them.

Clare said

at 11:59 pm on Feb 16, 2012

Whatever Michael Gove intends cannot just happen because he "intends" it - this would be a matter of altering primary legislation - there is no legal requirement at present for a child to be registered at a school or otherwise and they cannot affect school tables etc if not registered at that school- this is all rubbish!

He says "sadly" nobody knows the full extent of HE - I say this is not sad but a cause of celebration!

And if he KNOWS that more than 823 children are HE - then is is AWARE of them! LOL

Yes - many (??? some) children are safest when in school - but MANY MORE are safest when out of school!!

Kent - not any other LA has to ensure that children recieve a suitable (or appropriate) edn - this is the legal duty of the parent!

bla bla - one to two thousand unknown - if he knows that as a fact - they are NOT UNKNOWN

who educates these idiots?

Clare said

at 12:01 am on Feb 17, 2012

arrggh - that should read - Kent - NOR any other LA has to ensure that children recieve a suitable (or appropriate) edn - this is the legal duty of the parent!

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