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Freedom Of Information Requests

Page history last edited by vanda alexander 8 years, 9 months ago Saved with comment

have added the reply to our FOI request and job description




Freedom of Information Request: FOI/12/0177                               

Re: Elective Home Education

Process for monitoring (p.146)

  • ·       Process establish in mid-1990

Visits were made by the (then) Advisory Service

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  • ·       844
  • ·       811
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  • ·       33
  • ·       We only have figures for 2010/2011
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Ethnicity and primary language p.147

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Does the 823 figure represent all children and young people educated at home?

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When a child/young person is registered to be educated at homeP148

  • ·       There is no statutory duty to hold a register
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When notification is received from a school or others…p148

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  • ·      
  • ·       No (see responses to earlier questions)
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In 2011, 260 were complete ….p 148

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Of the 260 visits made 17 parents were…..p148

  • ·       Parents were not providing an efficient and suitable education that would equip a child for life within the community of which that child is a member, that did not foreclose the child’s options in later years to adapt some other way of life
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In 2010 Ofsted carried out a survey…..p149

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  • ·       OfSTED is the Government’s body designated to regulate the provision of education provision

“..ensure that when parents express a wish to withdraw….p149

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  • ·       Relevant staff within the ELS Directorate, depending on individual circumstances   
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Recommendations for local authorities….p 149

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“.. ensure that local authority officers responsible…..p149

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Page 146 states that ….

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  • ·       Dedicated Schools Grant     
  • ·       See attached JD
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  • ·       An average of £64 (based on officer salary, calculated by the hour and allowing an average of two hours per visit)  





Kent County Council

Job Description: Elective Home Education Officer




Education, Learning and Skills



Advocacy and Entitlement



KR9 (subject to evaluation)


Responsible to:

Elective Home Education Lead Officer



Purpose of the Job:


  • To support the learning, progress, achievement and welfare of children and young people who are educated at home across the county, where this is required


Main duties and responsibilities:


  • Offer to visit parents who educate their children at home in order to offer advice, support and guidance;


  • ·        Take appropriate action when children educated at home are not receiving a suitable education: 


  • Appraise the progress of home educated children who have been identified as a cause for concern, making recommendations and taking action as appropriate and necessary.


  • Work in collaboration across the length and breadth of Education, Learning and Skills to promote and support the needs of children educated at home.


  • Attend Families and Social Care Meetings including, Child Protection Conferences, Child in Need Meetings and Core Group Meetings as appropriate ad necessary;


  • Attend Annual Reviews for home educated children with Statement of Special Educational Needs.


  • Proactively aim to foster good relationships with home education organisations.






Person Specification: Elective Home Education Officer 


The following outlines the Minimum criteria for this post.   Applicants who have a disability and who meet the minimum criteria will be shortlisted.  


Applicants should describe in their application how they meet these criteria.




(if essential)


           NVQ 4  in a relevant discipline (or equivalent)






Experience of working with children in a learning environment.


Experience of assessing children and young people's progress and achievement.


 Experience of working in a multi agency environment.






Excellent interpersonal and communications skills in order to build rapport with adults and children.


Excellent listening and observation skills.


Very good report writing skills


Ability to deal with difficult/sensitive situations.


Be able to work calmly under pressure with the ability to adapt quickly and effectively to change.


Ability to work either alone or as part of a team.


Ability to manage ones own time and workload effectively..






            Knowledge and understanding of legislation relating to            Elective Home Education.


Knowledge and understanding of child development   and how children learn 


            Knowledge and understanding of safeguarding procedures.


            Knowledge of relevant codes of practice, local policies,    relevant learning programmes etc









I am making an inquiry into a document which Kent County Council have issued.


Agenda Item B6, by Mr Patrick Leeson, Corporate Director, Education and Skills Directorate, and Mr Mike Whiting, Cabinet Member for Education Learning and Skills.

To the Education Learning and Skills Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee. 

Date: 13 January 2012

RE: Kent Children and young People Educated at home.


Summary: The report provides information on the national and Kent positions concerning children and young people educated at home, highlights issues and concerns and outlines the proposed recommended ways forward.



"KCC has an established process for monitoring children and young people educated at home." (p.146)


  1. When was the monitoring process established?
  2. What primary legislation was used to establish the process?
  3. What statutory duty allows the local authority to 'monitor children and young people'?
  4. What is involved in 'monitoring children and young people educated at home'?
  5. Between 2009/2011 how many children educated at home were 'monitored?
  6. Between 2009/2011 how many children educated at home were deemed to be receiving a suitable education?
  7. What criteria were used to determine a suitable education?
  8. Between 2009/2011 how many children educated at home were deemed not to be receiving a suitable education?
  9. Between 2009 and 2011, how many children educated at school attended and continue to attend a failing school?  


"Currently, information is not available about the ethnicity and/or primary language of these children, but work has recently commenced to obtain this information where possible." (p.147)


Please describe how the local authority is obtaining information on ethnicity and primary language of children educated at home.


"Work has also been commissioned to ascertain if the 823 figure represents all children and young people at home and continues to ascertain the addresses for which the 18 are “unknown”." (p.148)


  1. Please describe in detail how the local authority is ascertaining if there are any children educated at home "unknown"  to the education department of the local authority.
  2. Please describe in detail how the local authority is ascertaining the addresses of those children it has identified as being "unknown" to the education department of the local authority. 


"Where a child/young person is registered to be home educated and there are concerns about the child/young person this is given top priority for a home visit." (p.148)


  1. Please state what statutory duty allows the local authority to hold a register of children educated at home.
  2. What is the process of registration?
  3. What information is held on the ‘register’?
  4. Are families informed that their children are placed on this ‘register’?
  5. How does the local authority seek consent from parents to add their child/ren's names onto the register?
  6. How long is the information on the register held for?
  7. Is the information on the register shared; if so, who with?
  8. Does the local authority seek consent from parents prior to sharing information with others?
  9. What procedures are in place to ensure that the data held is kept safe?
  10. Are all staff who come into contact with the information held on this register CRB checked?
  11. Please qualify what is meant by ‘concerns’?
  12. Who decides what concerns are  given top priority?


"When notification is received from a school or others that parents wish to educate their child at home, a form is sent to various agencies asking if they are able to provide any information that may be useful in prioritising home visits." (p.148)


  1. Please provide a copy of the afore mentioned form.
  2. Who are the various agencies?
  3. What information is considered ‘useful in prioritising home visits'?
  4. Where is this information held?
  5. Is this information shared? If yes, who is it shared with?
  6. Is consent obtained from data subjects before collecting and sharing the information held on this form?
  7. What legislation allows KCC to collect, share and use this information?



"In 2011,  260 home visits were completed. 200 of these were on a “prioritised” basis." (p.148)


Without breaking confidentiality, roughly what circumstances were used to initiate a priority visit?


"Of the 260 visits made, 17 parents were deemed to not be providing a suitable education." (p.148)


  1. What considerations were used in determining the education provided was un-suitable?
  2. What procedures/guidance does KCC have to assist them when deciding the suitability of an education being provided? (In the context of home education)?
  3. Out of these 17 parents, how many SAO’s were issued?
  4. On what grounds were they issued?
  5. Out of these 17 parents, how many  did the LA have to take to court?
  6. If some cases were taken to court, how many parents were successfully prosecuted?



"In 2010, OfSTED carried out a survey and produced a report to evaluate how well a sample of local authorities discharged their statutory duties to ensure the suitability of education provided for children and young people educated at home." (p.149)


  1. Please state what statutory duties the local authority has to ensure the suitability of education provided for children and young people educated at home.
  2. Please state why the Ofsted report was deemed suitable to use as a basis for determining local authority guidelines in respect of home education.


"..ensure that when parents express a wish to withdraw their child from school to educate them at home, the reasons for the decision are explored; that support, advice and mediation are provided to retain the child in school if this is the parents’ true preference; and that the school is challenged if appropriate" (p.149)


  1. Please state how the local authority plans to ascertain what the 'parents' true preference is'?
  2. Who will provide 'support, advice and mediation' and what training, experience and qualifications will they have to decide whether education at school or education otherwise than at school is more suitable for the child? 
  3. How much will this 'support, advice and mediation' cost to deliver?


Recommendations for local authorities states that the Connexions service contacts all home educated children post-14. (p.149)


  1. Connexions services have been drastically cut - what new funding will Kent Connexions receive to accommodate this increase in workload?
  2. How is it proposed that un-known home educators will be contacted?
  3. What information will be used to identify ‘un-known’ families?
  4. What Statutory duty allows the Connexions service to do this?
  5. Will consent be obtained by data subjects before information is shared with Connexions?



"...ensure that local authority officers responsible for home education receive up to date training, including regular safeguarding training, that includes a focus on the different approaches to home education and appropriate ways of evaluating what constitutes ‘suitable’ and ‘efficient’ education." (p.149)


  1. Please state what this training will consist of?
  2. Who will deliver this training and what qualifies them to do this?


Page 146 states that "The local authority has the responsibility to determine what education a child of statutory school age is receiving but does not, however, have any statutory duty to monitor the quality of home education on a routine basis.", yet on p.149 the ELS Directorate proposes to ensure "all registered children/young people to be visited once a year...in order to monitor their child(ren)'s progress and offer support and guidance, writing reports and making recommendations accordingly;


How does the ELS team explain this extension of power where no duty or law allows?



KCC plan to fund 3 new posts as part of a Children Educated at Home Team.


  1. How can a local authority create positions to undertake duties they have no power to execute?
  2. Where will the money come from to fund these new posts?
  3. What will the job description be for these new posts? 
  4. What experience and qualifications will be required for the post?
  5. Who will decide on the 'suitable' candidates?
  6. How much does it cost KCC to carry out a home visit?







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