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Response from Mike Whiting 09032012

Page history last edited by Sarita 8 years, 4 months ago

FrontPage Individual Letters to and from KCC

 

This is the most recent response from Mike Whiting received today, 9th March (my email to him is here). Much of the same really, I don't think they realise that their words are contrary to their actions!!

 

Still he says that they will consult in the summer, so we can only wait and see. But the golden nugget of information is that he says: offer of support will be made to "families who choose to register". I take this to mean that we can contact KCC and ask that our and our children's names be removed from their EHE register.

 

I will ponder whether I have any further comments to make - am off to dig out my Interim 2009 policy. I think we should ask them to stop sharing our info with other agencies and halt searching out "unknowns".

 

Dear Ms Goacher

 

Thank you for your email dated 22nd February 2012. I do apologise for the slight delay in responding.

 

Firstly, in relation to the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 13th January 2012, the purpose of the report on Elective Home Education was not to actually determine policy, but rather to agree the way forward to offer support to families who have decided to home educate their children.

 

Kent County Council currently makes available to parents a leaflet entitled ‘Educating your Child at Home’ which seeks to explain the law and their rights. Kent County Council has absolutely no wish to interfere where families have decided to home educate their children, but rather is seeking to be able to offer advice and support where this is would be welcomed.

 

Whilst Kent County Council has no statutory duty to keep a register of home educated children, it would not be able to make this offer of support without information about whom and where these children are. This offer will be made to families who choose to register. The information currently held sits within Education, Learning and Skills Fair Access Team, is shared with Tim Fox and (where appropriate) Education Welfare Officers. All Kent County Council employees who have access to this information are fully CRB checked. Education Welfare Officers should not be making unannounced visits and I have asked relevant officer to ensure that this does not happen.

 

Kent County Council is currently following its Interim Elective Home Education Policy, constructed in July 2009, and it is intended that this policy should be reviewed over the coming months. In doing so, as with the formulation of any policy, it is good practice to consult with those that the policy has the potential to implicate. Hence, at the point at which this policy is reviewed (we anticipate in the summer of this year), Kent County Council fully intends to consult with the home educating community in Kent, through written and face to face means. 

 

In response to your question about the nature of the 20 requests made to Tim Fox, these were from parents already home educating, requesting:

 

  • home visits;
  • information about home educating;
  • Information concerning local home education groups.

 

It is not uncommon for Mr Fox to receive this number of requests on a daily basis.

 

Through Tim Fox, Kent County Council has enjoyed good relationships with the home educating community in the past and we would very much wish to build on this for the future.

 

I trust that this alleviates your concerns and I look forward to your input to our consultation on Elective Home Education later this year.

Yours sincerely

Mike Whiting
Cabinet Member for Education, Learning and Skills



 

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