Staffordshire Council: a home educator fights back

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This whole blog is a must-read, must-listen for all those who are being harassed by local authority agents acting beyond their powers.

http://otherwise.education/

Having had the misfortune of having deal with Staffordshire County Council’s EHE team in the past this time round I made a point of recording all telephone conversations and keeping copies of all correspondence. I’m glad I did as the whole experience has been a catalogue of errors and incompetencies on the part of Staffordshire County Council. If it hadn’t had such a massive impact on our family life the whole experience would have been comical.

The most worrying point in all of this is that we do not live in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire County Council were made aware of this from the outset but chose not to believe us and to pursue School Attendance Orders regardless.
Some of this catalogue of incompetence would indeed be hilarious if it wasn't so serious, and is reminiscent of the bullying tactics used against Ashya King's family, who used social media pre-emptively to ensure the facts were made public to counteract the smears by agencies closing ranks to discredit the family.

The underlying message from this unfortunate home educator's experience is clear: Keep meticulous records, get everything in writing, withhold/withdraw consent for data processing, use the statutory subject access request provision (under the Data Protection Act) relentlessly, audio / video record all conversations and meetings, use the formal complaints procedure, publish the lot and be damned (or otherwise!)

The Staffie dog's reputation as a dangerous breed really has nothing on that of Staffs council, which has long been at rock bottom with a history of complaints by local home educators and deliberate side-stepping of FOI requests to withhold information.

People in glass houses really shouldn't be throwing stones and certainly shouldn't be chairing any association of self appointed publicly funded elective home education 'professionals'.
 
I'd like to say I find it hard to believe but having experienced things just as ludicrous and convoluted it isn't. Really hope this is the end of all the hassle for that family now, what an awful lot of stress to put people through and what a terrible waste of taxpayers money.
 
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