The All Wales Attendance Framework - EHE Section

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
Following the comments of
Dr Philip Dixon, director of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) Cymru, welcomed the framework.

“If a child isn’t in school then they cannot be learning, and if they are not learning then their whole life chances are imperilled,” he said.

“These actions will help standardise the education welfare service across Wales and ensure equality of delivery. The clear direction on so-called home education is also welcome as it reminds parents of their duty to provide a wide and balanced education for their children and we look forward to more rigorous scrutiny of those who are taking their children out of the schooling system.”
In the Wales Online article Support for education welfare staff welcomed I sourced the document and here is the section on '' so-called home education''. I thought it would help if those in Wales knew the official line that their LA's should be following.
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This is the EHE section of the The All Wales Attendance Framework
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m. Elective home education
339. Elective Home Education is where parents or guardians decide to provide home based
education for their children instead of sending them to school. It is not home tuition
provided by the local authority or where a local authority provides education otherwise
than at school. Section 6 of the Inclusion and Pupil Support WAG circular 47/2006 sets
out the current Welsh Assembly guidance on Elective Home Education.
The legal background
340. Article 2 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that:
No*person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which
it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of
parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious
and philosophical convictions.
341. Parents have a right to educate their children at home providing that they fulfil the
requirements of Section 7 of the Education Act, 1996 which places a duty on the parents
of every child of compulsory school age to cause him or her to receive efficient full-time
education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs
that they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
342. Under section 437 of the Education Act 1996, a LA must by law serve a School
Attendance Order on the parent of a child of compulsory school age who fails to
prove that the child is receiving suitable education and where the authority is of the
opinion that the child should attend school. This duty applies equally in relation to all
children, regardless of whether or not they have previously attended a local authority
school in*the*area. The definition of suitable education is the same as that contained in
Section*7 of the Education Act 1996 as described above.
Identifying children who are receiving elective home education
343. Parents whose children are registered pupils at a school must ensure that their names
are removed from the school admissions register when they withdraw them from school
to home educate. If they do not do so they may be liable to prosecution for failing
to*ensure their child’s regular attendance at the school where they are registered.
Under*the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations, 1995 as amended parents are
required to*inform schools in writing that they are educating their children at home.
344. There is no general requirement for parents to inform LAs of the fact that they intend
to educate at home. This makes it particularly difficult for LAs to keep track of certain
groups of children, for example:
• those who have never attended a maintained school;
• those who have never attended a maintained school in that authority’s area;
• those who have finished primary education in one school but has not started
secondary education in another; and
• those where the school they have been attending has closed.
345. Where parents have notified the LA or the LA is otherwise made aware of a child’s
withdrawal from school with the intention of being home educated, the LA should
acknowledge the receipt of this notification and consider quickly whether there is
any existing evidence, either in an authority’s own records or from other services or
agencies, indicating whether there may be cause for concern over the withdrawal.
Previous*irregular attendance at school is not of itself a sufficient cause for concern.
In*these cases the LA should immediately refer these concerns to the appropriate
statutory authorities using established protocols. Otherwise, the LA should assume that
efficient educational provision is taking place, which is suitable for the child, unless there
is evidence to the contrary. There is no express requirement in the 1996 Act for LAs to
investigate actively whether parents are complying with their duties under Section 7.
 
If LAs would properly implement policy based on #345 it would be easier for all round. A quick check in their records for concern would catch anything like the Ishaq case (assuming SS could be bothered to act on it) and then everyone could get on with life thereafter.
 
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