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Quick question re: moving home and the LA

(11 Posts)
FamilyCircus Fri 10-Jun-11 19:16:42

We've been home educating for 2 and a half years and submit yearly reports to our LA regarding DS's progress. We're moving out of the borough soon and I will of course let our current LA know that we're no longer in the area when we actually move. Question is, do I have to let our new LA know that DS is educated out of school?

I know it's only once a year but I hate the stress of collecting all the info and then waiting for their judgement. I'd sooner not bother with it.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 10-Jun-11 19:29:17

You can do, or you can wait for the message to get through when you register with a new GP!

Doesn't really matter really. I would just leave it and you'll get a few months grace before they start bothering you. smile

FamilyCircus Fri 10-Jun-11 21:54:56

Thanks whomoved.

[sigh] I didn't think of the GP. Was hoping to be 'lost'.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 10-Jun-11 21:56:51

Well technically you could register as a temporary patient at the GP surgery and then they don't pass it on. wink

catbus Fri 10-Jun-11 22:49:53

You are not legally obliged to register with the LA. The bill that Labour were trying to push through that failed included compulsary registration. And don't bank on being 'found' through the GP. If that's the case, I have been 'waiting' a very long time! It is your family and your choice to register. smile

Saracen Fri 10-Jun-11 22:58:18

The GP surgery shouldn't inform the LA unless there are concerns about the child's welfare - and as you probably know, HE itself is not grounds for concern about a child's welfare. In practice, many of them do take it upon themselves to inform the LA as a matter of routine. Some HE parents proactively chat with the GP to explain the guidelines in hopes that their details won't get passed on.

Many health professionals do not make it their business to pass information about a child's education on to the LA, so you may get lucky anyway. One of my children is unknown to the LA despite being seen by numerous professionals.

On the other hand, under CME legislation your current LA does have a duty to try to track you and pass your details on to the new LA. You, of course, have no duty to cooperate in their attempts to do so. When you tell them you are leaving the borough, you may wish to ensure you are vague about where you are going. One of my friends recommends telling the old LA you have changed your mobile number even if you haven't, so as to get the number deleted from their records: she had the old LA ringing her persistently to try to find out exactly where she had moved to, so they could tell her new LA about her!

Saracen Fri 10-Jun-11 23:10:21

On another note, whether or not you move to a new LA, there is no reason for you to continue with this yearly ordeal. There is no legal basis for it. The EHE guidelines specify that local authorities have no duty to carry out routine monitoring.

Unless your current LA has raised valid concerns about your son's education, you have already satisfied them. You are finished. You don't have to keep jumping through this hoop every year.

In the absence of any evidence to suggest that you are NOT educating your son properly, it is arguable whether the LA ever even had the right to seek information from you as a one-off. The legislation on that is somewhat contradicatory. However, it is quite clear that once you have satisfied them (and assuming no new evidence comes to light to say you are failing to educate your son appropriately) they do not need to check up on you ever again.

If ever you decide that you aren't willing to carry on submitting annual reports, if the LA is pressing you for them then just post here or on another HE list and people will be glad to help you identify the relevant bits of the law which you can quote in a letter to the LA.

FionaJNicholson Fri 10-Jun-11 23:56:32

GPs may very well not know that you aren't known to the LA. They are a bit of a law unto themselves. Same with hospitals. I know someone who has to tell the hospital every time that she home educates AND she's known to the LA so you'd think someone would've joined the dots. Having said that, I would probably grass myself up to the new LA but that's because I can't bear suspense eg I phoned TV licensing the day we got a TV to explain that we only used it for games and urged them to come round and double check.

FamilyCircus Sat 11-Jun-11 13:50:45

Ha Fiona, that made me laugh. I too am a double checker.

Catbus, that's really encouraging. Were your DC ever registered at a school?

Saracen, I think we've spoken about the legalities of the LA checks before. Last September, when our annual report was due, we had to submit it three times because they kept losing it, despite me actually hand delivering it to them and obtaining receipts. The responsibility apparently lies with me regardless of how incompetent they are. The third set of documents were emailed so I didn't bother to include any samples of DS's work (just couldn't be arsed to scan them in to my computer) and although our provision was deemed 'satisfactory', it was noted by the 'Inspector' that 'primary evidence' was missing and would need to be provided with the next annual report. That really wound me up.

I have written to them asking them to quote the relevant parts of the law (I know they can't) but they ignore me until it is annual report time again.

It's possible that the LA in the area we're moving to have an entirely different approach; hopefully better, but possibly worse.

Our LA have never raised any specific concerns about DS, but they have given me the impression that they view being home educated as cause for concern in itself. We were visited at home 2 days after DS was deregistered from school by an Education Welfare Officer. Her excuse for turning up on my doorstep without prior notice was that she had a letter for me and finds hand-delivering to be the most efficient method hmm. Her comments about HE families were inflammatory; "some families remove their children from school because they don't want them to have contact with other children", and "some families use their children for domestic tasks and just pretend to be HEing".

It hasn't got better since.

Saracen Sat 11-Jun-11 21:22:35

Oh yes, now I remember. Well, the new LA can hardly be any worse than the old one then!!

bluesock Tue 21-Jun-11 23:57:39

I don't know if I'm imagining this, but I'm sure I read somewhere that some LAs had newspaper articles published, expressing 'concern' about missing HE families. i.e. those who had moved without forwarding address.

I'd be concerned to contact them in case they tried heavy-treatment to get the new address from me. Difficult one.

Sounds awful, familycircus. I had a bad experience too. I'd read so much about progressive LAs that I was shocked to get a bad one.

My EWO made it clear (by letter - two bullet points; one the meeting further to the report, second the children be seen)) that on the visit day if I didn't let the dc be seen (they didn't have to be at the meeting itself) then they would conclude that I wasn't providing a suitable education provision.
Horrid that the law was on my side, but I couldn't cope with the inevitable stress of taking them on, and admire those who do.

I later found out that my LA contacts social services with 'concerns' if they can't see the children, either at a home visit or elsewhere.

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