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Do I have to tell our old LA where we have moved to?

(9 Posts)
FamilyCircus Fri 16-Sep-11 01:16:22

We've recently moved to a different borough. I emailed our old LA on the day of the move informing them that we are no longer under their remit. I received a reply today saying that they need my new address before they can close DS's file and that they need to advise our current LA if we wish to continue to HE. I really don't want to give them this information and I'm not aware that I have to.

They have been a pita since DS was de-registered from school and I've been looking forward to moving so I don't have to deal with them anymore. I'm loathe to begin the process again with a new LA.

Anyone know if there's any legislation on this?

Saracen Fri 16-Sep-11 05:48:06

Under the Children Missing Education legislation, your old LA has a duty to try to track your son and pass info about you to the new LA. However, you have no duty to comply with their attempts to do this and I agree with you that it isn't in your best interests to supply any information to them.

Whether they wish to "close their file" on your son is their own administrative problem, not yours!

One of my friends was in the same position as you and her old LA kept hassling her by ringing her mobile until she changed her number in order to stop the calls. I hope yours can't or won't do that!

mnistooaddictive Fri 16-Sep-11 06:12:34

This is s child protection issue to them. If they did nothing and your child was at risk, they would be front page news- think baby p. I am not saying your child is at risk but they can't know this. The rules were brought in after Fred west killed all those children and nobody knew as they just said they moved away.
He is a great excuse for a parent like that, so they gave to check. 99.99999% of parents who he are no risk to their child but if you font check how do you know who the dodgy ones are.
So for the sake of that child out there who is abused and kept hidden just cooperate, will it really hurt you?

FionaJNicholson Fri 16-Sep-11 06:46:42

You have no legal obligation to tell anyone at the council that you are home educating. Therefore it follows that you don't have to tell the council you moved from and you don't have to tell the council you've moved to. The council does have duties under Children Missing Education, which will be why they've asked, but as Saracen says you don't have to provide an answer. References for the laws on home education in England can be found on my website here

I know of 2 people who told the local authority here that they were home educating when they didn't have to. One of those people was me and I've never regretted it, it was fine, didn't make any difference to the way I home educated and was better for my son because neither of us are good with suspense or surprises and he didn't like the idea that we might be "found."

The other person thought it would be better to be above board but has always said that she home educated differently and that there was a shadow hanging over her and the children because of knowing that the LA would be visiting once a year.

julienoshoes Fri 16-Sep-11 11:12:37

I wouldn't tell the LA if we had moved. Mostly because yes I think it can hurt-some LAs really are a dreadful PITA and sometimes worse. I have experience of dealing with some LAs who bring in SS at the drop of a hat, tell lies and harrass home educators endlessly-especially autonomous home educators.
so yes mnistooaddictive sometimes it really can hurt home educating families to do this.

I can't think of a single advantage that I have had for my family being known to the LA. Not one. So even though I haven't had any trouble with them, I wouldn't have informed a new LA that I had moved into their area.

However if you are still wondering, would it be worth speaking to home ed families in your new area, who are experienced with the LA and ask their advice? Again I'd ask the autonomous home educators/the ones who don't fit the 'tick the box, schooling is the way forward' mentality, to see what they think of the LA and if they act in an ultra vires manner and basically lie to their back teeth to home educators, claiming powers they do not legally have.

Cynical about LAs? Who me? hmm

and given how many children committ suicide because of their dreadful unhappiness in school, because of the bullying and abuse, if every child really mattered, would it really hurt the LAs and the Government to tell every parent that home education is a legal viable option, equal in status to school? hmm

FamilyCircus Fri 16-Sep-11 12:10:30

Thanks everyone

Our old LA have no way of contacting me other than via email so they can badger away if they want to. I'm going to simply ignore their request for our new address.

mnistooaddictive, I disagree that my reluctance to have the LA nosing around my home has any connection to Baby P's tragic death or Fred West's murders. I find it extremely doubtful that these awful events wouldn't have occurred if only the state were allowed unlimited access to families private lives. In fact, if the state were to concentrate on families where they know children are at risk and stop bothering families where they have no reason to suspect anything untoward then more children might be saved.

Fiona, I totally agree with the second example you gave where the family found the LA's involvement detrimental to HE. Although our current LA will accept annual reports from me it causes so much unnecessary stress. And for what benefit? Absolutely none for anyone! I totally resent their involvement and the implication that if they stop requesting 'evidence' that DS is receiving an appropriate education that he will stop learning confused.

Anyway, we're off on holiday tomorrow and I haven't packed a thing yet so I must get on. I won't be checking my email account while I'm away either.

mnistooaddictive Fri 16-Sep-11 14:11:47

I stand by what I said. I think you are naive if you think there are not any parents using HE to hide their abuse. How do authorities tell the difference between them and you when you are so obstructive?

nojustificationneeded Sat 17-Sep-11 10:19:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SDeuchars Sat 17-Sep-11 13:32:33

mnistooaddictive: I think you are naive if you think there are not any parents using HE to hide their abuse. How do authorities tell the difference between them and you when you are so obstructive?

You may be right, mnistooaddictive, although you have no way of telling. However, if FamilyCircus were to tell Children's Services she'd moved, how would that help? If FamilyCircus is not abusing her children, she may waste the authorities' time by creating unnecessary paperwork and visits. If she is abusing her children, the paperwork and visits are extremely unlikely to uncover it.

The vast majority of children seriously abused and killed by their families are under 12 months - there is no mandatory official check on them. The majority of school-age children who are abused attend school. Khyra Ishaq and her siblings attended school and they were brought to the point of death. The schools had reported it (even only 10 days before she died) but the relevant officials made massive mistakes and did not prevent the abuse and death. Basically, the best protection for children is for people to report untoward behaviour and for the authorities to act on such reports, not being too accepting of a parent's account and the parent's apparent co-operation (as went wrong in the baby P case). If all parents have to tell the LA when they move children, all we do is make the administrative haystack larger and therefore make it harder to find the children who need help.

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