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How does involvement with support people or medical history affect the future in terms of wanting to HE?

(4 Posts)
Saracen Mon 01-Jul-13 10:38:09

Hi Amy,

I have not been in your situation myself. However, having seen a number of families who are, it seems to me that the main potential obstacle to home educating under your circumstances is that the LA home ed department may target you and put pressure on you to send your daughter to school. As you probably know, parents in a range of different circumstances and with various different educational approaches all have the right to home educate their children, and the law is very much on your side. Legally they would not have a leg to stand on, so ultimately this should not be a problem. If you keep them at arm's length and supply them with some information about how you are educating your daughter then they would not be able to force you to send your dd to school.

Despite you being on very strong ground legally, having unwanted pressure from the LA can be unpleasant if you are feeling vulnerable. This is a particular problem for people who are not in contact with other HE parents either in person or on a list like this one, because they don't get support and specific advice in responding to LA correspondence. Bullying from LAs can lead parents to return their children to school because they have the mistaken belief that the LA would be likely to bring a successful court case against them.

As Fiona says, if your daughter has another parent who is determined to stop you from home educating then this would complicate matters.

As for Social Services, if they are concerned about your ability to cope with parenting then they will intervene regardless of whether you are home educating. HE in itself is not a reason for concern. If you are competent to parent your child after 3pm and at the weekends and during school holidays, then you are also competent to parent her between the hours of 9am and 3pm, so why should they care whether you home educate her?

FionaJNicholson Thu 27-Jun-13 06:45:10


It may depend on the personality/attitude of the people working in your area.

The only obvious way I can think it would put you at a serious disadvantage is if the biological father were later to oppose home education or to seek custody/greater access. Also hypothetically if you had family members disagreeing with your decision to home educate or with your particular way of home educating, then they could keep badgering the council, at which point someone might look into the background and think it warranted a bit more action on their part. (The action would be pressing to speak to you and your daughter, though you would still be at liberty to say no thanks)

And frankly if you had family members looking to stir up trouble, anything you had ever done or not done could also be used against you, so it's not a deal-breaker.

I was on Sickness Benefit for anxiety and depression till shortly before my son was 5 and I imagine there will be some lurid stuff from my 20s on my medical record. Also stuff around seeking help and stuff around refusing help/medication.

At the back of my mind I did worry that those who knew me best might take it to to "the authorities", especially when they disagreed strongly about my home education methods. My solution - which I recognise wouldn't be for everyone - was to get in first and cultivate a good relationship with the council home education department so that if a referral did come in later, everyone would think oh we know FIONA.

(It all got sorted because my family finally capitulated and later came to say that home education was the best thing ever...took about 15 years, but I was OK with waiting)

I guess what I'm saying is, it's a gamble. The other way to look at it is if you are never known to your council because your daughter never goes to school, then the issue may never come up.

I do have a page about home education and social services on my website which I'm not allowed to link to because it would be advertising myself. Or something. But if you put home education + social services into an internet search engine it should be at the top of the first page (or maybe that's just my special google)

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Thu 27-Jun-13 00:26:49

Worker not worked*

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Thu 27-Jun-13 00:25:57

Sorry that the thread title was a bit vague but I was struggling to word it!

Basically, I am wondering how my medical history or acceptance of help could affect me in the future of I do manage to go ahead with HE. As it is now, I've been offered a Family Support Worker from the local children's centre because of being a single mum who is a bit isolated and was struggling a bit with socialising and taking dd out. I was also offered a place at a single mums group for six weeks which I've been attending. Since going to that, my confidence has improved and I don't worry about taking dd out anymore. Obviously this will all be noted down somewhere by my HV and the people who arrange this group. As socialising is one of the big worries to people who don't really get HE, will this blip come back to haunt me? Could they stop me HE in some way by saying I won't socialise dd properly?

Also, the family support worked. Now that I feel so much better I don't know whether to accept the help or not now that I don't really need it. My main worry is that again it will be on record and could be held against me in someway to show that dd shouldn't be left to be HE by me. My secondary worry is if I decline, it could be held against me now.

I also have mild MH issues that I've worked very hard to overcome and they no longer affect me and dd's daily life and I hope with even more time, I can overcome them completely. Would this MH stuff being in my medical history again be used against me to prevent HE?

I know that how I educate dd is my choice but I'm wary that all these things could lead to some sort of involvement by SS to stop me doing it.

Does anyone have any advice or information about this type of thing? Its a long way off but I worry that choice I make now could affect us down the line. Thanks smile

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