Annual report(9 Posts)
Ok, this may be me but does anybody else get annoyed at some of the wording on the forms sent out from their LA.
I must admit though ours are ok and don't bother us at all but each year I get wound up by the wording.
I particularly dislike: The final decision on whether the evidence and/education is suitable will be made by the manager - pupil Inclusion.
Like they have some sort of say in the education you are providing.
First of all H.ed isn't Inclusion it is agreed exclusion.
Another bit states: The review is based on evidence received by the parent, information provided from a home visit and previous school.
The form is designed to make you believe they will assess your provision and you are required to have a home visit.
The info you are requested to provide is fair enough and is basically a list of resources, summary of progress any targets or assessment you may do, dc awareness of H&S, provision made for socialising/leisure activities, and of course if any sn are being met.
It just seems daft for the letter to sound so formal when all they do each year is say yes that's fine, you don't want a home visit, ok fill in forms again next year.
I suppose I should be grateful when I hear of what other LA's do.
Do other authorities ask for the same type of thing.
I haven't gone into any detail at all and was finished in 1 A4 sheet.
Hmmm I wouldn't like that either. Is the annual report a definite thing for all Home Educators?
It sounds fairly intimidating.
It seems to be. I know I shouldn't complain really. Its not giving the information, I'm quite happy to do this and it doesn't really take too long.
It is the fact that we all know, including them, that a home visit isn't compulsory and that unless they feel education needs aren't being met you will be fine.
Perhaps they could rephrase it and say if they feel ed needs are not being met they may speak to other agencies.
It seems quite scary to anybody completing the forms for the first time and last year they completely freaked me out, this isn't easy to do as I am quite a confident person.
Why fill in the form then??
Section 3.6 of the "Elective Home Education: Guidelines for LAs" make it clear that the choice of how to give information is ALWAYS the parents.
You could choose to set out your 'Educational philosophy" briefly and a short written report instead.
Once you have set our your 'ed phil' the LA has to have regard to it when looking at your report/provision.
Have a look on edyourself.org . Fiona has info there about writing an 'ed phil'
I do mine in advance, to pre-empt the LA's letters and so that I have control of the situation and not them.
My review is due around beginning of April so I start compiling it Jan/Feb so I can tweak it and send it in sometime towards the end of March. I get an acknowledgement but inevitably the standard form letter follows a few weeks later. I respond by referring them back to my report and asking them to let me know if they have any queries which I'll be happy to clarify for them.
I always get the mental image of the LA heaving a deep sigh when they send out these letters, bemoaning the fact that they have to chase us up for evidence so they can do their weary jobs. If I'm a step ahead of them I'm in charge, not them.
"bemoaning the fact that they have to chase us up for evidence so they can do their weary jobs"
They don't have to though, and they know it. Goodness knows they get enough letters from home educators quoting the law in order to "remind" them that they have no statutory duty to conduct routine monitoring. It's a choice they are making.
I may have some small grain of sympathy for new council employees who think this is what they are supposed to do, because their bosses have told them so. However, anyone in post for more than a year will surely have heard from HE families that the law does not support the LA's stance. If they carry on harassing us regardless, they'll get no sympathy from me!
I don't receive these letters myself anymore. After a series of polite "reminders about the law" from me in response to the LA's annual requests for updates, I finally sent a very
stroppy assertive letter telling them not to contact me with such requests again. But the fact that you and I know that we don't have to respond doesn't make it all harmless. New home educators, and those who are considering HE, often feel quite intimidated by these letters and may even be put off HE or feel they have to use a different style of HE to what suits their children.
As for how widespread this is, depressingly so. See Fiona's new spreadsheet detailing all the dodgy LA practices, as documented on their own websites: http://edyourself.org/
They don't have to though, and they know it
Oh I agree, Saracen. Legally they do know that home educators aren't obliged to provide information but they still have a task that the Education Dept wants them to perform. So many of these letters disregard what we (and they) know of the law. I do feel sorry for some LA workers because many of them know they're pushing their luck with home educators yet they still have to approach us in a certain way because their management dictates it. It's quite a fine line for them to walk.
Lots of LAs have rubbish paperwork. You can either go along with it or customise it for yourself or help them to see why it matters when they get it wrong.
I just did a survey of all LA paperwork and found some shocking stuff, I'd post a link but am not allowed (However, if you google "council web pages home education" it's on page 2, or at least it is on my google)
Thanks Fiona, I'm going to have a look.
This maybe an interesting post as there seem to be several new to H.ed posting atm.
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