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Unannounced visit from EWO

(12 Posts)
buthowwillshebesocialised Wed 20-Aug-08 17:05:10

Just got back from day out today to find a card through our door from the local Education Welfare Officer.

We've lived here for about 3 months now, without a word from anyone about HE. The Education Office at our previous local authority rang us when I took DD out of school and was very sympathetic about the situation and pro HE. Didn't seem to have any issues with the situation at all. Just said she'd pass DD's file on to the local authority we moved to.

Are unannounced visits the norm? And in the school holidays? What should I expect now?

julienoshoes Wed 20-Aug-08 17:12:48

I have no idea if unannounced visits are the norm in your LA. Where do you live?

Personally I think I would write to the EWO, sending the letter recorded delivery.
Tell them to keep all communication with you in writing.

Then if they persisted in turning up on your doorstep, I'd tell them you had sent the letter. Repeat that you would like all comunication to be written and you await their letter.

You do not have to let them in. They cannot demand to see your child. (Well they might, but you don't have to agree to it)

Whatever s/he says, smile and ask her to put it in writing and then you will respond.

mumtoo3 Wed 20-Aug-08 18:17:23

When we dereg our dd from school, we had someone turn up unannounced giving grief to my neighbour and threatening him with fines, but we dont know who he was! we assumed he was from the LA! but when they did get in contact they were okay, our borough are not too pro HE, and are one of the worst in the country! from what i have heard.

i would write to your LA, and send them your philosophy, or what you have planned to do, and if anyone turns up tell them to make an appointment.

i would contact education otherwise, i found there advise brilliant, and they gave me so many tips, and told me where i stood legally, which gave me the confidence to deal with the authorities!!

flamingtoaster Wed 20-Aug-08 18:32:42

When you moved did you formally write to the LA saying you were home educating? If you didn't then that is why they have turned up. I don't think the file being passed on from one authority to another which indicates you are Home Educating is sufficient for the fact that you are Home Educating to be recognized in the authority you move to.

onwardandupward Wed 20-Aug-08 19:03:37

You are (and were) under NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to inform the LA of your new area that you are home educating. I can find you the legal blurb on that if you want it.

As for the EWO turning up unannounced - you treat him like any other doorstep cold caller. You say "We will not accept unannounced home visits. Please communicate with us in writing." Like Juule said.

You might like to remind them that HE is not a welfare issue, or even an educational welfare issue (in some LAs elective home education is dealt with in a different department). The EWO should certainly not be steaming ahead as if this was a truancy matter, which the unannounced home visit sounds rather like.

Get yourself on the HE email lists. You'll get plenty of outrage and support there!!

onwardandupward Wed 20-Aug-08 19:04:16

Oops. It was Julienoshoes, not Juule. But it is the sort of thing Juule might well hgave said wink

buthowwillshebesocialised Wed 20-Aug-08 22:19:57

Thanks everyone for your advice.

The unannounced visit concerns me. Sounds a bit like some one reporting me or something. But for what, I don't know.

terramum Thu 21-Aug-08 00:10:26

You might find this link useful:

AHEd wiki page - How should LAs respond if they hear that a child is not attending school

flamingtoaster Thu 21-Aug-08 09:27:07

I don't think you have been reported. I agree you don't have a legal obligation to tell the LA what you are doing but if the file was handed over and you haven't either told the LA that you are either (a) Home Educating or (b) registering your child for school then as far as the Education Welfare Officer is concerned there is a child on their books where they haven't been told what is happening. I am not surprised you got a visit (though would have expected them to arrange a suitable time with you). I think if you just tell them, by letter, that you are Home Educating that should remove any need for the Education Welfare Officer to be involved.

buthowwillshebesocialised Sun 24-Aug-08 10:12:40

Well, I've rung the EWO twice now over the space of 3 days, and left two messages on her answerphone, but she still hasn't come back to me.

Perhaps she prefers unannounced visits?

chapstickchick Sun 24-Aug-08 10:24:43

i home school have done for several years- initially when we returned to our home town we were visited by an ewo to see why the children hadnt attended school previously where we hd lived.......altho they hadnt bothered in that area and accepted our de reg letter and left it at that - the area to where we moved are quite 'on top' at this point my eldest 2 had returned to school so this was ok but she said she needed to explain on our file why they hd 2 yers of suspected absence from education- so it could just be your visitor was wanting to tie up loose ends.

later when we home edded gin we were visited by someone from the education who was lovely and stayed for ages chatting to our ds only when we received a letter with an appointment for the ewo dod we think ...well who was she???

turned out she worked for the child protection bit nd had wanted to see ds2 bcos clearly he could have been unwell/bused or worse satisfied he was well and there were no ulterior motives to our H.E she had passed us on to the 'teaching' ewo who monitor h.e childrens education.....subsequently over the years weve had several visits from several inspectors all of them very positive and enthusiastic however the last home visit i found quite imtimidating 2 of them turned up and stayed for ages asking very invasive question regarding our learning methods we still got a positive report but this did tarnish our experience with ds2 back in school we are now only h.e ds3 whos 7.

julie no shoes gave me excellent advice and this year i sent in a written report with evidence of work and had a chat on the fone to the ewo -there was nothing intimidating although she did seem keen to do a home visit i voiced my opinion and stuck to it and sent written and asked that all future contact was by written letter and so far so good.

we have decided if anyone came unnanounced they wouldnt be welcomed in,not because i have anything to hide indeed ive been more than hospitble but i feel that hosputality was breached when i felt intimidated in my own home.

chapstickchick Sun 24-Aug-08 10:25:41

my a key is dodgy sorry wink

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