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declining school allocation for home ed

(65 Posts)
pinkkoala Sun 19-Apr-09 09:45:05

i have to send allocation back to LEA to decline dd school place for sept as we are going to home ed.

i have put on the form about home schooling do you think it is wise to tell them this or just say no to place, i have a fear the LEA will pressure me into sending her to school, will they check me out and family members to see if i am able to do this as a lot of family are against the idea.

i need to post the form by monday, so all help appreciated.

Kayteee Sun 19-Apr-09 10:14:30

I would just say no the place, after all you could be moving or something.

The LA are not legally entitled to a say in your opting for HE. Depending on where you live (as some LAs seem to think they are above the law) you may get a letter/form to fill in but you do not have to comply. A simple letter back saying that you will contact them if you need any assistance (or something along those lines) should suffice.

Some Home-edders don't mind having a visit from LA but it's not a legal requirement, even if they tell you it is.

Look here for more info.

2kidzandi Sun 19-Apr-09 12:16:21

I agree with Kayteee and think you should just say no to the place. They may then contact you in order to learn about your circumstances/educational provision. You may choose to wirte them a letter saying that you will be happy to receive a visit 6 months later after you've settled into HE. But they cannot force you or threaten you to send your child to shool. Have you joined EO? It's good for the first year or so just in case the LA try any nonsense, they can provide support and backup.

pinkkoala Sun 19-Apr-09 17:29:11

i have written a note to go with the letter to say am going to home school at least for 12 months, i haven't said anything about us moving in the next 12 months if possible, due to house prices. we have a hol booked for mid sept when she should be at school, can they make me cancel.

i don't like all the restrictions with class learning, she loves being outdoors as she has all day today, we went to garden centre to get plants and repot her sunflower seeds and strawberry plants.

She does lots of other educational stuff as well as learning, writing, maths, arty stuff etc.

Do you think LEA will have probs with any of this.

Runnerbean Sun 19-Apr-09 19:56:49

Like Kaytee said, just say no to the place, you don't need to say anymore than that.




Hi Kaytee!!!!

AMumInScotland Sun 19-Apr-09 20:23:40

Hi - I would just complete the form and send it back, not add lots of extra information - if there is a place on the form for "what are you going to do instead?" then I'd say "Home education" there, but otherwise I would just tick the box for "No" to the offered place and send it in like that.

TBH I'd expect the people who are sending out the offer letters are probably just concentrating on matching up all the people who do want school places with the schools at the moment, so they will be happy just to have a definite no from you and leave it at that.

The LEA don't have to check that you are suitable people to home educate - no more than the government should check if you are ok people to have children in the first place, or look after them for their first 5 years without any schools. But they are allowed to ask later how you are making sure she gets a suitable education. If/when they do that, you can tell them about all the stuff you do and they should be happy from what you say of the kinds of things you are already doing with her.

They don't have any right at all to talk to the rest of your family about it - it has nothing to do with them so far as the law is concerned. (Actually it has nothing to do with them full stop - but family's don't always think that wink).

And it's totally up to you which weeks of the year you go away on holiday - you don't have to keep to school terms.

bananabrain Sun 19-Apr-09 21:31:40

We were in this position last year. As the form said something like 'what alternative provision have you made for your child's education' I put in Home Education. I haven't heard anything back from them so far (nearly a year later) - though I wonder if now my ds is 5 (just) they might get in touch. As MuminScotland said, I'm sure at the moment they are just busy allocating places, and it won't be the job of that 'department' to monitor home education. All they could do is pass your details on their people who monitor home education and they could get in touch at some point to ask about what you're doing to provide an education. As others have said, you can find out more info about what they might ask you on the EO website - but there is no fixed curriculum, hours, holidays etc. and they won't talk to family members to 'check you out'.
If they don't ask on the form what you are doing instead of accepting the place, then as others have said you don't need to tell them anything.

Enjoy your home educating adventure - I'm sure your daughter will smile

lilyfire Mon 20-Apr-09 00:01:44

I was worrying about this last year too. I did put 'home education' in the box for 'alternative provision', but having discussed it with other people I'd probably now leave it vaguer and put something like 'private provision'. We haven't heard anything from our local authority (although this is a different authority to the one we declined a place from). Just to reiterate what everyone else has said - You don't need their authority to home educate. We've really enjoyed home edding so far and it sounds like you're having a great time and
your daughter is doing lots of interesting stuff.

pinkkoala Mon 20-Apr-09 07:26:56

thanks for the advice.

the letter has been posted so the decision is made now.

there was a place on the form for you to say why you were declining, and what provision you had made. we put down home ed.

just hope now we have made the right choice for hers and our sake, its a big decision to make as i feel its her future i'm deciding.

she has said herself she doesn't want to go to school and got quite upset at the thought of going.

where do we go from here, i really appreciate all your support and advice.

Kayteee Mon 20-Apr-09 10:07:47


You just relax and enjoy!

Are there any HE groups near you?

It's also not set in stone just because you've declined the offer of a place. I originally set myself a target of one year to HE my 2 boys and decided that, if it hadn't worked out after that, I'd send them back to school. Nearly 4 years down the line I wouldn't dream of it, unless they chose to go ofcourse. Just take each day at a time smile

pinkkoala Mon 20-Apr-09 10:55:26

i have said to myself that if it doesn't work then i will send them to school.

my dd doesn't want to go at the mo, she didn't like nursery when i was working, after 9 months we took her out and i gave up as i felt that as her mum i knew what was best for her and knew her better than a member of staff. Not to mention she was always ill with colds, coughs, bugs, nits, impetigo and anything else the nursery had. think they lacked a bit on hygiene.

can any of you other mums who home ed help with what she needs to know and what to follow.

i think there is a home ed group near me, we are in northants. are there any mums near me.

Kayteee Mon 20-Apr-09 11:11:54

You can email me on

If you like I can send you a contact number for groups in Northants.

julienoshoes Mon 20-Apr-09 11:35:11

Hi Pinkkoala and welcome to the wonderful world of home education.

I strongly agree with waht the others have said and find out about your localo group from Kaytee.

Also you could have a look at MuddlePuddle
an excellent website for families who home educate children under 8 years old.
They have an affiliated Early Years HE email support list which could be very helpful to you.

nappyelite Mon 20-Apr-09 14:47:23

Oh gosh I don't miss the nits either! Have fun home educating (though it's more an extension of that which you have already been doing).

pinkkoala Tue 21-Apr-09 08:13:11

thankyou for your kind words.

i am a bit concerned that she may not be as advanced as other children if we did send her to school, how do you measure what your children can do against those that go to school.

I don't want her to be behind in her learning for when she does go to school.

Do any of you use any structured books, do you find they still get all these little nasty bugs and infections.

How will the LEA want to see any evidence of what she can do, if they came to visit and started questioning her, she is quite a shy person with people she doesn't know, she may not answer them, can they then say she isn't learning enough.

AMumInScotland Tue 21-Apr-09 09:59:42

I think most parents find their HE children are doing very well in comparison with schooled children if/when they decide to go back into the school system, so it's not likely to be a problem. But if you want to know what she would be covering in school there is a huge amount of detail on the National Curriculum link here which shows exactly what they would cover in school.

You don't have to do the same, or in the same order, or anything like that, but if it reassures you to know that you have covered the same topics by the end of a year or whatever, then you can check it out.

There are also lots of workbooks for maths and english. Some children enjoy those more than others, so don't go overboard on getting them till you get a feel for whether you and she enjoy learning in that way.

As to the LEA - it is up to you (protected by law) to decide how you want to tell them about what you/she have been doing. You don't have to let them visit the house if you don't want to, and you don't have to let them talk to her if she doesn't want to. You could send them written information every year to say the kinds of things you've been doing. Other families are happy to have them come to the house and talk to their child - it depends a bit on how you and she get on with "officials"! You might find that the LEA in your area are nice and friendly and have no problem chatting to you and her about it. If you join an HE group in your area you'll be able to chat to the other parents there about your LEA and find out whether other people find them helpful and approachable, then consider what you want to do.

They can't expect a shy 4 or 5 year old to give them lots of details about what she's been learning, or answer questions - they don't have any rights to come and test her.

nappyelite Tue 21-Apr-09 22:03:18

Just to definitely clarify. The LEA have no right to test your child. You can see them (if you choose to see them at all) on your own, with a representative, or whatever. Your child does not have to be seen at all. Ours enjoy the yearly visits now and after the last one invited the LEA bod to come back as compared with the evil witch who came the time before, he was lovely- interested and interesting.
We have workbooks here at and above the ages for our lot and they dip in and out. Best site for papers is . it is american. the math sheets are very good (and free).

pinkkoala Fri 24-Apr-09 08:18:53

thankyou for all your comments and advice.

can anybody reccommend any type of learning books/packs that they use and their children find them interesting.

We use schofield and sims at the moment.

Apologies for only getting back today, but the weather has been lovely so we have been in garden colouring, reading, playing etc, not to mention looking after her plants.

lilyfire Fri 24-Apr-09 22:58:07

My friend had a visit from LEA inspector recently and I sat in on it. It was v interesting. The inspector said that he wouldn't expect to see any written work from a 5 year old. He would expect that most 5 yos will be learning experientially and be out and about doing things. Basically learning through play. She showed him a few drawings and talked about the kind of places they go, HE groups, parks, woods etc. She didn't have her son at the visit and so the inspector won't meet him. He said he had no problem with this and was more than happy with what she was offering her son. It was very reassuring. I mean, I know that you don't have to accept visits and that you don't need to show written work for any age, but it was good to hear an inspector say that he positively wasn't looking for it with a 5/6 yo.

pinkkoala Wed 06-May-09 08:12:57

hi everyone

i could do with some moral support.

Me and dd have just spent fews days at my parents house, i have come back home after having a falling out with my mum. Basically she has told her friends and other family members about my choice to home school, they have turned and said that i am being selfish by not letting her go to school, i am not giving her a good start, one family member is a childminder and has told my mum i need to be qualified to teach at home(she knows best being a childminder, not). My mum has beleived everything other people have told her and won't listen to me when i tell her to look on the internet or even takes my a reasonable look at my side. She has told me i am a liar, selfish amonsgt other things, she has told me my husband will agree with me whatever, and even if he said no i would go behind his back anyway. and she has also told me that me and my husband are not suited, i was better suited to my ex.

she has given me nasty comments down the phone and told me to terminate the call.

if i mention about home schooling she says to be quiet as she doesn't want to hear anymore on the subject, but then she can get other peoples opinions.

i feel so upset at the mo, has anybody got any advice on what to do.

Kayteee Wed 06-May-09 08:34:24

Hi Pinkkoala,
So sorry to hear about your Mum and families' reaction to your choice sad

I have had "pressure" from MIL but not as bad as you have had. She just won't discuss HE at all. She changes the subject at every mention of it, but the only other resistance I've had is from friends or strangers hmm

I do know several HE Mums (and Dads) who have parents and family totally against them though. I think it seems that "time" is the best healer from what they have told me.
I know it's hard when faced with disapproval but, if you firmly believe your dd is happier, then that is what you have to hold on to.

Are you sure your Mum hasn't some other agenda here aswell? You mentioned that she made an unkind comment about your dh.
Don't answer this if it's too personal but is she quite controlling of you anyway?

That's another issue though. I'd join some HE groups and get some RL support. I think I did give you my email addy in another post somewhere. It's

I'm a contact for Education Otherwise so I can send you details of groups near you.

SummatAnNowt Wed 06-May-09 08:40:22

I know it's not very mumsnet-y but HUGS

Given your mum has said all that then I would guess this isn't just about home education is it, there are other issues and the home edding this has just brought this out.

The thing you have to remember is you don't have to persuade your mum to agree with your choice, it is your choice and you are doing the best for your family. It's normal as adults to still crave our parent's approval, maybe more so if that parent has given lots of disapproval over the years. I would not discuss it with her and if she tries to "discuss" it with you then tell her you aren't interested full stop, or aren't interested until she can listen rationally to you.

Also, for some people, they fear difference. Also some people think that if others make different choices then it means that person is criticising that person's choice.

What kind of person is your mum? And what kind of person are you? Have you given in to her before to keep the peace? If so, this is going to be new territory for both of you.

Just stay strong in yourself, you ARE giving your child a great start in life!

pinkkoala Wed 06-May-09 08:55:00

kaytee-thankyou for your support, i do feel it is better for my dd to be home schooled at the mo, as every time we mention it she says no to school, and she learns at home anyway with various books, growing things in the garden, playing with the children next door etc. Yes i do think my mum can be quite controlling, but i moved out in my 20's i am now 35, normally i wouldn't rock the boat if you like, but sometimes i feel i need to make a stand. i think she was hoping i wouldn't decline dd school place for september, but we have, i feel i need to give home ed a try.

Summat-yes you are right she isn't used to me standing up to her, mind you most people don't stand up to her, including my dad. BUt i have text my sis yesterday but even she is ignoring me now, i feel as if my mum is trying to get people on her side, i don't live near my mum, we live approx 70miles from each other.

Callisto Wed 06-May-09 08:56:16

Hi Pinkkoala, how horrible for you. I agree that it sounds like your mum is using this a an excuse to attack you about other things. Can you bear to just not see/speak to her for a little while, just to give you and your family the space you need to get stuck into HE? My daughter (due to start in Sept also) sounds very like yours and I'm currently in negotiations with DP about HEing her. I will have all of this to look forward to with his and my family. Good luck.

julienoshoes Wed 06-May-09 10:46:23

Sorry to hear of your troubles.
It seems from talking in very many different places that your mother's reaction isn't all of that unusual.
Many people fear that which is different and caring for you and her granddaughter as she probably does (even if she has a funny way of showing it right now) she is probably frightened of something going wrong-and she is listening to others, and that is confirming her worst fears.

As Kaytee said, time is the only factor that will help here.
Watching her granddaughter grow and thrive whilst home educating, may well be the only thing that brings her round.
That's tough on you right now.
I'd suggest mixing with other like minded people will be the way to go-and is definitely what I did to hold up my very shaky nerves at the beginning, so go out there and find some home educators local to you and have fun.

Give your mom time and space to get over loosing control and the fear of the unknown.
Maybe if she makes some comment in the future, just hand her a book that is easy to read-something like Free Range Education, and say "I don't want to argue with you, but you may like to read this when you have chance" and then change the subject.

Good luck-keep your chin up!

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