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From Income Support to Jobseekers Allowance?

(43 Posts)
valhala Mon 27-Jul-09 22:30:17

Hi everyone,

I have just been summoned to attend a Jobseekers Allowance changeover appointment as I am the lone parent of 12 and 14 year olds and am currently in receipt of Income Support. Although I stopped HE-ing at the end of last year I am still concerned about the effect of the new legislation upon lone parents who home-school children over 12 years of age.

It seems that after the original petitions were set up parents have gone surprisingly quiet on the issue. I wondered whether anyone here has been required to claim JSA rather than IS and if so what they have experienced and how they have coped, and, very importantly, how they can be helped.

I am determined to battle for the right for every parent to HE if they so wish, regardless of their marital status or financial circumstances and would be grateful to hear of any way in which I can help others carry on the fight. I really do think that it is vital that this issue is kept in the spotlight and that a fair system for HE parents is introduced.

I'd appreciate your views, experiences and pointers as to what I can do, not least, if I'm honest, out of selfish motives as I may decide that would benefit my daughters to be HE'd again in the future.

juicyjolly Mon 27-Jul-09 23:32:03

First off, can you tell me what HE is?

Yurtgirl Mon 27-Jul-09 23:44:07

Home Education juicyjolly

Valhala - Im a lone parent of a 5 and 7yo just beginning to HE so any campaign about this issue is welcome

I wasnt HE when the initial campaigns started, although I was aware of the issues

Its ridiculous really because I would love to be a childminder - if the govt remove the eyfs requirements from childminders I could be a CM - as it is there is no way I can commit to that and HE my own kids (given that I would be spending hours writting obs and assessments on the CM kids which I wont be doing for my own.........)

As a lone parent with no family locally working and HE really isnt an option (if there is a way I havent found it yet!) - but whilst in school my son was developing mental health problems (threatening to burn down the school having first stabbed and murdered all the staff shock )

I feel that by HE even if I claim IS I will save the govt heaps in other ways - cos ds needs support to reach adulthood, support that he wasnt getting at school - my is is surely less than the LEA give each school per child (esp if I did succeed in getting a statement and lsa for ds)

Campaign away - Im happy to join the bandwagon

julienoshoes Tue 28-Jul-09 12:13:02

Have you seen the blog post by Lord Lucas on this subject?

expatinscotland Tue 28-Jul-09 12:22:15

why should some lone parents be exempt from the rules because they HE?

furthermore, why should the taxpayer pay for you to stay at home to HE?

It is the right of every parent to HE - good luck to you. Unfortunately I don't think you'll find much support to gain the right to HE and to receive benefits too - not that I can imagine JSA or IS would ever be enough to provide all the resources that might be required to HE!

expatinscotland Tue 28-Jul-09 12:34:59

Sure. They can seek a job round their HEing same as any other lone parent who is put on JSA. I see no reason why they should receive special treatment from any other lone parent.

Kayteee Tue 28-Jul-09 18:04:01


How is a home ed single parent supposed to work if they are home edding their dc?

Unless ofcourse they work nights but who is supposed to look after the dc then?

Do you think only parents who are "together" should be able to HE???

Also home edders don't get ANY funding from the gov. so we are saving them money by not sending them to school in the first place!

expatinscotland Tue 28-Jul-09 20:40:55

'Do you think only parents who are "together" should be able to HE???'

Did I ever write that anywhere? No, I didn't.

Well, you know, people who work second or third jobs to send their children to private school don't get any funding from teh government, either, regardless of their circumstances (and even children from poor backgrounds like ours don't get full funding for that).

But it's okay for HEers to get taxpayer funding to HE, which takes how many hours of out the day? And not work at all?

And it doesn't answer the question I originally posed, which is why is it that lone parents who HE be given any exception to the new rules that other lone parents don't get?

Kayteee Tue 28-Jul-09 22:42:24

And you don't think home educating your own kids is work then? Because it is...24/7...unpaid work. What do you think we do all day? grin

expatinscotland Tue 28-Jul-09 23:10:31

Oh, yes, you're in the same class as carers and the disabled. Yep, that's high-rate mobility there.

I still don't see why one class of lone parent should be prioritised over another.

I really don't.

FWIW, I think there should be no move from IS to JSA until the youngest child is 14, because that is the legal age at which you can leave a child on his/her own, and JSA by definition means you have to be available for work. All work.

And I also think the entire thing is utter bollocks until first and foremost, the person who left his/her family to the whims of the state should first be persued to the max and even forced to work to support the children he/she brought into this world.

As a working poor, I have no problem with people on benefits who are claiming legit. That's why benefits are there, and any search on my posts on the subject will reveal that.

But again, why should the government fund one class of lone parent (carers accepted because of course, they can claim Carers Allowance) to stay at home on benefits over everyone else.

Kayteee Wed 29-Jul-09 09:21:33

If you can't see why then I'm not going to try and convince you. Each to their own.

expatinscotland Wed 29-Jul-09 10:19:07

best of luck trying to convince those who make policy then.

2kidzandi Wed 29-Jul-09 17:37:53

"they can seek a job round their HEing same as any other lone parent who is put on JSA."

The "other lone parents" (and I agree that genuine SP shouldn't be forced onto JSA until their last child is much older I find the whole thing barbaric frankly) have the hours from 9 till 3 to seek/do work. HEing parents aren't always as available due to the obvious fact of having their children full time.

Even if one has family - and many single parents do not even have that- Childcare for older children is neither always easy to find or available on even an adhoc, let alone regular basis. Their DCs will need to be given ED provision whilst being cared for. This means they do have unique circumstances that can present real obstacles and as such as I see it, it would be stupid to say "let's just ignore your challenges. This is the mark and you have to reach it or else we'll dock your payments by 60%." Which is what JSA does isn't it?

I'm not saying (neither is anyone else here) that's it's not possible for HE SP's to work,( some creativity in behalf of JOb centre officialdom would aid vastly in that area and not just for HE parents) just that it does present an extra set of challenges in addition to the large challenge of Single parenthood, and refusing to acknowledge that and demanding the same co-operation as those who don't have those challenges is stupid, pointless and harsh.

Frankly I don't think there's anything human left in the system and I find that sad.

Kayteee Wed 29-Jul-09 20:41:40

I can always rely on you, 2kidz, to put into words that which I cannot be arsed to explain. wink I am getting very jaded in my ol' age!

How are things? Will give you a call sometime soon. grin

Yurtgirl Wed 29-Jul-09 21:58:34

I have just typed out a long response to your comments Expat - but have now deleted it

The one comment I will make is - How much money in £ does each school get per child per year?
Then add on the cost of 15+ hours per week for a Learning support assistant
Plus the cost of appointments for ds mental health (something he wont need if he is HE - school CAUSES his mental health issues)

Surely anyone can see that total cost for one year is way more than one year of income support???

expatinscotland Wed 29-Jul-09 22:11:11

That's not the point, Yurtgirl and you know it.

Again, the OP is about wanting to change the policy (which I'm all for, as previously stated) to favour one group of lone parents over another.

To do this she needs to convince those who make the policy as well as those policymakers' constituents, who, let's face it, during a recession, aren't in the most generous of mindsets.

Just having passion isn't enough.

It's a fair question: why should one class of lone parent be favoured over another?

Yurtgirl Wed 29-Jul-09 22:20:28

I honestly didnt expat blush thats why I posted what I posted!

I have no particular desire for one category of lone parents to be favoured over another.

I dont think you getting 'chippy' about it helps your arguement either tbh wink

Im just answering from my perspective about what I think is best for the well being of my children

expatinscotland Wed 29-Jul-09 22:53:21

If asking a fair question is automatically seen as chippy, then I'd suggest working on the ol' PR if you're intending to win over policymakers to your line of thinking.

Kayteee Thu 30-Jul-09 17:54:26

yep, definitely chippy.

expatinscotland Thu 30-Jul-09 18:41:09

Like I said, good luck winning over policymakers and their constituents to your cause.


mrswoolf Mon 03-Aug-09 05:14:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AllyRose Sun 09-Aug-09 12:45:56

i considering pulling my daughter out of school and home-educating her as i dont think the school is pushing her hard enough (she's been put on their gifted and talented program but admited to me that they do have to give her work that they know is too easy cos they just dont have the resources to give her the harder work and one-to-one tutoring she would need which isn't gonna do my daughter any good!) but the law is changing soon so that u gewt changed from IS to JSA when ur youngest is 7 and they even talking about moving it even lower till ur child is just 1 year old which would make HE impossible. i heard that if u set up a home-buisness (such as an ebay shop), even if u dont make much money than u are no longer classed as unemployed as ur self employed and even if u only making £10 a week u can then get IS to top this up to the £64 they see as 'minimum income' so can keep HE. I'm not sure how true this is and if it really works its just a bit of creative accounting really.

juuule Sun 09-Aug-09 13:15:13

MrsWoolf - isn't that a bit like saying that you would suspect carers of only doing it for the carer's allowance.

I don't know how carer's allowance etc works but are there any checks as to the standard of care that is provided?

Why is it assumed that a carer will be caring for someone but not assumed that a home-educator would be educating.

Also, a couple of points.
HE is equivalent with other educational methods including private education. I think one of my children could have benefitted from going to a private school but we can't afford to do that so she can't be educated that way.
Privately educated children also save the gov't money but don't get a refund for the state place the don't take up.

I think it's quite a complex situation.

Jessica51 Mon 17-Aug-09 13:56:23


I'm a single parent my youngest being now 14 years old. I have recently been taken off Income support and put onto Jobseekers allowance.

I have had many problems with my daughter at school during the last year and decided I would home educate her joining EO in June 09.
I have 5 children and opted for HE for at least half of my children's school lives, saving the government many, many thousands of pounds in their education.

Within the first month of signing I have been called into an interview to review my jobsearch which has been very active, but no job offers. At the meeting I was told that the 16 hours I had been looking for to work was not realistic, and they have put my available working hours up to 25 hours through no choice of mine. 9am-3pm. is this legal?

There has been no valid explanation as to how I'm supposed to juggle teaching my daughter and holding down a full time job.
The Jobcentre staff don't seem to know.

I would also like to know that if I decided not to sign on what benefits would be affected? Just my Jobseekers allowance?

Does anyone have the answers to my questions?

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