What happens when a home ed child reaches 16?(6 Posts)
My niece has been home educated for the last 5 years.
She was supposed to take her GCSE's this summer, but didn't. (SIL didn't feel she was ready, partly because she has dificuly using her hands) She was out of school for health reasons, and SIL felt it was easier all round if she was home educated. There was talk, earlier this year, about DN attending college in September so she could study for GCSEs, but I doubt this will happen, TBH.
So how is DN "classed" now?
Is she unempolyed? - can she claim benefits? (SIL claims disability living allowence for her.)
DN is a bright girl...it would be a shame for her not to achieve any GCSE's atall.....
With regard to benefits, your SIL can still claim child benefit and child tax credit for her if she can prove she is still receiving full time home education, up until she is 19 I think.
Home education doesn't automatically finish at 16, and exams aren't the only goal or outcome for home-educated young people. From personal experience (myself and my sibling were/are HE), there are many different routes post-16.
I did GCSEs and A-Levels by distance learning, went to college and gained further qualifications, then did some OU study. My sister did Scottish Highers and went to uni. My brother did no formal exams or qualifications, but was accepted to college on the strength of his interview and practical experience, and is now qualified in electrical and sound engineering. My other sister just took A-Levels by distance learning and is looking into getting a part-time job.
The thing about doing exams at home is that it's much more flexible. Your niece still has plenty of time to do exams if she wishes - both my sister and I did our exam courses in 6 months because of the flexibility of distance learning. Also, colleges can be quite willing to consider home-educated young people without exams, if your niece wants to skip GCSEs and go straight on to further education.
IMO exams are rather over-rated - who really cares what you got in your GCSEs once you're older, and how much do you remember of the studying you did? As long as your niece has the knowledge she needs to do whatever she wants to do, there's no definite need to prove it with a formal qualification.
If she was in school then she would probably have been eligible to be allowed to use a word processor or in certqain circumstances have a scribe for exams.
I don't think a 16 year old can claim benefits but a disables one may be. She will be classed as being a neet (not in education, employment or training)
TeenyTinyToria, you make a lot of good points.
(although personally I think exam reluts can be quite useful)
I shall bring the possiblity of a scribe up with SIL.
"She will be classed as being a neet (not in education, employment or training) "
That depends on whether she is still home educated or not.
Two of my children have still home educated after the age of 16. As long as she has filled the form on sent by the Child Benefit Dpt, saying so, she will still get CB and CTC if applicable.
Home Educated young people over 16 are not NEETS. They are still in full time education.
My youngest daughter is going to FE college in Septemeber.
She will have a laptop and software appropriate to her dyslexia. She was offered a scribe but has chosen instead to have a digital recorder for use in recording lessons.
If your niece doesn't want a scribe there is software available that can scribe on the computer for her.
Take a look at this which is what my daughter will be using.
TeenyTinyToria is correct there are lots of options.
My oldest child went to FE college part time after 16 whist remaining home ed, then went on and did A levels.
Middle child chose not to and got a job on the strenghth of her very varied experiences and interview.
If youngest had not been able to go to FE college at 16 (something we didn't think would happen up until a few months ago) she would have continued to be home educated continued to gain qualifications through the Open University, many home educated young people choose this route and it may well suit your niece well.
There is an excellent page on information about home education and Child Benefit (including a HE young person doing an OU course) on the Schoolhouse website
This information applies equally to England and Wales.
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