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Be gentle - just wondering about primary admissions and what LEA thinks I am doing with DS

(9 Posts)
Georgimama Mon 30-May-11 13:28:01

DS starts private infants in September. My limited understanding of going about getting a state place is that the council has some sort of online application thing and it is all done from there. Places were allocated and notified shortly after Easter for September start for rising fives.

I have never informed the council/LEA that DS has alternative arrangements for schooling. I have not been asked to explain what DS is doing come September. No one has contacted me and I have contacted no one.

Now, I am not a snoopy type and think state interference in private life should be absolutely minimal where possible. But it does concern me slightly that it seems to be possible for DS to apparently slip through the cracks like this. I know he hasn't, but they don't, do they?

LIZS Mon 30-May-11 13:46:10

LA have never formally asked about my dc either. ds was educated abroad until Year 3, although I did apply for a state school place for him twice(before we left and on return) and once for dd which we declined. When ds got to Year 6 we didn't get sent the application booklet for secondaries. I wonder if private schools have to register a list of names .

Georgimama Mon 30-May-11 14:08:39

LIZS I suppose that is a possible explanation (about the school notifying LEA).

prh47bridge Mon 30-May-11 14:12:43

The council don't necessarily know about all the children in their area. There is no mechanism for them to find out.

In terms of your son, if you had applied for admission to a state school they were required to offer a place somewhere. They are also required to investigate if they believe your son isn't receiving full time education once he reaches statutory school age (i.e. the start of term following his fifth birthday). They are not required to ensure that all children are being educated. That is your responsibility as parents.

Legally they are not required to do anything unless they have grounds for believing there is a problem. They can choose to ask for information but they don't have to.

Tarenath Mon 30-May-11 15:36:02

As far as I know, it's the schools responsibility to notify the local authority about your child's education arrangements.

I don't know about enrolling your child in a private school, but when you deregister a child from school, you notify the school and the school then notifies the local authority that the child is no longer on the school roll. I would imagine that when a child enrols in a new school that they would notify the local authority.

APieOfButter Mon 30-May-11 15:39:20

If you were home educationg, you wouldn't have to notify anyone (short of taking him off the roll of a school if he was already going to one, just so they didn't wonder where he was). Private is basically the same as HE in this respect - ie, as you haven't asked the state to help in his education, they leave you to it. Any worries about neglect etc would come through Social Services channels, not education.

Ponders Mon 30-May-11 16:03:58

Are you registered with a GP? I know ours always had schools information on the childrens' records, & the HVs used to be involved with school health checks etc - I wonder if there is any cross-checking that way?

Georgimama Mon 30-May-11 16:54:30

Yes, registered with GP since his birth but they don't have school details. Nor does health visitor.

I do understand that welfare isn't the remit of a school but it's a point of contact, somewhere a child's general wellness is noticed (you would hope) so surprising that I don't have to explain what I am doing with him (I would have expected to have to say I was HEing as well if I was) - after all the "norm" in this country is surely state school?

prh47bridge Mon 30-May-11 17:48:32

Just to emphasise again, the legal position is that you are responsible for the education of your child. The LA is only required to get involved if there is reason to believe that your child is not receiving an adequate education.

As I have already said, the LA does not necessarily know of the existence of every pre-school child in its area. There are all kinds of ways people can slip through the net. Some legal experts believe that if they do try to check what is happening to every child they could cause problems for themselves in that a child who slips through the net and doesn't receive an education may then be able to sue them. As long as they only investigate cases where there is reason to believe a child is not being educated they are safe.

As far as I am aware private schools do not notify the LA of children attending their school. They should, however, notify the LA if they suspect a child is missing education completely.

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