Monday, July 30, 2007

"Your response identifier is 605"

Zara answered the Consultation on Home Education Guidelines (closing date: tomorrow) as follows:

Question 1: Do you agree that it is helpful for the DfES to issue guidelines to local authorities?

Answer: Yes

Comment: I think the guidelines should focus on clearly explaining the legal position to Local Authorities.

Question 2: Do you agree that the description of the law (paragraphs 2.1 - 2.3) relating to elective home education is accurate and clear?

Answer: Not sure

Question 3: Do you agree that the description of local authorities’ responsibilities (paragraphs 2.5-2.11) is accurate and helpful?

Answer: Not sure.

Question 4: Do you agree that the section on contact with the local authority (paragraphs 3.4-3.7) is accurate and helpful?

Answer: Not sure.

Question 5: Do you agree that the section on providing a full-time education (paragraphs 3.11-3.14) – and in particular, the characteristics of provision (paragraph 3.13) – is accurate and helpful?

Answer: Not sure.

Question 6: Do you agree that the section on developing relationships (section 4) is useful?

Answer: Not sure.

Question 7: Are the suggested resources in section 5 and appendix 2 useful?

Answer: Not sure.

Please use this space for any other comments you wish to make about the guidance:

I want to use this response to explain how annual Local Authority monitoring of my education has affected it over the years.

For the first few years we had annual visits, not because our education was poor, but because the council kept wanting to check if it was suitable for us. They never found any problems, but the visits did cause problems for my education.

After being deregistered, we deschooled and then started learning autonomously. It’s been fantastic to be able to learn all the time, following my own interests and learning in the best way for me. My mother was always there to help but we all found that we were more interested in learning when nobody was trying to make us do it. My mother realised this and let us take charge of our learning, which meant that we learned much more than we would have done otherwise.

But I dreaded the annual visits and worried that the Local Authority advisor might find something wrong with what we were doing and that this might stop us from doing it. I became so concerned about this that I was put off the learning process for weeks beforehand and after the visits. Each home visit probably damaged my education for at least a month out of every year.

I would like the government’s guidelines to local authorities to concentrate on trying to prevent this kind of unnecessary and illegal monitoring of home educating families by Local Authorities from happening.


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