Friday, 5 March 2010

Someone will come back for you at some point...

I've just read the notes from the first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education see here.

I've snipped a few of the more interesting excerpts...

Michael Crawshaw (written notes he gave out summarising what he said)

"1. It is claimed that a Home educated child is twice as likely to be the subject of a Child Protection Plan. This is based on a finding among surveyed LAs that of 11,700 Home Educated children registered with them, 51 were the subject of a CPP. This ratio of 0.44% compares to a national figure of 0.26%. It was Graham Stuart who pointed out that the 51 CPP figure needs to be divided by the total Home Educated population in the sample and not just those that are registered. This is because when an unregistered child becomes the subject of a CPP then the LA will automatically register the child as Home Educated. So the unregistered population has been cleansed of CPPs. The rate of CPP in EHE is probably lower than the national average.

2. NEETs- There is no basis for the assertion that Home Educated children are four times as likely to be NEET. The 74 surveyed LAs found that 270 out of 1220 EHE children who had turned 16 in the autumn were NEET. That is a ratio of 22% and compares to 5.2% nationally. But the figure of 270 for Home Education NEETS is totally unreliable. At least 50 out of the 270 are guesses by Local Authorities because they don’t have the data. Then there is the distortion of ‘off-rolling’ where persistent non-attendees are deregistered from school and misclassified as home educated. Some of 270 will be GRT young people who do not have conventional employment profiles. They are recorded as NEET although they may be earning a living in their traditional ways. EHE children who remain home educated after 16 (doing A levels, still taking GCSEs over a second year or retaking GCSEs) are automatically misclassified by LAs as NEET.

3. It has been falsely claimed that 20% of EHE children are receiving an unsuitable education. The Badman survey of LAs actually found that just 1.9% of EHE children were receiving an education that was judged to be unsuitable (we could even question this judgement) with another 3.4% categorised as not full time (which guidelines on EHE actually accommodate). Why do the DCSF claim a figure of 20%? They’ve added the 3.4% to the 1.9% to get 5.3%. Then included a further 15% of EHE children where no assessment has been made. You can’t put a number on something you haven’t measured. The 20% figure is indefensible."

Graham Stuart

"I don't like Government. I didn't like school much. Local Authorities are not happy. They have a brief they can't cope with. They think Home Education is a risk. Some of them don't know the law. We have an astonishingly engaged group of people. You guys have been transformed. You have a choice. Don't say 'Thank God it's all over' If you beleive in this, prepare and work the ground. Someone will come back for you at some point. We need a settlement that all Governments should live with and all LAs can live with."

"Someone will come back for you at some point." Oh yes. Sadly true.

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