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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions if you are considering educating your child outside the school system?

  

Q1. What does the law say?

The law is found in the Education Act 1996.  Section 7 states that the parent of a child who is of compulsory school age has a legal duty to see that their child receives:

“Efficient full-time education, suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude, and to any special education needs she/he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”

Parents can, therefore, make the decision for their child not to be educated in the school system.  This usually means an education based at home.  It is important to note that the education provided must be ‘efficient’ and ‘suitable’ for the particular child.

Q2. What do I need to do if I wish to educate my child at home and what then happens?

  • Although it is not necessary, if your child is attending a school, it is recommended that you go into school and talk things over with the Headteacher.

  • You need to write to the school stating that you intend to educate your child at home. It would be helpful if you could copy your letter to:

    Education Investigation Service,
    1 Trinity Road, Dudley, DY1 1JQ
    Tel: 01384 814317

This also applies to a child who is just about to start school.

  • You can then expect to receive a letter from the Educational Investigation Service to arrange a meeting with you, either at home or at their office. This is normal procedure.

  • The department seeks to establish early contact and discuss with you any issues you feel may have been overlooked

  • Following this initial meeting, your contact details will be passed to a Education Improvement Adviser (EIA), with whom all future contact will take place.

  • The Directorate of Children’s Services has a duty to ensure that the child is suitably educated and together the Directorate and the parents will decide on one of three ways to do this:

 

  1. A visit can be made to the family home by the EIA.

  2. A meeting can be held outside of the home. Pupils are very welcome to attend any of these meetings.

  3. Parents can send a report that may be accompanied by samples of work.

Experience shows that an annual meeting with parent(s) and child/children, based on mutual respect and sharing information, can be most effective in maintaining a good working relationship and supporting the ongoing educational development of the child.

Q3. What if my child has Special Educational Needs

If your child has a Statement of Special Education Needs, this will continue to be subject to the usual Annual Review process to ensure your child’s special needs are being met. This review includes assessing whether the statement is still appropriate and it may be possible to alter or even cease to maintain the statement, depending on the child’s current circumstances. Should it be necessary for the statement to remain in force, the Directorate has a legal duty to ensure that your child’s needs are met and that as parents you are able to make suitable provision to meet your child’s special educational needs.

The Annual Review linked to the EIA visit will help in this process.  Appropriate professionals may continue to be involved, including:

  • Education Psychologist

  • Health Workers

  • Occupational and Physiotherapists

  • Speech Therapists or Social Services Officers who may already have been working with your child.  SEN advice/information is available from:

    Children’s Services,
    Westox House, 1 Trinity Road, Dudley, DY1 1JQ
    Tel: 01384 814214

You may wish to discuss your plans with the Parent Partnership Officer on 01384 485450.  The Parent Partnership Officer is there to help you – not tell you what is the right thing to do from a Directorate point of view.

Q4. Where can I find advice on Curriculum and Assessment

If you would like to discuss any aspect of curriculum and assessment procedures normally carried out in schools, please contact;

 

  • The Assistant Director for School Effectiveness,
    Westox House, 1 Trinity Road, Dudley, DY1 1JQ
    Tel: 01384 814250

 

Q5. Can a Home Educated Child return to school at a later date?

Yes. Parents may approach a local school to see if they have a place available, or may contact their EIA or the Directorate for information about available places. Even if they have not been covering the same material as children in school, home educated children often display a maturity, confidence and flexibility which helps them to integrate well.

If you decide at any point that your child should return to school you should contact:

 

  • The Head of School Admissions Team,
    Westox House, 1 Trinity Road, Dudley, DY1 1JQ
    Tel: 01384 814264

 

to discuss the availability of school places in your area.  Please bear in mind that Dudley schools are very popular and there may be limited spaces available to new pupils in some areas of the Borough.

Q6. What support is available for my child with careers advice?

The Connexions Service provides support to all 13 to 19 year olds and to young people who have not reached 25 years if they have a learning difficulty, in order to encourage, enable or assist their effective participation in education or training. To access advice, guidance and support please contact:

 

  • Black Country Connexions
    Red House Cone, High Street, 
    Stourbridge, DY8 4AZ
    Tel: 01384 486819 

 

Q7. What is the law in relation to Elective Home Education and Children’s Entertainment or Employment?

Where the parent elects to withdraw their child from the static system they are still subject to the law regarding children in employment or entertainment. For more details please contact:

 

  • Head of Education Investigation Service
    Westox House, 1 Trinity Road, 
    Dudley, DY1 1JQ
    Tel: 01384 814317