This Scotland Home Education plan ideas list will give you some ideas as to what you could include when asking for consent for your child’s name to be withdrawn from the school register.
The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 Section 37 requires that Local Authorities be satisfied that an efficient and suitable education is being provided. This can be done either through a meeting, at a mutually agreed location, or through other means e.g. the submission by the family of written, recorded or electronic material. Authorities should not be prescriptive about the format in which information can be submitted. (Section 4.2 Scottish Guidelines). Educational Freedom recommend submitting all information in writing.
The Home Education Guidance Section 6 states that local authorities “may reasonably expect the provision to include the following characteristics:
– Consistent involvement of parents or other significant carers.
– Presence of a philosophy or ethos (not necessarily a recognised philosophy), with parents showing commitment, enthusiasm, and recognition of the child’s needs, attitudes and aspirations.
– The opportunity for the child to be stimulated by their learning experiences.
– Involvement in a broad spectrum of activities appropriate to the child’s stage of development.
– Access to appropriate resources and materials.
– The opportunity for an appropriate level of physical activity.
– The opportunity to interact with other children and adults.”
The guidance also suggests the local authority “consider the principles which govern the Curriculum for Excellence as characteristics of suitable and efficient education”. Namely that every child:
– Has opportunity to develop as a successful learner, effective contributor, confident individual and responsible citizen.
– Knows they are valued and supported.
– Has opportunity to develop skills for learning, vocational skills and skills for life.
– Has opportunity to develop a range of knowledge and skills that adds up to a general education.
– Finds learning relevant and meaningful.
– Is challenged and engaged by their learning.
Please note: Your initial Educational Provision can be used as a guide for providing subsequent updates. In Scotland, unlike England and Wales, it is NOT a legal requirement to explain progress made over the year. An updated educational provision is just that – a chance to update the resources and style of learning as your home education journey progresses.
Describe how you think Home Education is right for your child.
Explain what you hope your child will achieve from being Home Educated. It can be useful to tie in some of the principles from the Curriculum for Excellence e.g. becoming a confident individual, opportunity to develop skills for life, engaging in their learning. This part can be as simple as your child will thrive with freedom to explore their interests. (please remember to use your own words).
An educational philosophy explains your beliefs around Home Education, and should be respected by the LA when considering the suitability of your provision. On its own it is not adequate information; you need to continue on with a provision and resource report. The term educational philosophy is sometimes mistaken to mean a report.
Provide details of the style of Home Education you will follow. Such as unschooling, child led, autonomous, semi structured, fully structured etc. Explain what this means for your family (as it will be different for everyone). You will find explanations and descriptions of different styles of Home Ed HERE. Ensure consistent involvement of parents/significant carers is highlighted.
Why this style and why it is right for the child/family. You might include any ASN (Additional Support Need) requirements here e.g. ‘X is autistic with a PDA profile and therefore must follow an autonomous approach to learning to thrive’.
Make a reference to the education being full time, this doesn’t have to be school hours or terms. Use examples such as doing formal work in a morning and child led topics in an afternoon, or that your child takes part in a range of educational activities throughout the week (use your own suitable example). Do not state how many hours or days education takes place over.
Include a list of resources the child has access to such as details about:
Books (include workbooks as well as fiction/non fiction)
Internet (learning sites and fun)
Give some examples to highlight the resources are appropriate to their stage of development, such as ‘x has been reading the Biff and Chip level 3 books’, ‘X uses a Nat 4 maths workbook’ , ‘x does science experiments with a chemistry kit’ , ‘x has been exploring the night sky with his telescope’ etc.
Examples include baking, DIY, building Lego, gardening, board games, Brownies, Forest school etc. Use your own examples of activities offered to your child. For example ‘X goes to a weekly Home Education group where they mix with children and adults of all ages’ or ‘x has a couple of close friends who he regularly spends time with, playing games or riding bikes’.
Explain how your child socialises and takes part in sports or other physical activities. Remember not all children need or want to go to groups or have lots of friends. You shouldn’t say anything negative here, instead describe what they do in a positive light. Such as ‘X enjoys chatting to his friends online, and often chats to our neighbour.’
DO NOT give details of specific friends, groups, tutors etc.
You should always include a sentence such as “The provision is subject to change at any time as the child’s needs change”.
You can briefly mention how you will review progress, but you do not legally have to detail progress made since the previous communication.
You can include a short statement from your child if they wish on how home education stimulates them, particular topics they have enjoyed or any other statement they would like included.
Your report does not need to be more than an A4 typed page or two.
You should not make any reference to school and prior experience in school as this can be construed as holding a grudge and being unable to separate school from Home Ed.
You do not need to use school terminology or refer to any curriculum or assessments.
You do not need to mention your own qualifications or experience. If you are a former teacher, some LA’s can expect you to recreate school at home, or conversely decide that your former career may cause you to not be flexible enough.
Don’t include a timetable, even if you follow one. It is not necessary and may prove problematic if you then switch to a less structured approach for whatever reason.
It is best not to say if you are temporarily home educating or considering school in the future. LA’s may use this as evidence the education is unsuitable due to not being committed or enthusiastic, as per the Scottish Government’s suggested characteristics.
Do not specify future plans unless they are definitely happening. If you fail to do something then it can be taken as evidence of an inefficient education.
Keep communication in writing.
There is a government consultation about proposed new EHE (England) guidance. We will be producing a guide ASAP to help you respond, so no need to rush in.
For now, have a read, BUT DO NOT PANIC ABOUT THE PROPOSED CHANGES: