Wales – The EHE guidance

There are some differences between the Welsh and English Government EHE guidance, it’s important to note the main differences.

In Wales:

You must inform the school, in writing that you are deregistering to Home Educate.

The school must inform the LA within 10 days.

‘Removing a child from the school’s admission register.
The LA should write to the parents to acknowledge receipt of the notification. The LA should also consider whether there is evidence to indicate a cause for concern over the withdrawal. Where there are concerns such as those listed under the ‘Supporting the home-educating community’ section of this document (page 12), advice should be sought from the Education Welfare Service and relevant agencies and support or help made available to the family.’

‘Home education approaches.
Children who are home-educated are not required to follow any specified curriculum or meet criteria for the number of learning hours. The home education approach can be anywhere on a continuum from a formal, structured, schedule-based and mostly within the home environment, through to autonomous or child-led education or unschooling.’

The below flowchart is slightly contradictory to the text of the rest of the document, as it makes no mention of providing a report in lieu of a meeting. It could be argued that a report is not required and the LA should assume the education is suitable as long as no other agency has concerns. However, as you will read further on, the guidance suggests providing a written report when choosing not to meet.

‘Meeting EHE families
It is recommended that an initial meeting takes place with HE families to discuss their provision and any advice and ongoing support they may need. Contact with the family should normally be made in writing and should seek a meeting or request a written update.
Meetings should take place at mutually agreed locations. Thereafter it is recommended that the LA seeks to make contact with home-educating families at least once a year. Where parents elect not to meet LA officers in their home, alternative arrangements should be sought.’

‘These meetings are an opportunity to provide information and support to home-educating families, to listen and respond to any concerns they have. They also provide an opportunity to discuss the views of home-educated children and young people regarding the education they are receiving, their preferences, aspirations and ambitions. LA officers may wish to ask families to see specific examples of learning, e.g. pictures, paintings and models, diaries of educational activity, projects, assessments, samples of work, books or educational visits.
The LA should prepare a report after such contact, which should be copied to the family, stating whether the LA has any concerns about whether a suitable education is being provided. The report should detail any recommendations made by the LA and any actions to be taken by the LA on behalf of the parents.
Any telephone communication should be followed up with a written confirmation of what has been discussed and agreed.’

‘In their consideration of parents’ provision, LAs may wish to take into account the characteristics listed below. By facilitating access to existing EHE networks and communities, LAs can assist families in developing the following approaches.
• Consistent involvement of parents in the delivery of the provision within a mostly family-based setting.
• Recognition of the child’s needs, aspirations and learning styles.
• Opportunities for the child to be stimulated by their learning experiences.
• Access to resources/materials required to provide home education for the child, such as paper and pens, books and libraries, arts and craft materials, physical activity, ICT and the opportunity for appropriate interaction with other children and adults.
• The involvement of Careers Wales at an appropriate stage.
• The development of literacy and numeracy skills suitable to the child’s age, aptitude and ability, taking into account any special educational needs that they may have.’

‘LAs should take into consideration that home-educated children may have more one-to-one contact time than in a school setting, that education may take place outside normal school hours and the type of educational activity can be varied and flexible.’

‘Home-educating parents are not required to:
• teach the national curriculum
• have a timetable
• have premises equipped to a particular standard
• mark work done by their child
• set hours during which education will take place
• have any specific qualifications
• cover the same syllabus as any school
• make detailed plans in advance
• observe school hours, days or terms
• give formal lessons
• reproduce school type peer group socialisation
• match school age specific standards.’