Ofsted reports Hertfordshire and Lancashire

Safeguarding inspection reports were published for Hertfordshire and Lancashire on November 27th 2015. Both reports mentioned home education.

The Lancashire report flags up an issue for the special needs department – which currently  regards parents as having opted out – saying that more could be done for home educated children with “significant additional needs.”

Good support and information is also provided to parents of the 521 electively home educated children. Two specialist home education advisers support parents by offering detailed written guidance, including how parents can help their children with their studies. Managers ensure they are fully aware of the children missing from education.

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/hertfordshire

The overall grade for Hertfordshire is “good” 

At the time of the inspection, 644 children were home educated. Managers do not analyse well information about the reasons parents educate their children at home. This means they are unable to identify and respond to any significant factors and limits their ability to identify any children with significant additional needs and offer appropriate support.

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/lancashire

The overall grade for Lancashire is “inadequate”

Ofsted home education guidance for inspectors can be found here 

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12 thoughts on “Ofsted reports Hertfordshire and Lancashire

  1. The rain poet

    Please can you tell me what the term “extreme views” refers to, or how we could find out? It is from the Lancs report: “77. All 298 children receiving alternative provision receive effective support from pupil referral units and are progressing in line with individual targets. The 17children who receive less than 15 hours of education per week due to physical or mental health issues, or extreme views, have clear plans to increase their educational hours.”Really creepy!

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    1. Fiona Nicholson Post author

      I’ve put off answering this because I don’t have a clear answer. The paragraph about children receiving alternative provision comes in the section for Looked After Children but elsewhere the report also says that no LAC have been permanently excluded, so perhaps the alternative provision is for ALL children in Lancs, not just for children in the care of the LA. (I’ve not been able to find any alternative provision stats for Lancashire outside the Ofsted report, but the lack of data on various topics is a recurrent theme in the Ofsted report, so maybe it just isn’t there to be found) “Extreme views” generally refers to radicalisation and the Prevent strategy which attempts to deal with cases where children are believed to be at risk of committing terrorist acts as a consequence of being inculcated with certain views (at home or in schools) The local authority is supposed to provide full time education for children who are unable to attend school (whether that’s through illness or exclusion) The only way LAs can get out of this is to say that the pupil isn’t physically or mentally able to access the full-time offer, but even in those cases, the LA is meant to keep it under review and to keep looking at increasing the hours. It sounds like the LA believes there are a handful children or young people who can’t be educated in the company of their peers, so it is providing them with some part-time alternative tuition but then it has been called on to explain why this isn’t meeting the full-time requirement.

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      1. The rain poet

        Thanks for this. This is especially useful as we still haven’t had any alternative provision even though experts have confirmed my child needs home education. The LA have insisted that even if children can’t access school due to medical or other reasons, they must get this provision via a school and not through them directly (rubbish obviously!). There are so many sen pupils in HE which was not a choice, in Lancs.

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  2. The rain poet

    ps the report didn’t uncover the fact that so many of us forced to HE, due to lack of suitable support in schools for our children, have been bullied and harassed. And have not had any hours of ed per week when they are EOTAS due to health, other, behavioural reasons! The special schools which are also residential are inspected differently from schools, is this right?

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    1. Fiona Nicholson Post author

      For maintained day schools, Ofsted has inspections, which are either routine or triggered by complaints. Ofsted also inspects the council’s school improvement services. Residential special schools are inspected by Ofsted (unless they are special schools inspected by the Independent Schools Council) but yes this is a different kind of inspection from day school inspections or school improvement inspections. On your point about being forced to home educate due to unmet SEN and bad conditions in school, I’ve recently carried out a survey to explore this further which I am writing it up at the moment (I’ve also blogged bits and pieces as I’ve been going along) Once children are off the school roll, parents are told they have opted out and maybe also told that they are depriving their children, yet as you say many had already found there was virtually nothing for them in the system. https://edyourself.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/home-educating-families-and-the-local-authority-special-needs-department/

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      1. The rain poet

        The independent special schools seem to be getting away with a lot, due to the fact that they are not being inspected appropriately: They are inspected as care settings not ed (correct?); inspectors are not trained to perceive if the schools provide suitably differentiated behaviour and educational provision ; special schools can exploit the legal loophole which means they don’t have to have QTS or suitably trained staff; inspectors are not trained to be able to judge if the pupils’ behaviour is due to their “severe” diagnoses or if their diagnoses mask institutional or other abuse – and do not understand that challenging behaviour is a strong indication that disability support is not adequate or sufficient. I know of 2 ind special schools which have had “good” and also “outstanding” ofsteds; but my foi’s showed that one had had 10 formal safeguarding complaints in 10 yrs and the other has had 14 in 10 yrs! Regarding the forced HE, yes I am following your posts with interest, they are great. In my situation, we have been out of school for over 2 yrs BUT I have not deregistered my child, who has sen. As you say, schools (inc “special” aka secure behaviour management settings, in my view) have not just been unsupportive they have additionally been traumatising due to very inappropriate responses). But the LA have consistently refused to gie us any provision at all, and have consistently applied “authoritative” pressure to get us either to put my child back into a school setting (even though it was so bad) or to deregister and vanish – since they don’t provide any education to HE (even though legally they should provide it if the child is Statemented).

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      1. The rain poet

        Thanks, yes we are appealing. We are still with a Statement, as we wanted to avoid the social care aspect – since the LA was trying to pursue completely bogus and unfounded social care “serious concerns” against me. Direct payments are a myth in Lancs I think!

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  3. Pingback: Ofsted new guidance home education inspections | edyourself

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