Ofsted new guidance home education inspections

These are the Ofsted safeguarding reports published since the new Ofsted guidance in April 2015

The only reference to home education in the latest revised Ofsted Inspection Handbook published October 2015 is on page 72 point 2.05 under Performance information required to support the inspection where it says that Ofsted will ask LAs about the number of home educated children known to the LA. Point 2.05 can also be found on page 45 of the latest revised Ofsted Framework and Evaluation Schedule October 2015. (NB 2.06 does NOT refer to elective home education)

Scroll down to the end of this post to see Ofsted’s guidance on home education for inspectors issued in April 2015. Read more about Ofsted safeguarding inspections here.

Brighton: The local authority maintains an up-to-date register of children missing school- based education. At the time of the inspection, 246 children were on this register. This includes 188 children who are electively home educated as well as those who receive home tuition due to their medical needs and those presently not on the roll of a school. The local authority has a clear definition of what constitutes children missing education that extends beyond those without a school place. The children missing education panel considers cases routinely and individual action plans are put in place with a nominated professional responsible for operational oversight. Agencies demonstrate a tenacious approach in tracking children. The local authority takes decisive action to return children to school where home education is not meeting their needs and they are vulnerable. [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”] 

Salford: Currently 66 electively home educated children are known and appropriate support offered when needs are identified. Reasons for elective home education are carefully scrutinised and, action taken to safeguard children if necessary. [OVERALL GRADE “GOOD”] 

Nottinghamshire: Staff monitor proactively the 443 children who are educated at home. Almost all parents have received a visit or submitted a report about the education and welfare of their children so far this year.  [OVERALL GRADE “GOOD”] 

Sunderland: The authority provides appropriate support to parents of children receiving elective home education including advice and guidance, home visits and examination arrangements.  [OVERALL GRADE “INADEQUATE”] 

Kingston: Education welfare officers contact families promptly when children and young people are withdrawn from school by parents who intend to educate their children at home, offering help, guidance and mediation with the school where appropriate. They engage well with parents, 95% of whom opt for a meeting with officers. Education welfare officers contact families every six months offering support, for example to enable children and young people to sit examinations or to explore post-16 options. All families are cross-referenced to early help and social care records.  [OVERALL GRADE “GOOD”]

Stoke: The local authority has registered 151 children as electively home educated. Education support staff are proactive in encouraging families to register when they choose to educate their children at home. A small number of children are home educated while also accessing alternative provision. When parents register, the authority provides good guidance and support. [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”] 

Darlington: There are currently 79 elective home educated (EHE) children in Darlington. Reasons for elective home education are assessed and any patterns or trends are analysed. Of these 79 children, 67% are from the Gypsy or Roma traveller communities. The EHE worker, traveller health worker and traveller education service work in partnership to gain the trust of the Gypsy or Roma communities and provide services such as education materials, and advice on programmes as well as information about other educational opportunities. The local authority tracks the children when out of area and monitors their return at key times in the calendar. The authority recognises that their current tracking processes are insufficiently robust with regard to planned returns to the area by travelling families, and are amending their processes and checks to be more rigorous. [OVERALL GRADE “INADEQUATE”] 

Wiltshire: Oversight of elective home education is good. The local authority keeps clear and detailed records of the 355 children who are currently electively home educated and works effectively with families. [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”]

Peterborough: At the time of the inspection, 209 children were being electively home educated in Peterborough. The local authority offers a home visit and provides appropriate support where families need help. [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”]

Cheshire East: Children and young people who are electively home educated (EHE) and their carers are given appropriate advice and support through the oversight of a manager who has developed good relationships with schools, parents and the EHE community. There has been an increase from 150 in September 2014 to 215 currently known to be EHE. A small minority of these are known to social care. Helpful advice and guidance are provided to parents and 30 cases resulted in parents returning their children to mainstream education; this includes young people who were experiencing unsuitable education. Home visits are carried out by the EHE manager and letters are sent to encourage parents to accept advice and guidance at home. [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”]

Norfolk: There are well-established and robust processes for identifying and tracking […] those who are electively home educated.  [OVERALL GRADE “INADEQUATE”]  

Hertfordshire: 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.  [OVERALL GRADE “GOOD”] 

Lancashire: 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.  [OVERALL GRADE “INADEQUATE”]

Medway: no mention of home education [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”]

Brent: The local authority provides schools and parents with a good range of leaflets and guidance covering aspects such as elective home education, unauthorised absence from schools, school attendance, exclusion and education penalty notices … The 147 children currently home educated are closely monitored by a dedicated educational welfare officer for elective home education, who also provides guidance to families considering this approach and annual updating visits. [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”] 

Torbay: A high number of children (137) receive elective home education. This is an increase from the 99 recorded in 2013 – 14. The progress of children receiving elective home education is monitored by the elective home education officer to ensure that children receive a suitable education. The virtual school head teacher also maintains an overview of these arrangements, including home visits.  [OVERALL GRADE “INADEQUATE”]

Wokingham: The local authority maintains a list of children and young people who are electively home educated (EHE). Currently, 77 young people are EHE. Appropriate agencies checks are completed to identify any concerns. To date, 57 children and young people have been visited at home to ensure the appropriateness of their education. There are plans in place to visit the remaining 20 children. A very small minority of EHE children are known to children’s social care. Nine children have started or resumed mainstream education because of the constructive support provided by the local authority. [OVERALL GRADE “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”] 

This is Ofsted’s guidance on home education for inspectors issued in April 2015



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