Written evidence submitted by Mrs Jane Ward


Proposed Compulsory Registration Process for EHE children with home LA




















If failure to register education intentions is discovered at any point in the life of the child the penalty notice procedures could be used as a sanction and child is registered on LA data and monitoring of education can begin. Parents should be compelled to repeat this process at each normal transition point in their children’s education.

Call for evidence re Children Otherwise than at School


Proposed System for compulsory registration of EHE and privately educated children with local LA


I have been very concerned for a very long time about the ‘Education Otherwise Than At School’ pupils, who we are not aware of, due to the lack of compulsion to register with an LA.   Each time legislation gets anywhere near the statute book something knocks it off course – general elections/COVID/lack of political will etc.


However, I have thought long and hard about this and think we can use the school admissions code and background legislation to achieve registration of all pupils.


If the code/legislation made it compulsory for all parents to state their plan for educating their child to their home LA at the normal points of applying for a school place in their home LA.   Eg first application when a child is 4 and due to go into school at rising 5. 


The parent completes a first part of registration and states - make a school application, educate otherwise than  at school (EHE) or at non state funded route school name (to be provided).  The electronic form would then collect the information or direct the parent to make an application for school.


The process would then be repeated each time the pupil would normally move onto the next school; in Bedford this would be again in year 4 and 8 for one area and Year 6 for the rest.   


I have discussed my idea with my admissions team and it would not be onerous and LAs already have the mechanisms in place - it would just mean an additional electronic form and data inputting, and of course the monitoring of the numbers of children that should appear, but we already have the duty to do that.  


Obviously, there would need to be sanctions for those who are discovered not to have registered maybe through the penalty notice system?      If a child is found to not have been registered with their home LA the penalty notice system can be used as a punitive measure.   


The LA then registers the child and uses its powers, already in place, to ensure an education is being delivered; if not then an SAO can be issued.  At the end of this process when the SAO is issued, if the guidance is changed, the pupil is then placed on  roll of the named school, this will allow for speedy further action.


If the parent does not comply with the SAO then the order is breached in the courts under section 443 of 1996 Education Act.  Non school attendance is now being recorded because the child has been placed on roll and if the child still does not attend school then the LA can go directly to Section 444 (1A) of the  act as the parent is fully aware of their actions, in not complying with their responsibilities placed on them in section 7 of the Act.


It is usually the more simpler systems that work well and at least this proposal is using systems already up and running.  This may appeal to those who have not have had the political will in the past to push this onto the statue book.


It is just an idea and I would be happy to discuss further if required.  All I want to achieve is children having the education they are entitled too.  Which, as you are aware, sadly may not be the case for some children who are not in school whether state or public system.


Local Authority Resource for detailed monitoring


The funding provided to schools to educate a pupil should no longer remain with the school for a pupil coming off a school roll to EHE.  This funding should transfer to the Local Authority to appropriately resource monitoring of Home Education.   This would also discourage any school from suggesting home education is good idea.


January 2021