Archive for January 2010

OFSTED FoI Request: Home Ed Survey 2009


This is catching up really. I have had this information for a couple of weeks, but there have far too many plates to spin! But then that is not new.

Last autumn OFTSED carried out a survey of HE families known to LAs in 15 areas of England. They claimed that, “the services provided by local authorities to support children educated at home as well as those who go missing from school.” However the timing of this survey and that quality of the questions asked of both parents and children caused a lot of concern in the HE community.

Since we moved to Shropshire in 2007 we have not notified the LA that we were HE Daniel and therefore were not contacted. However, having obtained a copies of the two questionnaires and seen how poorly they had been put together, I decided to put in a Freedom of Information request about the survey. I asked several questions which are correctly listed in the acknowledgment I received from them and so I will not re-list them here.

Headlines from the documents they supplied are that the ‘survey’ was lined up by the DfCSF “by December 2008” for carrying out in the year from April 2009. However, they continue to protest that “we have not been surveying home educating parents but looking at how well local authorities understand and carry out their statutory obligations and other duties towards home education”. Having looked several times at both the questionnaires sent to parents and children, their claim is nothing more than political double speak. The parents survey is 6 pages long and just the last 4 questions (on p6) seem to have anything to do with the quality of service provided by the LA. Of these the first one is, “Have you allowed the local authority to visit your child at home?”

I really don’t know if anyone will be interested in their reply, but for those who might be the documents can be downloaded below:

OFSTED’s acknowledgment in response to my FoI Request 14/12/09

OFSTED’s letter in response to my FoI Request 13/01/10

Copy of letter sent LAs by OFSTED

Copy of letter sent to HE parents by OFSTED

Copy of OFSTED questionnaire for parents

Copy of OFSTED questionnaire for children

Please note all these are PDF’s of what I was sent as word documents. The two exceptions are the questionnaires which they did not send me, however I had been provided with photocopies of them and these are low resolution, but readable, black and white scans.

CSF Bill, Public Committe Stage, audio files


Tuesday this week saw the first two Commons Public Committee witness sessions of the CSF Bill. Home education cropped up a couple of times in the first and was the sole topic of the second which lasted for about 1¾ hours.

Links to the official video and Hansard records of the sessions are available, but the video cannot be downloaded. I have put audio recordings of the session which can be downloaded via the Chirbit site on this page.