Friday, 6 May 2011

Forced deregistration for the purpose of home education


The claim is currently being made that the change in the pupil registration regulations, the so-called twenty day rule, is needed because of the problem of forced deregistration or off-rolling. This is odd, because when local authority officers met the Children, Schools and Families select committee on November 4th 2009, they did not say anything at all about this as being the reason that they wanted the twenty day rule. Instead, they specifically stated that it was to allow a 'cooling off' period for parents and for the school to have a chance to address the problems which the parents were facing. Still, let us take the suggestion that it is forced deregistration which is at the heart of this new initiative and see where it leads us.



There is not the least doubt that some parents are encouraged by their children's school to deregister their child, supposedly in order to home educate. At that same meeting with the local authority officers in November 2009, all those present claimed that they were aware of this problem. The Ofsted report last summer, Local Authorities and Home Education, also made mention of this, saying:


In two cases, parents reported to inspectors that the head teachers had
advised the parents to educate their child at home rather than have them
permanently excluded. It was not possible, within the scope of the
survey, to find out the school’s perspective on what had happened in
these cases
.


Another interesting point was raised in this report. Although some of the fifteen local authorities at which the Ofsted report looked, recorded the schools version of the reasons for deregistration, not one asked parents why they had taken the step of deregistering their children. This suggests that local authorities have no idea of the scale of the supposed problem of off-rolling. How can they, if they do not collect this sort of information in the first place?




So how common actually is the situation where a school puts pressure on a parent to take their kid out of the school and educate him at home? Nobody knows. Is is very common or freakishly rare? Nobody knows. Does this happen in most local authority areas or only in one or two? Nobody knows. That it does happen is undeniable. I have certainly seen it take place in the London boroughs of Enfield, Hackney, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. I only have personal experience of one or two cases in each area, but it is definitely going on. Whether the practice is becoming more prevalent or not, I don't know and neither does anybody else. All we can say is that it happens. So how does forced deregistration work and why are schools doing it?




The thing to remember is that this is a scam operated by schools, rather than the local authorities themselves. Often the LAs are not aware that schools are up to this game. The motive for schools doing this is very easy to understand. If a lot of kids from your school are truanting or being excluded; this reflects badly on your school. People start asking awkward questions, such as why your school's figures are worse for this than other local schools. Big black mark! What you need to do is bring down the number of children truanting, being excluded or being shifted to Pupil Referral Units. Where does home education enter the picture? You call in the parents of persistent truants and say to them, 'Well Mrs Smith, this is it! We have reached the end of the line and now we will have to prosecute you. You will go to prison and your other kids will all be taken into care.' Naturally, the mother is terrified to hear this. That is the stick. Time now for the carrot. 'Of course, there is a way out of this. If you were to assume responsibility for your child's education yourself, then the question of truancy does not arise. Look, I've typed out a letter for you to sign, which says that you are deregistering your son from this school and will teach him at home yourself.' Mother eagerly reaches for her pen....





Disruptive and disaffected teenagers also targeted by this scam. The parents are called into the school and told that Tommy is about to be permanently excluded. This will be a terrible black mark against him, it will seriously jeopardise his chances of getting a job in the future, going into further education, finding another school etc. To save him from this stigma, all the parents need to do is deregister him and educate him at home.




The purpose of these tricks is for the head to reduce the number of children truanting and being excluded at his school. The result is that on some inner city estates, there are a number of teenagers hanging round all day causing mischief because they are 'home educated'. This is not a brilliant advertisement for home education!




It has been suggested elsewhere that children with special educational needs are particularly liable to be the victims of this trick. The only one category where I have seen this happen is those with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. EBD kids are seen as a nuisance in some schools and many teachers wish to be rid of them. I have known cases of such children being off-rolled.




As is so often the case with home education, we have no hard data upon which to base our decisions; parents say one thing and local authorities another. I shall be interested to see how this ends.

70 comments:

  1. It's all down to funding for SENs/EBDs being cut.

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  2. Who cares if a school does this and gets rid of some children? it means the teacher can spend more time with those that want to learn!

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  3. I should imagine quite a majority of tax payers might be pretty miffed.
    Perhaps you might have thought that one through before typing and posting.

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  4. Peter, have you never heard of 'Council Tax'?

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  5. Carol must claim benefit for it.. being a single mother who seems to spend so much of her time responding to this blog.

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  6. That must be how she can afford to go to Guernsey and Montenegro, she doesn't pay any council tax or income tax.

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  7. Well, I can only add that a)I know several families who have ended up in this position b) that also the LA is very keen to stop this sort of practice (because it transfers the problem to them directly- they then have to decide what to do when they meet a family who are technically home educated but not even claiming to be actually doing so.

    Does it matter? Again it depends on ones view the value of education! If it involved year 11 pupils, then it is probably all far too late by then anyway, since realistically the situation won't be resolvable before the end of the year. In one of the families I met though the boy was only 11; and had disastrous implications for his social development, let alone education.

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  8. anon says-Peter, have you never heard of 'Council Tax'?

    im afraid we pay the full council tax and claim no benfifits other than child benfit Carol gets no benfits and works FULL time! the house is almost paid for anther bit of good news! the trips to Monenegro and Guernsey are paid in full by us with no help from the government! we do enjoy our 2 week stay in Guernsey and they are some really nice hotels to go and have dinner in overlooking the sea.

    any of you lot claim benfits? LOL

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  9. "Forced deregistration for the purpose of home education" is another disingenuous title from you. What you mean is "Coerced deregistration to solve behavioural/attendance/SEN issues for schools" or something like that. These families don't WANT to home educate, they are being forced to deregister.

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  10. Pull the other one Peter..it's got bells on.

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  11. "Pull the other one Peter..it's got bells on."

    Grow up, or go back to the playground where you belong. Pathetic.

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  12. On further thought though, that's a bit insulting to children.

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  13. Yeah, that would be your Taliban like mentality towards schools and children showing through.

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  14. "Yeah, that would be your Taliban like mentality towards schools and children showing through."

    What is that supposed to mean? That I don't like schools, children or what? I like some children and dislike others, just as I like some adults and dislike others. I try to be kind to all even if I dislike them, but find it difficult when I see them bullying and picking on others. I don't especially mind schools, otherwise I wouldn't have allowed my children to go when they wanted to give it a try, would I?

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  15. You don't sound as if you're 'kind', but you do sound bigoted.

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  16. "You don't sound as if you're 'kind', but you do sound bigoted."

    LOL, how? Who am I bigoted against? I'll agree I don't like bullies, but who else have I said I don't like or am intolerant of? If it's bigoted to dislike bullying, then fine, I'm a bigot and proud of it.

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  17. Strange coming from someone who, on disliking what another says, decides that they must therefore be scroungers and liars.

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  18. Many bullies have been bullied themselves.

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  19. Bullying often occurs within home schooling groups.

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  20. Much bullying often occurs in the home and is carried out systematically by siblings.

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  21. Bullying is quite often learned in the home environment as a training ground.

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  22. I'm sure this is all true, just as it is true of schools, schooled families and workplaces, and basically anywhere groups of humans spend extended amounts of time with each other, but how does that make me a bigot?

    I have some sympathy with bullies who have been bullied, but it still does not excuse their bullying of others. Certainly I have stepped in and stopped any bullying I've witnessed as hopefully you have too.

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  23. You made comments about 'the playground' that infers that you are bigoted regarding schools.

    I had merely replied to someone who was ignorant of the fact that schools are paid for by taxpayers, and as taxpayers they have the right to assurances that parents are not forced into deregistration. We all have the right to challenge such a silly statement.

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  24. "We all have the right to challenge such a silly statement."

    By concluding that they must be on benefits and are liars?

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  25. See here you go again....
    Judging by their blog and very, very poor literacy skills they're plainly not in the Education industry even though they claim to be on their blog profile.

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  26. anon says -By concluding that they must be on benefits and are liars?

    yes wel said anon!

    we repeat agian here for all of you we do NOT claim any benefits other than child benefit for Peter We pay FULL council tax band D we in and it way to much! Carol works FULl time and pays taxes on her earing we also pay tax on our saving and our house is almost paid for!

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  27. -Judging by their blog and very, very poor literacy skills they're plainly not in the Education industry even though they claim to be on their blog profile.


    OMG-did we spell a word wrong LOL who cares LOL what you going to do about? we spell words wrong so what? get a life!

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  28. You're not in any way involved in the education industry.

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  29. I don't think that your circumstances quite match up to your claims that you make here.

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  30. And...do try to take advantage of an Adult Literacy course in the near future, you really do owe it to your child.

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  31. "And...do try to take advantage of an Adult Literacy course in the near future, you really do owe it to your child."

    Why? Do you not think their son would be capable of learning from books? Whilst I helped my children with literacy and grammar to some extent, they learnt far more through their own reading and study. It doesn't automatically harm their son if they struggle with spelling/grammar, and who pays that much attention to correctness in blog comments anyway?

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  32. anon says-I don't think that your circumstances quite match up to your claims that you make here.

    pop around and i show you around our house LOL i show you our last tax bill on our savings if you want? we throw in a free chess leason as well can you play?

    you also say-And...do try to take advantage of an Adult Literacy course in the near future, you really do owe it to your child.

    no thanks i rather get on with living! if you have any conerns you must report us to HCC why have you not done this? are you like Webb all talk and no action? Peter says your a pratt and i agree LOL!

    I do enjoy these chats on here do you come on here often? tell us a bit more about yourself? do you work?

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  33. nice anon says-It doesn't automatically harm their son if they struggle with spelling/grammar, and who pays that much attention to correctness in blog comments anyway?

    yes your quite right nice anon no ones gives a fig about spelling on a blog!

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  34. nasty anon says-You're not in any way involved in the education industry

    im afraid we are involved in the education industry we home educate our son and have done for the last 8 years.Is that what your involved in as well? or are you the anon who is off to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban?

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  35. No...you home educate, that isn't the same as being involved in industry.
    You offer no marketable product or services within the economy.

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  36. You offer no marketable product or services within the economy.

    We give chess leason to a number of children does that count as a product?

    come on tell us about your self are you in work what are you? dont be shy we dont bite LOL

    yes i do enjoy our chats on here hope you do to?

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  37. You might try and get hold of a dictionary and look up the word 'Denialism'.
    No, don't bother because I doubt that you will anyway so I'll save you the bother.
    Denialism is choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an unacceptible truth.

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  38. You give 'chess leasons' to a number of children eh?
    No.. it doesn't count as a product.

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  39. Actually many employers are quite keen on viewing blogs.
    It's an upward trend within the business world, by viewing blogs we can assess the employability of applicants.

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  40. We look at Facebook and Twitter quite often too.

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  41. I hope that you declare the proceeds from your 'chess leasons' to HMRC.

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  42. Actually many employers are quite keen on viewing blogs.
    It's an upward trend within the business world, by viewing blogs we can assess the employability of applicants.

    I dont need a job thanks are you offering? LOL
    I be surpised if many employers had the time to waste looking at Webb blog?

    tell us all a little more about your boring life? dont be shy!

    your the one in denial and maybe your on benfits out of work? dont be ashamed if your out of work we all friends here LOL

    What fun this blog is Webb!

    the children we teach seen to like our product its great fun teaching an 8 year old to inprove his chess

    yes Peter thinks your a pratt and i agree!

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  43. I hope that you declare the proceeds from your 'chess leasons' to HMRC.

    who said anything about geting paid? feel free to phone up HMRC go for it? or is that anther one of your idle threats?

    what fun this blog is Webb!

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  44. We look at Facebook and Twitter quite often too.

    Peter got facebook if that is any help?

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  45. So Peter calls me a pratt eh?
    How silly is that, he obviously can't even spell prat.
    The spelling that you've given is from the surname Pratt, as in Pratt and whitney.
    See now how your illiteracy has affected him?
    Actually the term 'prat' refers to an incompetent or ineffectual person. Which if you can't read or write is what you end up as.
    In my world we write them off as unemployable.

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  46. Perhaps we should define functional illiteracy for you.
    Your boy might be as happy as a pig in slurry at the moment, but in years to come his attitudes will change as he gains awareness of the barriers that your lack of skills have created.
    You have just the one child?

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  47. Thing is with Blogs, you never know who's reading them and why they're reading them.
    See, I'm quite interested in functional literacy and pure illiteracy in Developing countries.
    Sort of here comparing things really.

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  48. It says a whole lot about a child in... lets say Africa. A child who has been encouraged to read and write but has to get up at 04.00 am to start chores to get finished in time to walk nearly 10 miles to school. That 15 year old in war torn Congo might have a mother/father/family with HIV and he wants to learn to be a doctor.
    Hey your boy has got Facebook and a father who believes it's OK to be illiterate.

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  49. nasty anon says-It says a whole lot about a child in... lets say Africa. A child who has been encouraged to read and write but has to get up at 04.00 am to start chores to get finished in time to walk nearly 10 miles to school. That 15 year old in war torn Congo might have a mother/father/family with HIV and he wants to learn to be a doctor.

    why dont you go off to Africa and help this child you could lend a hand with the chores this child has to do?
    The UK gives loads of money in aid to the Congo we can hold our heads up high over this! we have also with our aid money paid for children from the congo to have dancing classes. we give aid to congo to help with aids to. UK gives aid to many paces around the world to help other children get an education some was used to fix leaking roof in congo!

    you also say-Thing is with Blogs, you never know who's reading them and why they're reading them.

    who reading this crap blog then? Jack the Ripper? dont come for at night im sooooooooo scared!

    yes he did call you a pratt what you going to do about it?

    you also say-
    I'm quite interested in functional literacy and pure illiteracy in Developing countries.

    that sounds soooooo boring is that what you do for a job?

    if you belive a father belives its ok to be illterate is home educating a child you have a duty to report them why have you not done this?

    how many childen you have? dont be shy tell us?LOL

    if you belive as you state that our lack of skills will hold him back then you have a duty to report us to HCC why have you not done this?

    oh what fun we all have on here! making new friends every day LOL

    i hold me hand up for any spelling errors LOL whats the reward a class with Webb? or something worse a class with you? LOL

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  50. nasty anon say-In my world we write them off as unemployable.

    is that what you are unemployable? dont be ashamed im sure its never to late to find a job! or are you a single mother? dont be ashamed if you are i wont mind LOL

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  51. Ah..
    didn't realise that you were once the subject of this blog.
    I read with interest the topic posted on 15th July 2010.
    and The Telegraph article and The Times article.

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  52. comee on anon tell us if your a single mother? or unempolyable? LOL

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  53. Comee backie when u can writee...

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  54. answer the question you a single mother or unemployable? you buying your own house or do you rent? dont be shy?

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  55. Don't you think that LOL is so 80s?
    I like RATFLMAO, or the ones used by the silver surfer generation RATFCGBUA, LOLTFATR.

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  56. How touching when your child says
    'I'm like the adult and my Dad is like the child'

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  57. answer the question you a single mother or unemployable? you buying your own house or do you rent? dont be shy?

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  58. when are you going to the Congo to help that child you where on about anon?

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  59. More offensive comments.
    You don't appear to be able to empathise.

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  60. Ever heard of Savant syndrome?

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  61. "Ever heard of Savant syndrome?"

    You seem determined to diagnose us all and place us neatly into little boxes so you can avoid treating people as individuals and avoid any real discussion of the topic in question or any points raised by others. Not sure what you're getting out of this but it seems to be making you happy judging by the number of times you visit!

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  62. "More offensive comments.
    You don't appear to be able to empathise."

    Pot, kettle...

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  63. You want to be treated as individuals and yet here you are with a deeply entrenched herd like mentality.

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  64. "You want to be treated as individuals and yet here you are with a deeply entrenched herd like mentality."

    How can you possibly have reached that conclusion about me? You know nothing about me. Idiot.

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  65. Not sure what you're getting out of this but it seems to be making you happy judging by the number of times you visit!

    who cares what you think! LOL

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  66. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtoday/cmdebate/10.htm

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  67. Hi Peter,
    I was talking to the Anonymous at 10 May 2011 13:11 - the one who keeps trying to diagnose us all with psychiatric problems!

    Thanks for the link, anonymous at 12:43! Maybe this lot are different?

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  68. Hi Peter,
    I was talking to the Anonymous at 10 May 2011 13:11 - the one who keeps trying to diagnose us all with psychiatric problems!

    ok i see its that anon who wants a doctor!

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    ReplyDelete