Friday, 3 August 2012

Intrusive local authorities

Those who complain about local authorities who are a little over zealous in their monitoring of home education might care to read this document;

To answer a few of the more predictable questions in advance; no, I do not think that home educated children are more likely to be abused than those at school, local authorities do indeed already have a range or powers which they seldom use and yes, I think it quite right that the primary responsibility for the education of children should remain with their parents.

It is still worth bearing in mind when dealing with local authorities who seem to be a little too eager to ask questions, that cases of this sort do take place and often put the wind up everybody as far as home education is concerned.


  1. I've read half of this, how incredibly sad.

    Those of us seeking to help LAs to be more reasonable and realistic in working with HE families are not suggesting that a situation like this should be allowed to continue.

    It is clear that the child should have had more support, like the other sad cases that have preceeded this one this child was failed by his obviously struggling parents and by the services that should have provided a safety net.

    This has nothing to do with reducing the overzealous and unncessary monitoring of families about whom there are no concerns.

    The job of working with LAs to help them develop more reasonable policies should help them to free up resources to do a proper job in cases like this.

    It's the old metaphor of not adding hay to the pile where the needle is.

    1. Exactly my conclusions too. Very sad.

  2. There were so many incomprehensible decisions made by the LA, such as this one, quite late in the process. I hope the people responsible for this child's death go to prison.

    'The mother walked out of this conference, abandoning the children. Both children were made the subject of a child protection plan; they were returned to the mother later that evening after local authority managers decided not to seek her agreement to accommodate them.'

  3. all those people involved and there still messed up with those kids! you had a whole army of so called experts and there messed up big time! and wanna blame home education its pretty clear the family had loads if problems but the experts failed to take the right action early on! where the common sense gone?

    1. Part of the problem through, is that there are probably many families with similar problems and they can't afford to take all of the children into care. We are only reading about this case because of the way it ended. Many similar cases that don't end in death never reach the public's notice. It would be interesting to hear the views of an experienced social worker on how common these issues are and how they are usually handled in practice. I'm sure it's not always possible to distinguish cases are going to end badly from the majority that don't.

  4. taking the right kids into care is the answer this was a clear case that there should have early on you had loads of warning signs but the army of experts failed most of these experts have got no common sense and are often left wing airy fairy types.
    mind you the public do not give a dam so your never change it people do not care about a few kids killed each year who really does? not the experts thats for sure as it keeps happening

  5. More of my comments have gone missing.

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