This Report Comprises of Three Sections

This Report Comprises of Three Sections

Contents / Page
Summary
Overview / 3
4
1) / Elective Home Education / 5
2) / Children Missing from Education / 9
3) / Children not in full time education / 13
4) / Missing children / 14
i) The Restorative Approaches Team and missing children / 16
ii) The Children’s Rights Officer and missing children who are in the Care of this local authority / 17
5) / Additional information / 18
6) / Conclusions and proposed priorities
Appendices
Appendix 1 / Governance / 21
Appendix 2 / Enquiries received of Children Missing from Education / 22
Appendix 3 / National Indicator 71 – Missing from Home and Care / 23
Appendix 4 / Children missing for over 24 hours 2011/12 / 26
Appendix 5 / Restorative Approaches Team Missing Children Procedure / 27

Summary

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable

a) to his age, ability, aptitude and

b) any special educational needs he may have either by regular attendance at school or otherwise

Section 7, Education Act 1996.

Education otherwise than at school. Also known as Elective Home Education (EHE)

There are three main categories of EHE children: those committed to providing an education to their child otherwise than at school; those who have chosen home education in response to not getting a place at a preferred school and will remain in home education until their situation is resolved; those who choose home education as a solution to such things as avoiding an exclusion, or prosecution for poor school attendance.

Numbers of children known to be home educated fluctuate each month but numbers stay comparable to other authorities. A colour rated database is maintained on these children. Cases are dealt with by Elective Home Education Officer (EHEO) or by an Education Adviser. Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs, or Education Health Care Plan, can also be home educated: their provision is assessed by suitably qualified and experienced education inclusion advisers.

Any Safeguarding concerns are discussed with colleagues in Social Care.

Children Missing from Education (CME)

The work of the CME Officer covers children living in this borough who do not have access to an education provision and those who have left the borough with no forwarding address, or known education provision to go to. The CME Officer works with a wide range of agencies and systems to locate and track children. The CME Officer maintains databases of children missing from education.

Schools are required to inform the local authority if; children enrol; are absent; leave the school; are not in full time education or change home address. This is achieved through the Monthly Pupil Absence and Movement (PAM) form which is submitted to the School Attendance Service by all schools in the borough (including the alternative provisions).

Children not in full time education

In December 2013 the Department for Education set out the requirements for all local authorities to maintain a central record of all children on roll at school but not receiving full time education on site. The Attendance Service took responsibility for this new area with Attendance Officer, Janet Flint, overseeing the day to day work.

Missing Children

A missing children database is maintained on children in this borough who are reported missing to the police and who remain missing for 24 hours, or more. Systems and procedures are in place to locate missing children and provide support to them, when they are found, or return, to stop them going missing again.

Additional information

To support the work of these three areas, an Information Sharing Group was created. This multi-agency group meet each half term to share information on all cases of EHE, CME and Missing Children.

Overview

This report comprises of six sections:

1) Elective Home Education (EHE)

2) Children Missing from Education (CME)

3) Pupils not in full time education

4) Missing children

5) Conclusions

6) Proposed priorities

This is the fourth annual report on Elective Home Education, Children Missing from Education and Missing Children.

These areas continue to be led by Greg Vaughan, Manager, Children Missing Education supported by Jane Trevor, Children Missing Education Officer and the Elective Home Education Officer – both 0.5 officers in their respective areas, with administrative support from Pat Vayghan. The area of ‘children not in full time education’ is supported by Janet Flint, with administrative support from Joanne Atkinson.

Again, a considerable amount of work has been undertaken during the 2013-14 year, embedding policy and practice across schools and reviewing systems to ensure they are thorough and robust. We continue to maintain and improve databases with detailed information on EHE, CME and Missing Children. This year we added children not in full time education to our work.

Good education is essential for making good citizens. It is the key to future success for our children and, consequently, our communities. Therefore, work on EHE, CME and Missing Children supports all of the council’s vision and priorities;

• Build pride, respect and cohesion across our borough
• Promote a welcoming, safe, and resilient community
• Build civic responsibility and help residents shape their quality of life
• Promote and protect our green and public open spaces
• Narrow the gap in attainment and realise high aspirations for every child

The areas covered by this annual report remain a high priority for Children’s Services. A strategic overview has been maintained through the Director of Children’s Services regular monitoring meetings.

Governance for this area of work is set out in Appendix 1.

Section 1

Elective Home Education

There are three main categories of EHE children:

1) Families that are committed to EHE in the long term and strongly believe that home education is best for their child. They are usually in contact with other home educating families and support groups. They seek to provide an education provision that is suitable for their child/ren and are very aware of their rights and responsibilities.

2) Families that become home educators because they are holding out for a place at a certain school and will accept no other. These families will often reluctantly attempt home education until their situation is resolved. Because of the length of time that they may home educate, they will inevitably receive visits from advisers. The quality of education is variable. Where the provision is not deemed suitable, attempts are made to re-engage the family with the education system.

3) Families that use home education as a short-term solution to such things as avoiding a permanent exclusion, avoiding legal proceedings for poor school attendance or taking a child out of school because of an issue (but often without having a plan for the child’s education). These families do not usually provide a meaningful home education provision and are encouraged to re-engage with the education system as soon as possible.

The EHE monitoring database brings together a significant range of information on children known to be EHE in this borough:

  • The family
  • The child
  • The work of the EHE Officer
  • Involvement from other agencies
  • If Social Care know the child
  • If the child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health Care Plan
  • When the family were last visited by an education adviser and when the next visit is due

The local context

Compared to last year, there has been an increase for each month in the numbers of children known to be home educated. However, numbers are still broadly in line with other authorities.

Total number of children known to be home educated by month;

No monthly data was recorded prior to December 2010

Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / Jan / Feb / Mar / April / May / June / July / August
2010 / 2011 / 85 / 72 / 80 / 75 / 64 / 71 / 75 / 81 / 73
2011 / 2012 / 64 / 66 / 67 / 67 / 66 / 73 / 57 / 76 / 80 / 74 / 62 / 68
2012 /
2013 / 80 / 79 / 84 / 79 / 83 / 92 / 87 / 93 / 98 / 93 / 80 / 78
2013/
2014 / 99 / 102 / 99 / 97 / 97 / 109 / 115 / 110 / 103 / 97 / 111 / 122

The higher numbers each month throughout 2013/14 are a reflection of the increased pressure put on school places. The months of March and August had the highest difference compared to last year. March was due to a slight delay in recording home educated children caused by the EHEO leaving towards the end of February and August is the month before taking up the new school place.

Throughout the year

  • the families of all home educated children receive visits and phone calls from the EHEO.
  • 41 children were home educated for long enough to receive education adviser visits.
  • 13 parents declined to have education adviser visits and instead chose to submit educational philosophies which are considered by a senior education adviser
  • 14 children attend private schools as the main part of their home education provision. We monitor their attendance at these schools. These schools are subject to Ofsted inspections.
  • 3 children had statements of special educational needs

In April 2014 the information leaflet sent to parents was updated.

The EHE database has a RAG rating system:

Red / = / Cases currently open to Social Care; parents refusing to sign forms/refusing visits/avoiding adviser visit. Provision deemed inadequate.
Amber / = / Case with Elective Home Education Officer (EHEO) but not referred to advisers yet.
Yellow / = / Case requires education adviser visits more frequently than every 12 months; families who submit philosophies and there are no other concerns. Children who attend private schools.
Green / = / Education Adviser visits at 12 month intervals and there are no concerns.
White / = / New case, received within the last month that has not yet been visited by EHEO.
Blue / = / Not yet of compulsory school age.

Final picture on 31 August 2014 (122 EHE cases):

Red cases – 8

An increase of 1 from last year.

Of these cases, seven were rated red because the families had cases open with Social Care. The other was because the parent was not responding to our communications

Amber cases – 48

A decrease of 2 from last year.

The amber cases are with the EHEO who will work with these families to re-engage with

the education system, or will refer them for adviser visits.

Yellow cases – 49

An increase from last year contributed to by including children who attend private schools.

24 cases required education advisers to visit more frequently than once a year because the education provision has not yet achieved a level that is considered suitable and efficient for the child’s educational needs. ,

11 parents had chosen to submit educational philosophies instead of receiving education adviser visits.

14 children were attending private schools.

Green cases - 8

A decrease of 2 from last year, caused by those children leaving compulsory education.

White cases - 8

These new cases will be visited by the EHE Officer with the priority focus being on getting these families to re-engage with the education system.

Blue cases - 1

We record children who come to our attention who are not yet of statutory school age, so that they are not lost, and our involvement is triggered as soon as they are. There was one case under this rating

EHE children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs - 1

There was 1 child, rated amber, who remained home educated who had a statement. The EHEO is working with the family to re-engage the child back in to the education system.

Education adviser visits

Education advisers visit families referred to them to assess the home education provision. The key judgements are:

1) Is the education provision suitable for the child’s age, ability, aptitude, and any special educational needs the child may have?

2) Is the education provision efficient? Does it achieve what it sets out to achieve and does it prepare the child for life in society?

EHE, safeguarding and the law

In February 2010 a home educated child was killed by his mother in this borough and a Serious Case Review (SCR) took place. The SCR action plan brought about significant improvements, which must be maintained in order to help prevent such a tragedy in the future.

Some aspects of the law are open to interpretation, which can make it difficult for a local authority to make a judgement about the suitability of home education, for example, officers have no right to enter a home, see a child, or their work. The local authority has raised these concerns directly with the DfE. However, the government is not minded to consider revising any areas of law relating to home education and did not take up any of the recommendations set out in the 2010 Badman report, commissioned by the previous government following the death, in 2009, of Kyra Ishaq, a home educated child in Birmingham.

The local authority is confident that its policy is as robust and thorough as possible given the limitations of the legal position. Where there are concerns about a child’s education provision, the local authority will consider instituting a School Attendance Order, and where there are safeguarding concerns, a Multi Agency Referral Form (MARF) will be submitted to Social Care.

Regional EHE meetings

When possible, a representative attends the regular meetings of the London Home Education Officers. At these meetings, knowledge and experience is shared amongst colleagues in similar roles from across the south east region.

On the 11 February 2014, the Children Missing Education Manager, Greg Vaughan, attended an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting in Westminster. The purpose of this meeting was to consider a national body of elective home education officers who would work towards common ways of working across the country and to provide training.

EHE and Admissions

Close working with Admissions, i.e. when arranging for children to stop home education and start attending a school is essential.

Section 2

Children Missing from Education – lead officer Jane Trevor

CME work falls into three areas:

1) Receiving and processing information that a child, residing in this borough, may not be accessing education.

2) Searching, locating and engaging with children missing from education who reside in this borough.

3) Tracking children who have left this borough with no known education destination and ensuring the appropriate authorities are informed.

Children Missing from Education referrals received between

1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014:

Year / Number of referrals / Boys / Girls
2010 - 2011 / 374 / 189 / 185
2011 - 2012 / 488 / 267 / 221
2012 - 2013 / 442 / 225 / 217
2013 - 2014 / 662 / 349 / 313

The figures show a significant increase in the number of children missing from education enquires being received by Jane Trevor compared to last year. Although numbers have increased from all referral areas, the biggest increase is mainly due to improved recording of work undertaken in response to enquiries from the Health services. There was a 60% increase in referrals from other boroughs, which reflects the high mobility that this borough is experiencing.

Children Missing From Education database

This is separated into the following sections:

i) / Current cases: new families whom the CME Officer contacts to engage them with the education system;
ii) / Follow-up cases: are awaiting the next step i.e. confirming where a child has moved to, if a child has started school etc;
iii) / Long term cases: are re-checked for at least three months. If the child is not located during that time, the case is discussed with the Director of Children’s Services and placed on the non-active section of the database.

The names of all home educated children and children missing from education are checked on ICS to see if they are known to Social Care.

Appendix 2 sets out the enquiries received for Children Missing Education for this year.

CME and partner agencies

The table below shows the main agencies and LBBD services used by the CME Officer to track and locate children:

Database or agency / Maintained by
Centris (soon to be replaced by XVault) / Central pupil database, uploaded by school
Impulse / Admissions system, part of Arête suite
Jobcentre Plus / Department for Work and Pensions
Key to Success / Department for Education
MISPERS (Police) / Police
National Lost pupils database (LPD) / Department for Education
NOTIFY2 / London-wide database for families in temporary accommodation
Rio / Health
SWIFT and ICS / Social Care
LBBD SERVICES
Educational Psychology
Free School Meals Entitlement
14-19 Services
School Attendance Service
SEN Assessment and Review Team (SENART)
Tenancy Audit
Admissions
Social Care and Triage
Multi Agency Panel (MAPs)

The CME Officer must be diligent when tracking children, to ensure that no child is lost to the system. It is necessary for the CME Officer to establish and maintain good contacts with key staff in many agencies and across many authorities in the country. An understanding of the range of systems that will help locate and track children is essential.

Two key risk areas when children may become missing from education are when they are allocated a school, or leave a school. The regulations that govern enrolment and removal from the school roll are set out in section 8 of The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

The borough’s ‘Guidance for schools on legal and statutory procedures when adding a child’s name to, or removing a child’s name from a school roll’ was distributed to schools in September 2012 and provides comprehensive advice to schools and it will assist with eradicating incidents of children going missing from the education system because they have not been enrolled, or have been removed from roll incorrectly. It remains very effective and will be revised and reissued in the spring term 2015. It can be found on the Go-Learning Gateway under ‘The Director of Children’s Services Shared Documents’:

and under the ‘Professionals’ section of the Barking & Dagenham Safeguarding Children Board website: