Staffordshire families could be forced to ship children to high school

Nine households can be compelled to register at schools after concerns have been raised approximately them domestic-educating their kids. Staffordshire County Council is considering serving college attendance orders (SAOs) to ensure the affected youngsters receive ‘appropriate’ training. This might compel them to send their children to the school named inside the order, or they may face prosecution and fines of as much as £1,000 per determine. It follows a massive upward push within the range of people taking scholars out of faculty to train them domestically. The latest figures display 958 youngsters are regarded to be domestic-educated throughout the county.

A record drawn up for Staffordshire’s colleges’ discussion board exhibits the usage of SAOs is likewise increasing. Just one order turned into issued back in 2018. Karl Hobson, county manager for the council’s focused service, said: “Education welfare officers have a developing position in admire of investigating worries surrounding the parents’ desire to electively domestic-train.” Several families are thought to have been ‘coerced’ into doing away with children from college rolls inside the county due to poor attendance or behavior troubles. And at least one school has reportedly asked dad and mom to signal a preferred letter, agreeing to home-teach them.

Mr. Hobson said there was also possible ‘incorrect information’ earlier than some dad and mom chose. Families may additionally mistakenly agree with the nearby authority will provide the training and might not realize what domestic-education virtually includes. In 2018/19, a complete of 136 kids in Staffordshire returned to high school after a spell of being home-educated. The modern-day instances have come to light simply as Ofsted has published studies into domestic training, flagging several problems.

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The training watchdog located a few of the secondary students affected have complicated needs and dad and mom felt they weren’t getting enough support from coins-strapped faculties. Removing them from school became often seen as their ‘simplest choice’. In some cases, children left faculty so quickly that they didn’t even have time to mention goodbye to buddies.

The Ofsted record brought: “There turned into no clear proof in our study about how faculties, nearby authorities and parents had been getting ready youngsters for domestic education. Some dad and mom instructed us that schools had refused to give them their child’s previous classwork.”

Staffordshire County Council has produced steerage for any parent thinking about domestic education, in conjunction with links to useful sources. Under the regulation, families have a right to choose how they home-train their kids. But if concerns get up, councils can step in. They could typically work with the family to resolve the issue informally before resorting to an order.

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