Elective Home Education (EHE) – exit discussions with parents
Officers from the Education Inclusion Service met with a number of head teachers last academic year to discuss the issues around seemingly high numbers of children leaving the school for the stated reason of Elective Home Education.
A theme emerging from many of these discussions was that head teachers often seek to meet with parents in these circumstances in order to fully explore the reasons, ensure that parents fully understand the implications of their decision and have an accurate appreciation of the responsibilities that come with educating a child at home under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996. We see this as very good practice. For those schools who do not meet with parents in this way; this is something we would recommend as educating children at home works best when it is a positive, informed and dedicated choice. Furthermore, evidence of this type of open discussion can avoid the emergence of any impression of off-rolling.
In order to structure and assist the dialogue in those exit discussions we have developed an exit interview template for you to use. It enables clarity around the reasons for the choice to be obtained (surprisingly the vast majority of de-registration forms filled in by schools gives ‘unknown’ as the reason) and an opportunity for the school to reinforce key points to the parents so that they are not under a false impression. Examples have been parents expecting that the school will still enter the child for public examinations, that the LA will provide a tutor and that the child is able to return to the school even if there are no vacancies.
We ask that schools build in to the process a face to face meeting with parents and young people when they receive the letter from parents asking that their name be removed from the register for the purposes of Elective Home Education. We would be happy for a member of the Education Inclusion Service to attend that meeting. You can invite a member of the team by contacting your allocated Inclusion Officer or by using the general e-mail address below.
We request that the exit discussion form be sent to the Education Inclusion Service but that you do not delay in sending the de-registration form.
The exit discussion template is available on the Elective Home Education page of schoolsnet, along with the de-registration from and the recently published DfE guidance for parents on Elective Home Education (April 2019).
Education Inclusion Service