Surrey County Council
UPDATE - June 2011
The EHE Task Group met several times during 2010 and 2011 with a variety of interested parties, including local home educators. The result was a report [pdf] and draft EHE policy [pdf] (see also Terms of Reference) which were submitted to the Education, Learning and Development Select Committee on 25th March 2011 (minutes [pdf]). The committee approved both in full to be passed to the SCC Cabinet. On 5th May 2011 Cabinet accepted the majority of the recommendations of the report, most importantly that the draft EHE policy go out to public consultation, but the official response [doc] rejected several as requiring extra resources which are not available. That conclusion has been questioned and will be discussed further.
The public consultation should start this month. Watch this space!
UPDATE - April 2010
The Education, Learning and Development (formerly Schools and Learning) Select Committee met on April 14th with the council's EHE policy on the agenda. Supporting documents, including letters from local home educators, can be found here (minutes to follow). The outcome of the meeting is that a Working Group is to be convened to draw up a new policy.
So, in short, the DRAFT policy (pdf) is NOT going to be ratified. The new policy will be drawn up by a group of councillors with help from council staff AND local home educators. The policy will then go out to a FULL PUBLIC consultation before returning to the Select Committee and then on to the full council to be approved as an official policy.
Obviously there is still a lot of work to do if we want to end up with a good and workable policy but this is the first step. If you are a current or potential home educator living in Surrey with SCC as your local authority and would like to join a mail list to discuss the policy and what you want from SCC please contact Firebird for details.
History - early 2010 and before
Surrey County Council EHE staff are currently working to an unpublished* DRAFT policy (pdf) which unfortunately was not written in consultation with local home educators and which has yet to be ratified by the council (*obtained through a Freedom of Information request). In light of this and dissatisfaction with the policy itself members of the SW Surrey group drew up a petition and submitted it to the Schools & Learning Select Committee on December 2nd 2009.
We the undersigned call for an Official Surrey County Council Elective Home Education policy to be drawn up in consultation with local home educators and in line with existing law and guidelines.
A reply was tabled and the chair of the committee also said that the policy will be put on the agenda next year.
If you read it you will see that the reply claims the September 2009 revision was done 'following consultation with local home educators'. If you're wondering why you weren't included don't worry, as far as anybody can tell it never happened. There was a questionnaire (doc) and the cover letter (doc) said that "the Local Authority is hoping to form a working group from members of the home educating community and the EHE team to look at ways to support home education" but unless it was done in secret they didn't get around to it. In fact the the promised publication of the results of the survey "early in the Summer Term" didn't happen either.
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