Two Written Questions about home education were submitted by Laura Anne Jones on 21 June.
The questions and full text of Miles’ response are below, but the key points he made are:
The Welsh government has made £1.7m of funding available to local authorities for administration costs and practical support to home educating families, which each LA can allocate however it decides. The LA retains legal responsibility to ensure the identified needs of children with ALN are met. LA youth support services can help home educated young people, as can the government-funded EHE Careers Co-ordinator from Careers Wales. New government proposals include statutory guidance for LAs to help ensure that home educated children receive a suitable education and their wellbeing needs are met. WAG says it is working closely with LAs and EHE leads, and expects to implement new proposals in April 2023.
Laura Anne Jones asked:
- How does the Government support local authorities to work with the parents of home-educated children?
Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, answered these jointly on 28 June. He stated:
“The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that all children and young people in Wales receive a suitable education, and given the chance to thrive and fulfil their potential, in all educational settings. With regard to elective home education (EHE), the Welsh Government acknowledges that some parents decide to educate their children at home.
This year the Government is supporting both the administration costs of local authorities in relation to home education, and funding education resources and activity for home educated learners, with £1.7m of funding available. This provision is unique to Wales and local authorities use the funding to provide a range of practical support to home educating families.
It is for individual local authorities to decide how they use the funding to support home education in their area, in line with ensuring resources are used to best effect. This can include access to learning resources and facilities, help with the costs of educational visits and exams fees, wellbeing services, pedagogical advice and promoting access to other learning opportunities.
Where young people have identified additional learning needs, if parents elect to home educate their children who already have identified needs the local authority will need to ensure that identified needs are being met by the parent, as the local authority still retains the legal responsibility to ensure that these needs are met.
All local authorities have youth support services, and these resources can assist young people to participate effectively in education and training, take advantage of opportunities for employment and participate effectively and responsibly in the life of their communities.
The Welsh Government also funds an EHE Careers Co-ordinator post with Careers Wales to offer support, information and guidance to EHE young people and support them during the transition to their desired destination.
The Government is developing new proposals that will strengthen the existing guidance on elective home education, to help ensure home educated children receive a suitable education and their wellbeing needs are met. This includes new statutory guidance for local authorities, increased support for home educated children and improved advice and support for home educators
In developing the proposals, we are working closely with our stakeholders, including local authorities. Working groups of LA EHE leads and other stakeholders have been convened to assist in the development and implementation of the proposals, including the wider package of support and the ALN Code. The expectation is that the new proposals will be implemented in April 2023.”
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