We wrote to the Acting Head of EOTAS (Education Otherwise Than At School) at Brighton and Hove Council in April, asking for copies of their policies and procedures relating to their contact with home educators. We contacted them because we had heard that they were approaching different people in different ways and we wanted to know if they had any stated reason for this.
The reply was that their policies and procedures were being reviewed and that they would welcome our input into this process. We were invited to meet to discuss it.
We have now arranged to meet the officer on July 13th. We have made it clear to her, and will restate at the meeting, that we are not representative of all home educators, and we will advise her to consult more widely if she wants to take all home educators' opinions into account.
If anyone else who lives in Brighton & Hove would like to be involved in this process, please get in touch with us. We are happy to contact the council to suggest that more people are invited to the meeting, if anyone wants to come along. If you are a member of EO, you can find our contact details in the contact list, or just leave a comment here.
We are also keen to hear about other home educators' experiences of dealing with the LEA. If you have deregistered your child/ren from a Brighton & Hove school, was this handled well? Did the LEA approach you and your child/ren respectfully? Did you feel pressure to accept a home visit or to provide information in a particular form? If you have had a visit from the LEA, what did you think about it?
If anyone has any comments about the way the LEA has dealt with them, we would be very happy to pass them on, anonymously if you would prefer.
We do not yet have copies of the policies and procedures they are currently using, but will ask for them again in order to prepare for the meeting. Again, if anyone else would like a copy, please get in touch with us.
Our main concern is to make sure that the LEA understand the extent of their legal obligations and powers, and take full account of these when drafting their new policy. We are also hoping to get some more information about how the EOTAS department is organised and the way they work. After the meeting, we will write a short report for the Sussex home ed newsletter, and probably post it on here as well.