Consultation time!

The whole thing is here – I am pulling out the bits I think are specifically relevant to home education, just for you. The good news for those of you who tried to read the Badman report is that this document is coherent, which helps a lot – I don’t need to comment much, just draw your attention to some bits for you to look at. I’m looking at two things – the extract from the consultation document I think are relevant, and something referred to in it – “Building Engagement, Building Futures” which is a link to a page which links to a PDF (why not just a web page? no idea). I’ve highlighted some parts in bold.

1.1The Education and Skills Act 2008 sets out that from 2015, all young people (16 and 17 year-olds) will be required to participate in education or training. This change is happening in two phases: from summer 2013 all young people will be required to participate in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17, and from summer 2015 onwards until their 18th birthday.

1.2This does not necessarily mean that young people have to stay at school. They will be able to participate through three options:

  • Full-time education – whether at a school, college or otherwise.
  • An Apprenticeship.
  • Working full-time (for 20 hours or over per week and for at least eight weeks) and undertaking part-time study alongside (for the equivalent of a day a week).

1.3 Our strategy to increase participation (Building Engagement, Building Futures) sets out our policies to support the commitment to full participation of 16 and 17 year-olds in education and training

2.1 The areas of consultation are:
Residency – the duty to participate applies to all young people resident in England. Judgements on where a young person resides may need to be made in a very small number of cases; we propose not regulating here and leaving this to the discretion of local areas.
Full-time education – for those young people participating through full-time education (if not at a school), how can we best define what is meant by full-time education in all its relevant settings? Here we set out two options: a blanket rate of minimum full-time hours for all education types (which we suggest should be 534 hours annually), or a more differentiated approach for the different types of education provision.

3.2This decision about residency is only with regard to the duty to participate – and has no bearing on any other residency decisions that may affect that young person.

3.3 The Government could specify in regulations under section 66 of ESA 2008 that certain categories of individuals are or are not resident for the purposes of the participation duty. For example, young people who live in Scotland or Wales and who cross the border to study or work.

Question 1. Do you consider it appropriate that the Government does not regulate on residency in relation to the duty to participate in order to allow for maximum local discretion?

4.1 The great majority of young people will be participating in full-time education, as they do now. Many of those will be at a school (sixth-form), at which full-time education already has a settled meaning of about 190 days per year. But for those undertaking full-time education elsewhere, we will need to define this in our regulations

4.2 We would consider the following to be the valid types of full-time education:

1. School sixth-form – as mentioned, this has a settled meaning and so need not be considered as part of these regulations.
2. College (whether sixth-form, Further Education, independent or religious training provider) – the great majority of young people who are in full-time education, not at a school, will be at a college. This would also include young people who receive their education via a college but are not necessarily attending at the college premises (e.g. young people in custody).
3. Independent Specialist Providers – colleges that provide education and care to those with the most significant disabilities and learning difficulties.
4. Home education.
5. Re-engagement provision – programmes specifically designed to support the most disadvantaged and disaffected young people back into learning.

4.3 There are two options that could be considered here. We could either set a single number of minimum hours across all providers (option 1) or take a tailored approach to definitions for different routes (option 2).

4.4 Option 1: To set a blanket minimum number of hours of education that we would expect young people to undertake if they are participating through full-time education, wherever and however they may be doing so. This would be the simplest approach

4.5 This would be the minimum number of hours, and should not be considered an overall expectation of amount of education nor an average.

4.6 Therefore, we would consider setting an overall annual number of hours somewhere between 450-600 hours per year. We suggest 534 hours per year, which would be around 18 hours per week. Whilst it is likely that the majority of that education will be leading towards formal qualifications, other types of learning should be counted [...] for example work experience as a key part of Study Programmes, would count towards the overall hours. This should be measured out over the year – taking account of any terms and breaks. We would ensure through the regulation that a sequence of programmes (each of which were, for example, of an average of 18 hours per week) would also be valid – for example, if a young person took a one week re-engagement programme (of over 18 hours) and then went onto a full-time college course.

This may have some implications for some of the provision types listed above.

4.9 For home education, this will allow the young person to have clarity that they are fulfilling their duty to participate; but it is at the discretion of the home educator as to what form that education takes. We do not want to set regulations for home education that do not exist pre-16 – but by providing a blanket expectation, we will allow all young people and local authorities to have a clear understanding of the requirements of RPA.

4.10 Option 2: As an alternative option, given that there are a number of settings where young people can engage in full-time education post-16, we could define the requirements for each of those separately.

4.13 For home education – in line with home education for those pre-16, we would not set any specific RPA requirements here. Therefore, as above, we could include this as a specific category that counts but without an hourly rate attached.

Question 2a: Which of the options set out in paragraphs 4.4 to 4.14 do you prefer i.e. option 1 (setting an overall hourly minimum level for full-time education for all provision) or option 2 (a more tailored approach)?

Question 2b: Or is there a hybrid option that you think more effective – for example, that there is a blanket rate of hours for all full-time education but Independent Specialist Providers are exempt?

Question 3a: Do you agree with our suggestion of 534 hours as the minimum requirement for full-time education under Option 1?

Question 3b: Do you agree with our suggestion of 534 hours as the minimum requirement for full-time education for colleges under Option 2?

Building Engagement, Building Futures
Page 6 “Attainment at 16 is the single most important factor in securing young people’s participation and future achievement.
Page 11 “More than 96% of 16 year olds and 87% of 17 year olds were participating in education or work-based learning at the end of 2010 [but] 1.16 million young people aged 16-24 not in education, employment or training.

Page 30-31

Local authorities have clear statutory duties in relation to 16-19 year old participation – to secure suitable education and training provision and to support young people to participate, including providing targeted support to help those who are NEET at this stage. [...] Local authorities should have in place robust and timely arrangements with partners for tracking young people’s participation, using their Client Caseload Information System to record this information and to identify those at risk of disengaging.

I can’t find anything to make me think this is even slightly like Badman. I don’t recommend reading what the second document has to say about young people NEET with disabilities, though. Unless you have low blood pressure.

  1. Pau Amma’s avatar

    "4.6 Therefore, we would consider setting an overall annual number of hours somewhere between 450-600 hours per year. We suggest 534 hours per year, which would be around 18 hours per week."Nope. More like 10 hours per week.


  2. Ailbhe’s avatar

    I think the hours probably takes into account things like terms and holidays, rather than working weeks.



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