This page will be updated as regularly as possible. Information is given in good faith. If anyone knows of any errors or information they feel should be shared here, please contact us. 

We have been made aware that Welsh Government have given local authorities funding to develop support for home educating families with the aim to increase engagement and build positive relationships between local authorities and home educators. 

 

Whilst we will be highlighting a number of areas of concerns that we have with regards to the delivery of this support, we fully support and believe that building positive relationships between local authorities and home educating families is a valid goal. However, these relationships need to be built on mutual trust and respect. With discussions like the scrutiny of a petition in the house of commons highlighting the hostile belief that the majority hold that school is always best, it is increasingly hard to justify engaging with people who appear to continually seek to invalidate home education. Mountain Movers are in contact with a number of Welsh Senedd Ministers addressing these concerns that have been raised by many of you and we will, of course, keep you updated with any developments. If you have any concerns you would like us to raise or would like support in meeting with your local authority, please do get in contact with us.

2020 - Funding from Welsh Government to Local Authorities to Develop Support for Home Educating Families

The main points being raised are: 

 

What scrutiny is in place to ensure that the funding to support home educators is actually being used to support home educating families in meaningful ways as intended? 

 

There is currently a postcode lottery approach where local authorities are using the funding in any way they have deemed appropriate. (We will layout the offers of support by each county further into this page.) We are unaware of any consultation between local authorities and their local home educating families in the development of the support offers. 

 

Is the offer of support being made with clear transparency of the conditions placed on these offers so that home educating families can decide BEFORE meeting with local authorities if the support is relevant and suitable to their needs? 

 

What is being done to address the barriers COVID 19 has created to the home educating community services? 

No known offer of support. Elective Home Education Policy NOT found on council website. 

Blaneu Gwent

Bridgend

Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)
 
Access to services such as counselling is available by referring to early help. 
Email: earlyhelp@bridgend.gov.uk
Telephone: 01656 815420
 
 
Youth Support 
Email: youthsupport@bridgend.gov.uk
Telephone: 01656 815146
 
No information currently known about support from the 2020 Welsh Funding

Caerphilly

Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)
 
No information currently known about support from the 2020 Welsh Funding
Elective Home Education Policy (unfortunately inaccurately referred to as homeschooling) on their website (click to view)
 
 
The Welsh Government have allocated some grant funding to local authorities to use on a defined range of areas to support children and young people who are electively home educated. This is in recognition of the additional costs a home educating family will incur when providing resources and opportunities that are typically available for free in school.
The areas identified include:
GCSEs or alternative qualifications
Welsh language courses for the family;
learning resources such as textbooks and materials;
educational trips;
learning software; and
facilities to use for group activities.
Within Carmarthenshire, part of this funding has been used to fund a number of initiatives including:
Botanical Gardens: electively home educated family passes and access to science workshops
Mindfulness programmes for young people
Welsh language lessons for young people

 

Many long term home educators are informing us that Carmarthenshire has not responded to their multiple attempts to get in contact with them about this support, however, many newly deregistered families are being proactively contacted by the LA? 
 
We have been informed that families will need to be assessed by an LA worker who will then present their case to a "manager" who will then decide which families receive what support.  
 
Due to COVID, the planned support around workshops and classes at Botanical Gardens is on hold. 
Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)
 
 
No information currently known about support from the 2020 Welsh Funding

Carmarthenshire

Ceredigion

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

City and County of Swansea 

City and County of Cardiff 

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

Conwy

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

Denbighshire

Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)
 
 
No information currently known about support from the 2020 Welsh Funding

Flintshire

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

Gwynedd

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

Isle of Anglesey

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

Merthyr Tydfil

Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)
 
 
No information currently known about support from the 2020 Welsh Funding

Monmouthshire

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

Neath Port Talbot

Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)
 
 
No information currently known about support from the 2020 Welsh Funding

Newport

No policy found on their website
 
Pupil Development Grant - Newport appear to be using the funding from Welsh Government to open access to low income home educating families to this funding grant. The information below is taken from their website: 

 

 

Pupil Development Grant 

The Welsh Government Pupil Development Grant (PDG) helps to fund a child’s school uniform and equipment, plus items for outside school activities, where families are on low incomes.

Funding has been provided for the 2020/21 academic year.

Who is eligible?

Pupils eligible for free school meals can apply for the PDG grant for the September 2020/21 school year, if, in September 2020, they are:

entering reception class or year 3 of maintained primary schools

entering year 7 or year 10 of maintained secondary schools

aged 4 or 11 years in special schools, special needs resource bases or pupil referral units

Funding is also available to all looked-after children of compulsory school age.

In a change from the previous arrangements, the local authority in which the looked-after child attends school is responsible for using the grant.

Pupils with no recourse to public funds entering reception or years 3, 7 or 10 in the 2020-21 school year are also entitled to assistance under this funding.

Pembrokeshire

Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)
 
 
Whilst there is nothing explicitly known about any offers of support, their website does state

 

"

Will the Local Authority give me any support?

The local authority has an Elective Home Education Advisor who will offer a visit to discuss provision and offer advice or information if required. The Local Authority seeks to work co-operatively with parents to develop mutual understanding and trust that will safeguard children's educational outcomes.

If you wish to discuss any aspects of further please contact

Leonie Rayner - Inclusion Support Team Coordinator

Email: parentpartnershipservices@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Tel: 01437 776354"

Powys

No policy found on their website
 
Pupil Development Grant - Powys also appear to be using the funding from the Welsh Government to open access to low income home educating families to this funding grant like Newport. The information below is taken from their website: 

 

Pupil Development Grant - Access

We will be writing to all eligible learners. If you have received a letter from us, please compete the application form below.

Children eligible for free school meals can get a Welsh Government Grant when they are entering:

Reception class of a primary school in September 2020

Year 3 of primary school in September 2020

Year 7 of a secondary school in September 2020

Year 10 of a secondary school in September 2020

Pupils in special schools, special needs resource bases and pupil referral units who are aged 4 or 11 in September 2020

Learners in the category below will also qualify for £125 per child.

Looked after children of compulsory school age but they must attend school in Powys.

Elective Home Education learners

Primary and Secondary school children are entitled to £125 for each qualifying child.

Qualifying Children entering Year 7 can receive up to £200 to help with additional costs of starting secondary school.

For further enquiries please call 01597827462 (please note we will not take bank details over the phone)

The fund will cover school uniform, other clothing worn at school such as sports kits, equipment for out-of-school-hours trips (including outdoor learning) and equipment for activities within the curriculum such as design and technology.

 

Powys home educators can apply online and money has been paid to a number of home educators already within a week. 

Rhondda Cynon Taff

Policy found on their website
 
Pupil Development Grant - the same wording as appears on Newports suggesting low-income home educating families can now access this funding grant. The information below is taken from their website: 

 

 

Pupil Development Grant 

 

Pupils with no recourse to public funds entering reception or years 3, 7 or 10 in the 2020-21 school year are also entitled to assistance under this funding.

 

Link to page

Torfaen

Policy found on their website (although worryingly refers to homeschooling)
 

Pupil Development Grant - the same wording as appears on Newports suggesting low-income home educating families can now access this funding grant. The information below is taken from their website: 

 

 

Pupil Development Grant 

 

Pupils with no recourse to public funds entering reception or years 3, 7 or 10 in the 2020-21 school year are also entitled to assistance under this funding.

 

 

Wrexham

No policy found on their website
 
No information about any support available for home educators. 

Vale of Glamorgan

Elective Home Education Policy on their website (click to view)

 

Whilst there is no information available via their website, we have been informed that known local home educators have been emailed by the Vale Inclusion team with an offer of support which appears very extensive. 

Worryingly, a high number of the local authority policies and website information content out of date information and contacts for support are also out of date and in urgent need of updating to ensure families are not let with no support from the home education community.