Local authorities have the same safeguarding responsibilities for children educated at home as for other children. They should be ready to use safeguarding powers appropriately, when warranted.
Child protection issues may arise in relation to elective home education and where appropriate referrals will be made to Children’s Safeguarding and Social Work (Social Services). Referrals may be discussed with parents before they are made, except if it is felt that to do so would put the child at further risk of harm.
When there are concerns about the education provided and a parent does not engage with attempts to contact them within a calendar month from the first notification, the case is discussed with the Development Co-ordinator in the Pupil Attendance Service and or Children’s Safeguarding and Social Work (Social Services). Where appropriate a referral to social services will be made to follow up concerns. When there have been previous child protection concerns this referral may be made earlier after discussion with the Pupil Attendance Service and the duty social worker.
Camden Early Help is a way of getting extra support for families when they need help to find a solution to problems they may be facing. Parents can access programmes and workshops that work to build on the parent and child relationship positive communication, self-esteem and self-care. This can also include behaviour management strategies and resilience building.
Home educated pupils are not automatically vulnerable but for those children who are Camden is committed to supporting them.
Where a child is made subject to a child protection plan or is currently subject to a child protection plan, or is child in need, the conference chair/ chair of the child in need meeting will need to re-considered the safeguarding plans in light of this information. The above professionals and allocated social worker will ensure that the plan may include increased home visits to regularly check that the child is safe and that meetings with the EHE team are at agreed and appropriate intervals will form part of any future agreement with the family.
For new home education children we will consider the following vulnerable groups and we will ask to meet with the parent and the child to ensure that the there is a suitable education plan in place.
Camden view the following groups as vulnerable:
- Children who are looked after or previously looked after by a local authority
- Children who are subject to a current Child Protection Plan or a Child in Need Plan
- Children who have been subject to a Child Protection Plan or a Child in Need plan in the last six months
- Children who had less than 90% attendance for the three terms before they started home education
- Children who have attended three or more schools in the last 12 months or who were known to have been without a school place for longer than half a term in the last 12 months.
- Children who have never attended a school.
- Children who had had one or more permanent exclusion within the last 12 months
- Children who had have more than three fixed term exclusions totalling more than 10 days within the last 12 months.
- Children who have an Education Health and Care Plan
Should a parent who is one of the above vulnerable groups not agree to meet with the Home Education Advisor then Camden will review the information available and take appropriate action if they feel the education is unsuitable.
For pupils in vulnerable groups and where appropriate we can offer additional advice and support to these families at more regular intervals.
For children who are looked after, subject to a Child Protection Plan or a Child in Need plan we will discuss the case with the family social worker and join any appropriate meetings to safeguard the child.
Please see additional guidance on keeping children and young people safe from radicalisation and extremism
Keeping Children and Young People Safe from Radicalisation and Extremism
If you would like some advice and support for young carers please see the link below.