Further supplementary memorandum submitted by Tania Berlow

Annex B


Independent Review of Home Education



Vulnerable children who are being home educated may pose an increased
concern in terms of their safety, wellbeing and education. The
independent review is seeking specific evidence on:


the prevalence of `vulnerable' children in your current EHE caseload;


the type of vulnerability you have encountered in the past and / or are experiencing currently.

Your views as to what measures could be taken to improve the safety, wellbeing and education of these children are also sought.


In relation to (i) above:


What proportion of your current EHE caseload is known to Social Care in the following capacities? Please include open and closed cases.







% of caseload


Section 17 enquiry






Section 47 enquiry






Section 37 (care orders)






Children who are or have been subject to child protection plan (or previously on the child protection register)






Other (please specify)






Total number of children








2. What proportion of your current caseload do you estimate have safeguarding implications?







% of caseload


Total number of children






Parent with mental health issues






Child with mental health issues






Parent with substance misuse issues






Domestic violence






Child abuse or neglect (current or previous)






Other family circumstances






Concerns but cannot determine due to inability to see the child






Other (please describe










Concerns about parental ability / capacity to undertake home education (not covered above). Please specify reason:





3. Request for case studies


relation to (ii) above, please provide two or three anonymised case
studies (more if you wish) describing cases where you have specific
safeguarding concerns. Within your description please provide
information detailing your specific concerns including any issues
around obtaining relevant information about the child from the parent
or child (including difficulties in gaining access to the child). Your views as to what measures could be taken to improve the safety, wellbeing and education of these children are also invited.

Additional information

4. In your estimation, what proportion of your current caseload is not receiving any education? 0%

5. In your estimation, what proportion are home educating to avoid prosecution for attendance issues? 6%

6. What proportion of EHE youngsters became NEET (please use the latest
data you have available and note the timeframe in your response).
Unable to calculate as been in post since September

N.B Many of these figures are estimates based on my current knowledge of the families and their circumstances

Do not include children who are disabled where there is no concern about parenting or quality of EHE.

Do not include cases that did not lead to further action.







2 September 2009



Dear Ms Berlow,

Thank you for your further inquiry. As advised, there have been nine
unsatisfactory Education Welfare Officer visits. Of these, seven relate
to a refusal of visit. Six of these are now registered as Missing in
Education as the EWO failed to get a response. The other two are due to
the education being provided not being up to a satisfactory standard.
These parents are being supported to improve in line with our
policy/processes. I understand that no attendance orders have so far
been issued.

Yours sincerely

Information Management Officer

Policy & Communication

* XXXXX XXXXXX Counc, Council Offices, Market Street, XXXXXXXXXXXX

Email: [XXX XXXX Council request email]

01XXX 519747 (external) ' 2747 (internal) 6: 01XXX 519613


Tania Berlow

2 September 2009



before I input any figures may I just recheck whether the 7
children whose parents have refused a visit have already sent in a
philosophy of education and a plan of education and there have been
concerns about this plan ? or whether they have refused all contact
with the LA,

or whether this is families who have been visited and do not want
the annual visit and have / have not sent in a plan of education?
Yours sincerely,

Tania Berlow

mistake in FOI - confirmed by phone that there are 8 CONCERNS currently and that one large family has refused to answer all letters for months .  They also indicated that in the in depth responses 'jonny' would show up 4 times if he had been truanting (1), if his parents had domestic disputes (2), alcohol issues(3)  and a mental health issue noted in mother (4).


Tania Berlow

29 August 2009


Dear Sir or Madam,

The DCSF have just released a list of the 25 LA's who took part in
the in depth questionnaire which followed on from the 60
questionnaire for the Review of Elective Home Education.

West Berkshire apparently answered both the 60 questionnaire and
the follow on in depth questionnaire. Therefore please supply the
responses given by this LA to the both the 60 question and the in
depth questionnaire.

Also it has been noted that W Berkshire has 2 open referral cases
of possible abuse /neglect in the EHE population.(full figures can
be found for all 152 LA's here-


Can it now be confirmed whether these 2 cases were founded and
substantiated or whether these cases were opened but after an
initial involvement , social services found there was no case to
follow up.

Yours faithfully,

Tania Berlow



xxxxx xxxxxx Council

2 April 2009


Dear Mr xxxx,

response to your first question, there are 45 children currently EHE
and of those, 2 have been the subject of child protection referrals
related to child abuse (but not forced marriage, sexual exploitation or
domestic servitude).

Yours sincerely

Sue Broughton
Information Management Officer
Policy & Communication
Council Offices
Market Street




2 September 2009


Dear Ms Berlow,

Our Education Welfare Officer has identified the in-depth questionnaire

sent to the DCSF in May 2009 and I attach this. We do not appear to have

retained the response to the '60 questionnaire' - perhaps you could

clarify this aspect of your request (knowing when it was sent out would

be helpful). However, we would not be likely to retain such responses to

the DCSF (where not statutory) beyond a suitable period for any further

enquiries or requests for clarification.

I am advised that the two cases where concerns had been expressed are

now attending school, so are closed (and no longer part of the EHE


Yours sincerely


Information Management Officer

Policy & CommunicatiON

10 )
2 September 2009


In a previous foi request asking for details of children where
there are concerns about abuse this LA said there were 2.

However, in this response about the in depth questionairre not only
are reasons not filled in i.e. section 17,37 or 47 but the number
known to social services is 7.

In addition, there are 14 children where there are concerns listed

I cannot make head nor tale of the responses . Please give me
perosn to contact so i may talk to them in person .

can this please be explained?

Have children where there are concerns about education been
included in the safeguarding questions?

Yours sincerely,

Tania Berlow



3 September 2009


Dear Ms Berlow,

Thank you for your query. Statistics will change through the year (for
example, the number of home educated children altered between the dates
of two requests only months apart). Your recent enquiry, mentioned
below, was answered with current data. The questionnaire represents old
data. In addition, I am not aware of the guidance supplied by the DCSF
as to how the questions were to be answered, and this may explain why
the statistics we supplied to them differ from what was supplied
recently to you. I would also point out that the officer concerned
explained that many of the figures were estimates - the questionnaire
does not represent an FoI request but a query about which amongst the
home educated children the council also considered to be 'vulnerable'

It appears that using FoI to research your project may not be the most
appropriate route as every question has to filter through me and then
back to you, and obviously you are being confused by asking specific
factual questions to which we are providing factual answers when you
really want some background.

Can I suggest that you talk directly to the Learning Support Services
Manager, rather than using FoI. If you can supply me with a direct
email, rather than a public one, I will put her in contact with you.
This should speed up the process, and there may be additional
information useful to your research which you have not asked for but
which we can supply.