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Safeguarding Children in Elective Home Education

Date: Friday, 17th May 2024 | Category: Uncategorised

The Panel has published a short briefing paper about safeguarding children in elective home education. The briefing explores common themes and patterns identified across reviews where children died or were seriously harmed while being electively home educated. It highlights practice issues raised by safeguarding partners and shares learning from reviews to help improve the quality of multi-agency safeguarding practice and thereby enhance how this group of children may be better protected in the future.

While the briefing is clear that home education is not, in and of itself, a safeguarding risk, the findings show that children who were the focus of safeguarding reviews were less visible to safeguarding agencies than those who attend school. Therefore, the Panel is joining calls for a statutory register of children who are electively home educated to help safeguarding agencies have better local knowledge about this group of children.

The Panel recommends that safeguarding partners assure themselves about the effectiveness of their local systems to help safeguard children who are electively home educated. Learning from reviews highlights the importance of ensuring there is good safeguarding training on offer for elective home education teams within local authorities, and also that these teams are well connected with other children’s services.

 Over half of the children in this study were previously known to children’s social care; of those who were withdrawn from school or had never attended school, health practitioners were often the main professionals who had knowledge of the child before the serious harm or death occurred. Therefore, it is crucial that effective multi-agency working is at the heart of local responses to help and protect this group of children. We suggest that safeguarding partnerships take appropriate action to make sure that all professionals understand their roles and responsibilities with respect of this group of children.

Safeguarding Children in Elective Home Education