Consultation News

Exam Access Improvements Announced

The EA has decided to open exam centres to EHE candidates. This is very welcome, we are seeking clarity on likely costs.

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The officer you should contact in relation to examinations, is Chris Kennedy and he can be contacted at the e-mail address below :

ckennedy450@belfasthospitalschool.belfast.ni.sch.uk

When you e-mail, please provide information as follows:

HEdNI Consultation Response

Response by Dr Harriet Pattison

The Guidance sets out a clear and legally accurate framework through which families can clarify expectations regarding interactions with EA officials.   

As a specialist researcher into literacy and home education, I continue to be concerned that the Guidelines place insufficient emphasis on the many ways in which learning at home may diverge from learning in school.  There is repeated emphasis given in the guidelines to the legal requirement that education be suitable to a child’s age, ability and aptitude.   Whilst this is the case, it should be highlighted that the transposition of age related bench marks from school to home education is wholly inappropriate and should not be used as either a guidance or expectation.  This may be particularly the case with regards to literacy, reading and writing where the normative framework  imposed by school has frequently been used to inadequately assess the efficacy of home education provision.  Recognition that pedagogic approaches may be different (ie from structured to autonomous) needs to be matched with recognition that learning trajectories may also be very different – for example reading and writing succeeding rather than preceding  other aspects of literacy.”

Consultation Brief

A short discussion of the key issues relating to the current consultation has been prepared, we hope it will be useful.

2019 Consultation

The EA has announced a consultation on Draft Guidance on Elective Home Education to run between 29th of May and the 21st of August.

HEdNI will be submitting a response that broadly supports the draft, a summary of the issues can be found here.

Having been involved in the Working Group which produced these Guidelines we feel that while they are not perfect they represent a significant improvement on the current situation. We encourage all home educating parents to join the HEdNI Facebook group and participate in discussions before drafting their own responses, there is no hurry.

All parents should respond to this consultation, doing so will not add you to a “register” or prompt the EA to contact you regarding your educational provision. All considered responses are valuable, they need not be long or detailed as long as they make the points that you feel are important.

It will be very important whatever your view on the Guidance, to submit a response which details what you like about the Guidance as well as what you do not.

History and comment

The 2019 Consultation will be on a Draft produced by a Working Group, which was set up after the contentious consultation of 2014.  While we are not delighted with every aspect of the new draft, we have come a long way since then and we hope and believe that a more constructive relationship has developed.

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