This article contains some helpful guidance about what you could include in a report.
Local Authority Report
Do I have to write a report?
Under s.436A of the Education Act 1996 – “to make arrangements to enable the authority to establish, so far as it is possible to do so, the identities of children in its area who are not receiving a suitable education. The duty applies in relation to children of compulsory school age who are not on a school roll, and who are not receiving a suitable education otherwise than at school (for example, at home, or in alternative provision). Until a local authority is satisfied that a home-educated child is receiving a suitable full-time education, then a child being educated at home is potentially in scope of this duty. The department’s children missing education statutory guidance for local authorities applies. However, this should not be taken as implying that it is the responsibility of parents under s.436A to ‘prove’ that education at home is suitable. A proportionate approach needs to be taken.”
So, you do not have to write a report but the Local Authority (LA) does have a duty to ensure your child is receiving a suitable education and it is, therefore, reasonable for them to ask for evidence of this and that is why many families create a report.
Do I have to meet the LA?
You do not have to meet with the LA but as previously mentioned they do have a duty to ensure you are providing a suitable education so if you want to that is entirely your choice. Some families do agree to meet an Elective Home Education (EHE) officer at home, some prefer to meet somewhere neutral, some meet via an online platform but again this is your choice and some prefer not to meet and just send in a report of some description. EHE officers may ask to meet as a way of ensuring that your child is safe and seemingly healthy which can’t be done via a report but it is still your choice. They also like to talk to the child by way of hearing how the child is doing and how they feel about being home educated but this is not statutory and is still your choice. Some EHE teams just like to have an initial visit and from then on are happy with reports but this can vary between LAs.
What should a report look like?
These are just guidelines, there is no wrong or right way but these are here to help you if you are unsure about the sort of content to include.
We created the Collage app to do all of this for you. The great thing about Collage is it saves so much time and storage. You can record many of the things above as you set up and then just upload learning as it happens, then just download a report every so often to send to the EHE or our favourite is to share it with them via a zoom meeting, you can download reports to show them via the share button and you can go into the app and show them the specific things you want to. Families with older children are training their children to upload their learning onto Collage which is an example of great self-direction in terms of the child owning their learning.