Tuesday, 6 June 2017

My issues with the LA

We are based in Stoke-on-Trent. Our "Home education liaison" is actually a school enforcement officer.
 Previously to [name redacted] we had a brilliant gentleman called [name redacted]. We got on well, had visits and so on. When he retired [name redacted] assumed his job into her remit. That is when for us the trouble began. From the get go [name redacted] was clueless. We gave it time, we explained a lot of stuff, but here is the important thing, she had no desire to learn about home education.
In fact her only response to any queerly any question was "send her to school".

We tried to get our daughter into college to take her G.C.S.E's but the LA (read [name redacted]) blocked funding because? "If you want her to take G.C.S.E's send her to school. There will be funding when she is 14." So we wait, can you guess what happen at 14? Nothing. No funding, no support.Then after some really sloppy and offensive letters followed by some really miffed emails she decides to book a visit. She grills us for 4 hours, brings a social worker with her (unannounced) and refers to the how HE community as "154 troubled families" just as she is leaving. We are told "16". I get a weird email saying that there is now a HE "specialist" at Stoke-on-Trent college (which I don't like). 

This makes me feel all weird and I don't respond (call it good instinct). I called Newcastle-under-Lyme college yesterday whom no longer take HE students because when they have in the last few years the LA refused to cover funding but only after the student had already been enrolled. I have a good long chat with them and discover the the HE specialist stuff is basically NOT college but "school" class with the same age group in a college building. My daughter is bright enough to take classes at university level and she is being held back by this petty and block-headed bureaucrat.

 I know she works not for the benefit of families and children, but for the benefit of schools, trying to get families to delay leaving until they get as much money as possible (leaving the beginning of one term rather than the end of another) dragging out some of the most painful and damaging environments to very vulnerable children. She has told lies, and half truths repeatedly and does so always to the determent to children and families and to the benefit of schools.This woman is not fit for purpose and needs to be fired and replaced with someone who can actually do her job.

Education and learning are so drastically different for school that it blows my mind that this person is blocking funding and opportunities for 154 children at least in our area. The fact that they feel the need to create a school bubble within the college system to "school" children, rather than educate them makes me so angry. 
Our LA has a long and colourful history of bad judgements, nepotism and lack of action which is what drove us to home educate in the first place!It seems more concerned with keeping funding than protecting children and needs a complete overhaul.