It is worth emphasising that EHE families choose to join PLACE because they want to access its provisions! However, joining PLACE does not mean that children have to "go to everything". This is our parent-led scheme that we have invented and negotiated with our partner school, and we can tailor it to a significant extent to suit personalised learning - within the constraints of the current PLACE Parental Agreement and PLACE Committee negotiations.
Naturally, it is part of the parental Agreement that children registered with PLACE will engage regularly with the enrichment sessions provided, and that they will attend all agreed sessions, thereby ensuring responsible use of public funding. However, from Year Eight, children are required to attend a number of preparatory academic sessions prior to commencing GCSEs. All PLACE students are required to take a minimum of five GCSEs by year eleven (these must include English, English LIterature and Mathematics at higher or foundation level).
As ever, families are free to avoid any topics or materials that conflict with their religious or ethical beliefs. PLACE parents are home educators; nobody has to cover any topic that they don’t choose to cover, as long as each child is getting “efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude; and to any special educational needs he may have.” (Section 7 of the Education Act 1996)
Learning is not clearly defined in law. “Kids World” is learning (socialising, balance, dexterity, physical activity, etc.); Multisports is learning (sport); watching a school programme is learning; coming on a HE outing is learning; cooking and sewing are learning (Home Economics); crafts are learning (CDT); going on an approved field-trip is learning (different culture/ language/ landscape/ local history/ flora/ fauna), etc.
No. PLACE children’s “learning” does not have to take place within conventional school hours or terms. Home education can take place at any time, morning, afternoon, evening, weekends, holidays. As long as we have indicated “learning” for the appropriate number of hours per HE week (whenever that is in your case), we are complying with the law. Whilst many of the PLACE activities and taught GCSE support sessions do take place during “regular” school terms, PLACE parents are elective home educators; as long as they ensure that their registered youngsters attend agreed sessions; as long as they have indicated “learning” and submitted the appropriate codes for each week of the PLACE term; they are complying with the terms of the Agreement they have elected to sign with the PLACE Programme.
This depends on their age. DFE circular 7/90 gives the following as recommended minimum hours per week of taught time during school term:
KS1 21 hours
KS2 23.5 hours
KS3/4 24 hours
KS4 (Y11) 25 hours