Local HE’ors experiences with Jenny Dodd

 In this particular instance the children are still de-schooling and should not have been contacted yet (if at all) and the parent in question was led to believe that visits are mandatory (they are NOT). Jenny Dodd is acting well beyond her remit… It is not her place to dictate how the educational provision is provided, nor is it her place to look for any ‘welfare issues’. It is not the EHE team’s job to ‘assess’ or in any way ‘judge’ the educational provision being given to the child(ren). It is her job to merely to make informal enquiries if it comes to the LEA’s attention that a child is not receiving an education suitable to their age, aptitude, ability & any SEN and establish whether or not a suitable education is being provided, and take action if it appears that NO education is taking place. The end.

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4 responses to “Local HE’ors experiences with Jenny Dodd

  1. OK, this scares me – lots! And I’ve worked in the education system as a teacher! She needs to be put in her place.

  2. I’ve not had the opportunity to meet Jenny Dodd yet and don’t feel that I can form an opinion until I’ve met her, however, from some parents I have met who have had contact with her, it sounds like she is very supportive and encouraging.

  3. I think she is supportive and encouraging as long as people do not question her practices and appear to do a kind of education she recognises as valid, despite her awareness that this is not in agreement with Government guidelines.
    She does seem to bully some people too. It appears to be people she doesn’t approve of. Often people who are not very confident.
    She recently sent a s437 ‘Notice to Satisfy’ and a School Attendance Order in the same envelope to a mother who asked for support with assessing her child for SEN. (She had had 3 previous, yearly visits without concerns being formally raised). The mother was on holiday when a ‘monitoring’ visit appointment was sent. The appointment was scheduled for 6 days after the letter and the mother was still on holiday. Missing this visit was enough to get her doorstepped with these pieces of legal paperwork. On application to the commissioning officer who oversees Entrust, the s437 and SAO were withdrawn. Due process was not carried out as an S437 should have grounds and should give 15 days, by law, for the parent to ‘satisfy’ the LA. Additionally, if issues are found, these are supposed to be worked through, with an SAO being an absolute last resort.

    I took the option of not responding to their enquiries (since routine enquiries are not lawful and because I had no need of support and their own paperwork said I could choose not to respond) and I was, at length told that this constituted proof that I was failing to educate and would result in legal action against me.

    They mistakenly think that a legal case gives them the right to assume non response as proof of guilt … but that is a misinterpretation of the judgment and that judgment applied to the s437 process, not informal enquiries.

    We are currently working with the commissioning officer to address these issues and attempt to structure a system that keeps within Government guidelines and supports people who need it, without terrifying them.

    We are also trying to formalise all enquiries so that they are only made when there is a report that there are problems with the educational provision, and only under the s437 clause in the ed act. This LA have a duty to respond to reports but not to check all families. It is a ‘negative’ legal duty rather than a ‘positive’ one … ie they are expected to assume parents are upholding their duty to educate unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise (same as innocent until proven guilty).

  4. please contact me if you want more information on the work being done with the commissioning officer and to attend the meetings, if you are a home educator within Staffordshire. You can email me on salamanda1000@gmail.com

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