The PLACE Programme is a "Parent-Led And Community-based Education" project that operates in partnership with Bedford Borough Council (BBC) and Biddenham International School and Sports College. Regularised early in 2011, the PLACE Programme looks towards the goal of personalised learning and has been supported by the Innovation Unit, which delivers innovation in public services. Children enrolled with PLACE are all home-based learners, meaning, of course, that they receive the ultimate in individualised education! Children of compulsory full-time educational age (i.e., from age 5) who are learning at home and who live in Bedford Borough can currently benefit from this scheme.
The PLACE Programme receives considerable support from its local partner school, Biddenham International School & Sports College (BISSC). BISSC has been instrumental in offering guidance with GCSE syllabi and examinations and with general learning support, as well as providing help and expertise with special needs issues.
The aim of the PLACE Progamme is "to provide the kind of support home educating parents want for their children", whilst the goal of the Progamme is to help PLACE children to get the most out of their home-based learning.
The PLACE Programme is managed and administered by a Co-ordinator, June McDonald, who recently finished home educating three of her children and who has been active in home education for almost 25 years. June was Co-ordinator for Education Otherwise in Bedfordshire for more than 14 years and is a long standing member of both Education Otherwise and of HEAS (the Home Education Advisory Service).
PLACE offers registered children:-
- A network of home educating families providing mutual support, contact, friendship and information
- Free special classes for those with different skills, experience and aspiration - up to GCSE examination level
- Funded (free or heavily subsidised) enrichment activities including art, sport, gymnastics, trampoline, French, music, educational outings and residential excursions
- Funded resources purchased both directly for young people and via our resources centre (TOP)
- Access to advice and specialist support (particularly useful if you have a child with special needs)
- Entry and preparation for public exams
- Other support measures by agreement (ask the Co-ordinator)
The PLACE Programme is now half-way through its seventh year of operation - we registered our first home-educated students with the project in September 2004.