Dumfries and Galloway Council

Admin

Administrator
If you have you any comments or updates on Dumfries and Galloway Council's home education policy and/or practice, please post in this thread.

This council has no home education policy on its website [former link now dead], but there have been numerous complaints recorded in our private group.

Contact:

Lochside Education Centre
Lochside Road
Dumfries
DG2 0EL
Tel: 01387 722164 Ext: 60562
Fax: 01387 721276
 

Admin

Administrator
Dumfries & Galloway Home Education Policy 2017

This local policy is still not in accordance with the law and is littered with inaccurate terminology and misrepresentation of relevant legislation. Section 2 in particular is a work of fiction. The most offensive bits are highlighted in red along with explanatory end notes.

Dumfries & Galloway Council
Education Services Policy
HOME EDUCATION POLICY
2017

1 Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to set out the legislative basis and policy of the Council in relation to children who are home educated. The policy and procedures supporting its application are intended to ensure that contact between the local authority and a home educating family are dealt with fairly, consistently, timeously and accurately.
1.2 This policy is based on the Scottish Government guidance to parents and local authorities on home education. The guidance is legislated for in Section 14 of the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000 and the Education (Scotland) Act 1980.
1.3 The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (Section 30) sets out that “it shall be the duty of the parent of every child of school age to provide efficient education for him suitable to his age, ability and aptitude either by causing him to attend a public school regularly or by other means”. This includes the right to Home Educate.

1.4 National guidance regarding children not being educated in a school distinguishes between ‘home education by parents’ from ‘education being provided out with school by local authorities’ or ‘home tuition’. This policy relates soley to those undertaking Home Education by parents.

Information for those considering Home Educating is available from a range of support organisations.

2 Home Education consent*

2.1 Requests to home educate* should be made in writing to the Head of Education. Those making such requests will then be guided through the appropriate process to seek consent. The Council will undertake to provide notification of consent or otherwise within 6 weeks of application.
2.2 The Council are required to provide consent to home educate* to those wishing to do so, with the following exceptions:
2.2.1 The child has never attended a public school.
2.2.2 The child has never attended a public school in that authority’s area.
2.2.3 The child is being withdrawn from an independent school.
2.2.4 The child has finished primary education in one school but has not started secondary education in another.
2.2.5 The school the child has been attending has closed.

2.3 The council are under an obligation to not unreasonably withhold consent. The Council require to consider whether there is any existing evidence, either in the authority's own records or from other services or agencies**, indicating that there may be good reason to refuse consent. The Council will produce a report outlining their rationale for reaching a decision.

Specific instances where the Council will not be able to grant consent include:

2.3.2 Where a child has been referred to social work or the police for child protection reasons, and the matter is being investigated.
2.3.3 Where a child is on the child protection register.
2.3.4 Where a child has been referred to the reporter on care and protection grounds, and the referral is being considered.
2.3.5 Where the child is the subject of a supervision requirement.
2.3.6 Where there are concerns as relating to the health of either the child or those intending to provide home education.
2.4 Where the child is attending Council operated school provision they are expected to attend school until permission to home educate is granted. In instance where this is not the case individual schools will report absence as unauthorised in the absence of medical certification confirming otherwise.

3 Child Wellbeing*** and Protection

3.1 Every adult in Scotland has a role in ensuring all our children and young people live safely and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The vision for all children and young people in Dumfries and Galloway is that they should be: safe, nurtured, healthy, achieving, active, respected and responsible and included***. The Council has a legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare*** of all children living in their area
3.2 The Councils Child Protection Policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of staff at all levels and provides direction on what action staff must take to ensure appropriate, proportionate and timely responses to children who may be in need of help. Actions taken by staff will be in line with Child Protection Policy and procedures.
3.3 Council Officers involved in implementing this Home Education policy will seek to undertake the following to ensure child wellbeing and protection on behalf of the Council:
3.3.1 ensure that the duty to seek the child’s views on their education are sought in all instances where applications to home educate are received
3.3.2 maintain contact with those home educating on an ongoing basis, and at least on an annual basis, to undertake regular and proportionate review of circumstances and welfare of children
3.3.3 further investigate any concerns raised about the home education of any child and allow those providing home education a period of 14 days to respond to such concerns ( where these are not deemed Child Protection concerns)
3.3.4 refer any Child Protection concerns to social work services using established Child Protection protocols.
3.3.5 prepare an application for an Attendance Order in respect of the child under Section 38 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 where there are significant and ongoing concerns about the efficiency or suitability of the education being provided

3.4 Council Officers with responsibility for maintaining contact with those providing Home Education are required to satisfy themselves that suitable and efficient education is being provided. When doing so they will take account of the following:
3.4.1 consistent involvement of parents or other significant carers and the opportunity to interact with other children and adults.
3.4.2 the presence of a philosophy or ethos (not necessarily a recognised philosophy), with parents showing commitment, enthusiasm, and recognition of the child's needs, attitudes and aspirations.
3.4.3 involvement in a broad spectrum of activities appropriate to the child's stage of development and opportunity to develop skills for learning, vocational skills and skills for life.
3.4.4 the opportunity for the child or young person to be challenged and engaged by their learning experiences, have access to appropriate resources and materials and the opportunity for an appropriate level of physical activity.

3.5 A child who is being home educated is not eligible for a Co-ordinated Support Plan as prescribed by The Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 as amended in 2009. Co-ordination of any involvement from agencies with the child will fall to the Home Education provider. The Council officer with responsibility for maintaining contact will, where consent is provided by the Home Education provider, assist in signposting available support.

4 Re-Integration of Pupils to Mainstream Schooling

4.1 Parents/Carers should contact the school or schools they may wish their child to return to and arrange to meet with the Head teacher(s). Normal mechanisms for enrolment and induction should be used in the first instance. In discussion with the child or young person and their parents, the school will prepare a re-integration plan.
4.2 Consideration will be given to additional support for re integration in response to specific health grounds or requirements based on particular assessed Additional Support Needs. Requests for additional support will be considered on a case by case basis with evidence being required to justify a decision to provide support. The following criteria will be considered when assessing and reviewing requests:
4.2.1 The level and complexity of the assessed additional support needs.
4.2.2 Requirement of the pupil to attend specific Learning Centres or to attend a school other than their catchment school.
4.2.3 The need for specialist arrangements to cater for immobility or visual impairment as supported by professionals directly involved.
4.2.4 The availability and suitability of existing school provision to the specific needs of the pupil.
4.3 In considering a request evidence may be sought from professionals and or agencies involved in providing a service to, or supporting the child or young person. In deciding whether to grant such a request, the Council will have reasonable regard to, but will not be bound by, the terms of any opinion from such a professional or agency.

Hew Smith
Integration and Inclusion Manager
June 2017
S\Supporting Learners\Home Education\Home Education Policy 2017
Review 3 years

NOTES:

* Consent does not apply to home education, but to withdrawal from a council school of a school-age child who has attended as a pupil on one occasion or more (with several exceptions)

** This is a common schoolboy error as the council has no power to 'go fishing' by contacting other agencies without prior consent of each and every data subject, which must be informed and freely given. Consent to withdraw a child from school by parents exercising a lawful educational choice cannot be made conditional upon their consenting to process their personal and (especially) sensitive personal data, which would be a breach of both Article 8 and the Data Protection Act. All govt guidance and policy must be read down to comply with overarching reserved legislation.

*** SHANARRI has no bearing on home education and 'wellbeing' has no precise legal definition (as confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2016), which means it cannot be used to prevent the exercise of a lawful parental choice. Child protection is the relevant threshold that applies to any non-consensual interference with Article 8 rights and parental responsibilities.
 

LSquires

ScotHE
D&G removing child’s name from school roll

Still awaiting response from D&G about why social services would need to ‘assess my suitability to homeschool’ my son AND why at 7 weeks no one has explained why my consent hasn’t been granted or explained. They have gone silent since my solicitor asked them some questions.........
 

Admin

Administrator
Still awaiting response from D&G about why social services would need to ‘assess my suitability to homeschool’ my son AND why at 7 weeks no one has explained why my consent hasn’t been granted or explained. They have gone silent since my solicitor asked them some questions.........
There is no role for social services unless a child is subject to compulsory measures. Making enquiries of another agency about your family without prior consent constitutes unlawful data processing unless they have evidence that the 'necessity' threshold has been reached.The council's representative was very shaky on data protection and its interface with Article 8 when she gave evidence before the parliamentary committee last September.

Unreasonably withholding consent to withdraw a child from a council school by misrepresenting the law amounts to maladministration (at the very least). Not a good look for self-identifying SHANARRI worshippers.

It's a bit like McDonald's awarding itself the power to prevent families from switching to a healthier diet for their children, or insisting that the butchers' federation assess vegetarian diets for meat content.

On a positive note D&G did manage to desist from calling home education homeschooling, but they would have been well advised to refer the public to national guidance rather than create this dog's dinner of a policy.
 

Admin

Administrator
Case law for information

Background case law and information for anyone subjected to unlawful interference where their request for consent to withdraw a child from school has triggered council fishing expeditions and/or malicious mischief in the form of unwarranted child protection referrals.

All affected 'data subjects' should submit subject access requests to their councils, schools, GPs and any other public or third sector body they have had contact with in order to obtain all personal data held on them and records of any sharing and the legal basis for such processing. Individuals will have greater protection from misuse of their personal information following the implementation of GDPR on 25 May 2018.

[1] The Haringey case dealt a blow to data processing without consent or legal necessity back in 2013 (despite the Ass Scottish ICO failing to notice it and allowing wrong advice to be issued to public bodies at the behest of the govt's GIRFEC team without legal advice or reference to parliament).

This English judgment also applies in Scotland as it references UK-wide reserved legislation (data protection and human rights). The instructing solicitor was Allan Norman who highlighted the disappearance of references to working together in safeguarding guidance. The successful appellants commented that Haringey Council procedures were akin to Stalinism.(Dumfries & Galloway should take note)

“Key element was failure to follow procedure (the checks and balances might have prevented escalation ) and the law which was clearly broken:

‘(76) The initial data-gathering exercise was unlawful in two respects: The initial request for data was sent to EF's GP accompanied by the erroneous information that LBH was currently working with the family, that LBH was already undertaking a CYPS assessment and that confidential details including the possible presence of risk indicators of physical abuse, should be provided. In addition to these statements or implications being erroneous, no consent had been obtained from EF's parents and it was not a justification to seek the information without consent that their identity was not at that time known since this statement was also untrue. The consent of the parents had not been obtained before the school was approached. Moreover, it was impermissible to post details of the referral on RIO to enable the school nurse to read them prior to obtaining the parents' consent.
(77) These were serious departures from permissible practice and these actions were unlawful.’”
[2] That was followed by the UK Supreme Court 'named person' judgment in 2016. All Scottish legislation and policy, including the national home education guidance and local home education policies, must accord with (and be 'read down' to comply with) the Supreme Court's (now definitive) interpretation of the law in relation to non-consensual data processing below the significant harm threshold. If there are no existing child protection concerns, it is unlawful to go off trawling records without the knowledge or consent of data subjects in order to seek to prevent parents making lawful decisions and exercising lawful educational choices. The ruling is not confined to the named person scheme, but to all non-consensual data processing below the legal necessity threshold of risk, i.e.'significant harm', not the government's undefined notion of 'wellbeing'.

[3] Finally, there is also a CJEU judgment (Bara) which applies to notification being required before processing between administrative bodies.
 

LSquires

ScotHE
Stalemate with D&G

D&G have still not responded to my solicitor. 4th letter sent yesterday. Silence from the director of education too. 9 weeks today since my request.
 

Admin

Administrator
FOI request to Dumfries & Galoway Council: withdrawal from school for home education

FOI request to Dumfries & Galloway Council (due for response by 21 June 2018)

Elective home education: withdrawal from council schools

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

I previously submitted a similar FOI request, which is available here for your reference: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w...

I am making this new request (but not on behalf of the same organisation) in order to ascertain an updated picture of council policy and practice in the light of more recent legislation and binding case law relating specifically to data processing and human rights.

(1) Please provide the following information for the period July 2014 to May 2018 inclusive, broken down by school year:

(a) How many requests have been received from parents for consent to withdraw children from school for elective home education?

(b) How many such requests have been processed within the 6 week time scale set out in the home education statutory guidance?

(c) How many such requests have not been processed within the 6 week time scale set out in the home education statutory guidance?

(d) In respect of any consent requests which exceeded (or are currently exceeding) the 6 week time scale set out in the home education statutory guidance, please provide details of the actual processing period for each request and reasons for the delay.

(2) How many complaints and/or notes of concern have been received from (a) parents and (b) lay or legal representatives regarding delays in processing council consent to withdraw their children from school for elective home education (from July 2014 to May 2018 inclusive)? [It should be noted that council consent is not required to home educate, only to withdraw a school-age child from a council school s/he has attended on one occasion or more - and there are exceptions to requiring such consent set out in statutory guidance].

(3) How many contacts from elected members (councillors, MSPs) have been received in relation to elective home education, and what was the nature of each of these requests (from July 2014 to May 2018 inclusive)?

(4) Please provide copies of all the council's home education policies in use since 2013 (with dates) and the current version which is used by staff and is available for parents as required by the home education guidance.

(5) Please outline the legal basis for processing the personal data of parents in relation to the withdrawal from school of children for home education, and clarify how prior consent is obtained for such processing where the legal 'necessity' threshold has not been met to ensure compliance with Article 8 of the ECHR.

(6) Is a child's withdrawal from school for home education conditional upon parental consent for data sharing between 'services' (e.g. NHS, social work, police, third sector), and how is formal consent obtained from data subjects, including third parties (e.g. other family members)? Is such consent valid under GDPR?

Thank you in anticipation of your assistance
.
 

Admin

Administrator
Revised rights-busting policy announced

It's hard to know where to start with this claptrap... Was there any consultation whatsoever with home educators? (Bullying, threats and harassment don't count)

Home schooling <sic>

Chairman Cllr Jeff Leaver said: “It’s essential that our council has a robust and legally defendable policy in place to address requests for home schooling.”

Vice chair Cllr Ros Surtees added: “Should they choose, people have a right to teach their children at home. However, it’s essential that home teaching is of a suitable standard. This policy will assist us in ensuring that this is the case and that we are consistent in dealing with this.”
The draft policy itself, due to be considered by councillors who can't even get the terminology right, never mind the law, is both mind-blowing and rights-busting!

Much discussion has been had in private forums and the Scottish HE Forum has written to the Scottish Govt (again), D&G councillors and MSPs for the area. :mad2::mad2::mad2:
 

Admin

Administrator
Letter from Scottish Home Education Forum to Dumfries & Galloway councillors

Full text of our letter to committee convener, copied to the council leader, other committee members and MSPs for the D&G area. (Our letter to the Scottish Government is available to members in our private forum).

Dear Councillor Jeff Leaver

I write on behalf of the Scottish Home Education Forum, a national information, support and advocacy network for home educating families and those considering the option, to raise concerns about the draft home education policy that is scheduled for consideration by the council's Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning committee on Thursday 29 November.

This article was recently drawn to our attention: https://www.dng24.co.uk/home-schooling/, which led us to this document: https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s3277/HomeEducation-Appendix 3.pdfpdf?

Such were our concerns about the content of this draft policy that we have already notified the Scottish Government of Dumfries and Galloway Council's apparent intention to disregard both national statutory guidance and overarching legislation pertaining to home education. Of particular concern are the comments attributed to you, as committee convener, which betray a worrying misunderstanding of the law in advance of your considering a policy on elective home education, not least of all your use of incorrect terminology (you should be aware that 'home schooling' appears nowhere in Scots law or guidance),

I have attached for your information a copy of a press report on a SPSO decision which upheld one home educating family's complaint against the council for the same ultra vires activities that this draft policy document seeks to legitimise. I have also attached, in relation to another ongoing SPSO complaint, self-explanatory excerpts from subject access request responses which were delayed to such an extent by the council that the ICO had to order their release. The same family's complaint to SPSO is being similarly frustrated by unreasonable delays and (in the light of their experience of council bullying) traumatising demands for face-to-face meetings. Further disclosures are being scrutinised and are likely to form the basis of future legal action.

You should also be aware that one Dumfries and Galloway home educating parent is currently petitioning the Children and Young People's Commissioner (CYPCS) to investigate unlawful data processing and UNCRC breaches by the council. The petition has already attracted 440 signatures and sets out comprehensive background information: https://www.change.org/p/children-a...te-life-and-attacks-on-children-s-reputations.

I am aware that other formal complaints arein train and our forum has been sent copies of council correspondence which has given cause for considerable concern about individual staff members who deal with home educating families. Some parents have expressed particular anxiety about 'predatory practice' in relation to male officers demanding access to their private homes and sole access to their children without a trusted adult present, all without any lawful basis. Complaints about the unacceptable attitudes and behaviour of individual officers are being prepared, and it is likely that home educating families will demand alternative, preferably female, points of contact who have demonstrable knowledge and experience of home education and an understanding of human rights and data protection laws.

I submitted a FOI request to the council in May of this year (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/elective_home_education_withdraw) after complaints were raised by a number of our members about the council's ultra vires activities and lack of compliant local policy, and the response demonstrated shockingly poor practice and failure to have proper regard to national guidance. Despite repeated assurances over several years that a new, legally compliant policy would soon be drafted, there has been no effort to engage or consult with local home educators or those of us with long standing experience and expertise in the practice of, and law pertaining to, home education.

Your own recently reported comments betray deep-rooted prejudice which might well be construed as discriminatory towards a minority group exercising lawful parenting choices, including the growing number of families who have been forced to remove their children from school to ensure their safety and/or meet their additional support needs. To quote one of our local members:"It’ll be a cold day in hell before I let a local authority have any say in my son’s learning after the damage they’ve done".

I wish to put on record for the benefit of the committee that the draft policy you are being invited to approve blatantly misrepresents the law on several counts by mandating the infringement of children's and families' human rights. The document deliberately seeks to misapply Article 12 of the UNCRC - seemingly in order to obtain unfettered access by unknown strangers to vulnerable young children - and applies an interpretation directly contradictory to that published on the CYPCS website. It also fails to comply with Article 8 of the ECHR and Article 16 of UNCRC, as well as failing to acknowledge applicable case law, not least of all the Named Person judgment handed down by the UK Supreme Court in 2016, where it is made crystal clear that it is parents who are responsible for determining their children's best interests unless the established threshold for non-consensual intervention is met.

It is up to parents to decide how to discharge the legal duty to educate during the compulsory years, whether by schooling (which is increasingly found to be inadequate) or by other means. Contrary to the somewhat bizarre contention in the draft policy, no provision within the Standards in Schools (Scotland) Act 2000, from whose Section 14 the national home education guidance derives, interferes in any way with the parental choice afforded by Section 30 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, as confirmed in Schedule 2, Section 5 (2): https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2000/6/schedule/2.

Dumfries and Galloway Council's draft policy does not begin to acknowledge or understand the limitations imposed on data processing (which includes gathering as well as sharing personal information) under GDPR by Article 8 of the ECHR which prohibits interference in an individual's private life without legal necessity or adequate safeguards to prevent arbitrariness and ensure foreseeability in relation to (dis)engagement with 'services'. In order for there to be a lawful basis for processing in the absence of unambiguous, fully informed consent, it must be necessary, specific, proportionate and derive from statute. For the avoidance of doubt, and in the light of our own legal advice, the withdrawal of a child from a state school in order to exercise the exclusively parental duty to educate by means other than schooling is a purely administrative task that does not confer powers on the council that would breach Article 8 - a point also confirmed in a recent decision notice by the SPSO that upheld a family's complaints (which are by no means yet concluded).

This latest initiative by your council appears to be another example of maladministration and mission creep derived from a non-human rights, non-GDPR compliant reading of national statutory guidance, which must also be read down to comply with overarching legislation. In recent discussions with the Scottish Government, we underlined the point that the statutory guidance, to which all councils are required to have regard, does not, and can never, breach human rights or data protection laws; nor may it depart from authoritative interpretations of pertinent legislation as set out in key judgments by the Supreme Court, ECtHR and CJEU. By extension, that rule also applies to local policies, thereby invalidating much of the content of the draft document for which your comittee's approval is sought.

Forced access to a private family home and refusal of consent unless parents accept arbitrary interference with their human rights is a very serious matter, which will inevitably come before the courts if Dumfries and Galloway Council is foolhardly enough to proceed with this proposed ultra vires policy. Local home educators will of course be within their legal rights to refuse to accede to unlawful demands which are clearly founded on prejudice against their equally valid educational choice. Parents have the legal duty to provide education for their children and may not be prevented from making alternative arrangements to council schooling, which is the clear intention of this deeply flawed draft policy.

Worryingly, the document also mandates less favourable treatment of families whose children are on the roll of a council school, where they are apparently to be held hostage unless parents agree to waive both their parental responsibilities (under the 1980 Education Act) and their human rights (under Article 8 of ECHR). The routine exploitation by councils of an anomaly in the 1980 Act, which only applies in relation to children of school age who have attended a council school on one occasion or more and expressly prohibits the unreasonable withholding of consent for a child's withdrawal, was identified as problematic in a research report that led parliament to include a provision for statutory guidance in the 2000 Act in order to prevent such abuse of power. Unfortunately, Dumfries and Galloway council has wilfully and persistently failed to have regard to that guidance (read down to comply with overarching laws) and we are advised that the council's latest draft policy would not survive a legal challenge.

It is deeply disappointing to see such blatantly disrespectful and unlawful policy proposals advanced by a local authority in defiance of the spirit and letter of national statutory guidance and I would welcome a formal response to the points raised in relation to the draft document, the lack of consultation with those affected by it, and the absence of any impact assessments.

I have meanwhile written to the Scottish Government and will be copying this correspondence to the council leader, other committee members and MSPs prior to Thursday's meeting.

Yours sincerely

Scottish Home Education Forum Co-ordinator
 

Attachments

Admin

Administrator
'Unlawful' home education policy slammed by advocacy group

Press release issued today

'Unlawful' home education policy slammed by advocacy group

Dumfries and Galloway councillors are being asked to approve policy proposals that breach the human rights of home educated children and their parents and disregard government guidance, according to a national support and advocacy group.

The Scottish Home Education Forum has written to members of the council's Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning committee in advance of a meeting on Thursday (29 November) to discuss a revised draft policy, pointing out a number of serious flaws that they say will render it unlawful.

The group has also written to the Scottish Government reiterating concerns it has raised in previous correspondence and recent face-to-face discussions about Dumfries and Galloway Council's poor treatment of home educators.

A spokesperson for the Forum said:

"Dumfries and Galloway Council's revised home education policy is the latest in a line of shambolic attempts to infringe the rights of home educating families, many of whom have had no choice but to remove their children from school to guarantee their safety.

"Any local authority policy must comply with overarching data protection and human rights legislation, yet this council appears oblivious to key court rulings that prohibit arbitrary interference in family life, and seem intent on perpetuating a hostile environment for a minority group whose choices and values they disapprove of.

"This latest rights-busting policy blatantly misrepresents Article 12 of the UNCRC and applies an interpretation directly contradictory to that published on the children's commissioner's website. It also fails to comply with Article 8 of the ECHR and Article 16 of UNCRC. It also fails to acknowledge relevant case law, not least of all the named person judgment handed down by the UK Supreme Court in 2016, where it is made crystal clear that it is parents who are responsible for determining their children's best interests unless the established threshold for intervention is met.

"Demanding access to private family homes and refusal of consent to remove a child from the school roll unless parents waive their data protection and human rights is a very serious matter, which will inevitably come before the courts if the council is foolhardly enough to proceed with its ultra vires proposals. Local home educators will of course be within their legal rights to refuse to yield to unlawful demands that are so obviously based on prejudice.

"Having now outlined the numerous legal flaws in our letter to councillors, we hope they will take notice, but it is concerning to see basic schoolboy errors, such as the persistent use of inaccurate terminology - 'homeschooling' as opposed to '(elective) home education' - being made by members of a committee tasked with scrutinising education policy."

Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 parents have the legal duty to provide education for children during the compulsory years, either by delegating to a school or by other means. An anomaly in the law means the local authority must consent to the withdrawal of a child from a council school, which is an administrative formality that does not apply in all circumstances and councils may not unreasonably refuse consent.

In order to prevent abuse of power by councils "holding children hostage", statutory guidance was included in the Standards in Scotland's Schools (Scotland) Act 2000, which all local authorities are required to adhere to.

Dumfries and Galloway Council remains hostile to families who opt for home education, say local parents who regularly share information about local authority policies, attitudes and behaviour on local and national networks. The Scottish Public Servces Ombudman (SPSO) recently upheld a catalogue of complaints by home educating parents against Dumfries and Galloway Council, which was forced to issue an apology for misusing their personal data and breaching their human rights. Other complaints are said to be in progress which implicate several public and third sector bodies in unlawful data sharing in defiance of the landmark named person ruling.

Research conducted by the Scottish Home Education Forum earlier this year found that the increase in home educating numbers was largely being driven by the failure of schools to meet the needs of children with additional needs, epecially autism, chronic health conditions and severe anxiety issues.

ENDS


NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. Text of the letter from Scottish Home Education Forum to councillors:
http://www.home-education.biz/forum/68853-post11.html

2. Reasons for choosing home education survey findings:
http://www.home-education.biz/education/3541/
 
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