Welsh home education consultation (2012)

Schoolhouse has almost completed its response to this consultation and came across the attached email correspondence on the Welsh govt site (a response to a FOI request) which links to documents about the recent home ed 'scoping' exercise by Sue Mitchell.

Knowing how these things sometimes mysteriously disappear, we have retained copies of all the documents elsewhere.

Our consultation response will be posted on our website (and on the forums) next week.
 

Attachments

And he says:

I want to ensure all views to the proposals are fully considered. Due to the large volume and detail of the responses this is going to take time and is not something I want rushed. In order to facilitate this process I believe it would be beneficial to delay taking forward the legislative proposals in the current Education(Wales) Bill.
What I find fascinating about this is the way social policy in Britain is diverging post devolution. This is not a criticism of devolution because I am all for decisions being made according to local need. But when you deal with an issue like home education your are really dealing with something that touches people equally across boundaries. It's really odd seeing England, Wales and Scotland grapple with the issue of parental autonomy and wondering who is going to be liberal and who is not.

I am surprised, and somewhat relieved, that the Coalition has come down firmly on the side of home educators and wonder if Scotland and Wales will eventually follow suit. I don't see how the GIRFEC monster can develop without someone deciding that home educating families must be gobbled up too. I also don't see how the Welsh Government can save face and completely abandon it's intrusive plans.

But I also don't see how Wales and Scotland can argue that the Welsh and Scottish home educating families need closer monitoring when English families do not . . .
 
I also don't see how the Welsh Government can save face and completely abandon it's intrusive plans.
Saving face is one of the biggest obstacles to progress. One of the few things I like about David Cameron is that he has on occasion stood up and admitted he was wrong. Andrews needs to learn that trick and admit that now he knows more about the subject he can see that his initial approach wasn't a good one and that he's going to rip it up.
 
The BBC now have an article confirming that the proposals have been shelved (not dropped at this stage).

Plans to make the parents of home-schooled children join an official register in Wales have been put on hold following a backlash.

Opponents said the Welsh government's proposals amounted to a licensing scheme for home educators.
 
Now this is interesting. Putting plans on 'hold' sounds like mandarin speak for plans that will be shelved.

The distinction between 'registration' and 'licensing' is a good one. It's one thing to hold a list but another thing to impose conditions on the list. That being the case then what purpose would a register hold? If it's just a list of names for council officials and Government to gawp at then it's pretty pointless. But if the state uses the list to impose conditions then, by default, it is taking responsibility for all education. That would mean that one part of the UK would ban Home Education.

There is a principle in Whitehall that no part of the UK and all it's dependencies and territories shall be fundamentally out of step with each other. I.e it would not be possible for, say, Ulster to re introduce the birch. Same with something like parental responsibility for education.

I wonder how far this got down this road before someone in the Welsh Assembly got a phone call from London saying, er, you can't do this.
 

Diane

HEdups
Yes, I think you're right, Polly. It seems to follow now that we know the minister involved is probably moving to finance (where he can't do much harm, LOL). I believe that home educators, on the surface, look like easy targets and fulfill the remit of ministers/civil servants to be doing something. Then, when, the surface is scratched the awful truth emerges that, if they pursue home educators in this way, the state will end up responsible for everyone's education.

I abhor the fact that no one thinks. No one traces the possible results of policies etc. before they are proposed or enacted and sees how they will make (often terrible) impacts on people's lives. Better do nothing and 'do no harm' than do any old thing and damage people. But most of those who have power over others' lives are simply acting from their own egotistical needs, in my opinion anyway.

Diane

P.S. And, come to think, what you say mitigates against this so-called localism stuff too.
 
Yes, I think you're right, Polly. It seems to follow now that we know the minister involved is probably moving to finance (where he can't do much harm, LOL). I believe that home educators, on the surface, look like easy targets and fulfill the remit of ministers/civil servants to be doing something. Then, when, the surface is scratched the awful truth emerges that, if they pursue home educators in this way, the state will end up responsible for everyone's education.

I abhor the fact that no one thinks. No one traces the possible results of policies etc. before they are proposed or enacted and sees how they will make (often terrible) impacts on people's lives. Better do nothing and 'do no harm' than do any old thing and damage people. But most of those who have power over others' lives are simply acting from their own egotistical needs, in my opinion anyway.

Diane

P.S. And, come to think, what you say mitigates against this so-called localism stuff too.
Precisely. Why have people stopped thinking things through these days? The unintended consequences of policy are, more often than not, just not considered. Then it's down to lobbyists, select committees and pressure groups to pick up the pieces.

Look at the Coalition. Home education excepted they are blundering about left, right and centre. And they are still not reducing the deficit . . . :frusty:
 
The reason few people think is because they have been to schools and are therefore almost totally uneducated. Certainly they are not guided to learn to think; just spoonfed the state curriculum.
 
Schoolhouse comment on Welsh 'parent licensing' policy U-turn

Schoolhouse comment on Welsh home ed policy U-turn: Welsh Government shelves parent licensing plans

“In its response to this consultation, Schoolhouse had no hesitation in condemning plans for 'ContactPoint Cymru' as draconian and wholly disproportionate. We are therefore pleased for our home educating colleagues and friends in Wales that their Government, in the face of robust opposition and evidence, finally appears to be thinking through the unintended consequences of such a scheme.

Hopefully reason will prevail, otherwise the Welsh Government can expect strong resistance which will inevitably take resources from the far more pressing policy priorities that exercise its citizenry and media on such an embarrassingly regular basis.”
 

Diane

HEdups
More than three cheers for Schoolhouse. How come so much sense can come out of one small organisation and so little can emerge from our leaders and their ilk?

A puzzler.

Diane
 

hilarysearing

Active member
The Welsh Government is once again looking to increase the powers of local authorities to intervene with 'children in need'.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill, now at stage 1, intends to replace the general duty to provide services for 'children in need' and their families with a specific duty to assess the needs of 'children in need'. A useful summary of the proposed changes can be found at: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/arti...go-their-separate-ways-on-social-care-law.htm

At this stage it's not clear what it would mean in practice. The term 'children in need' is very subjective and, if this Bill became law, some professionals might assume they have powers to assess any child who is home educated. I don't want to alarm you but .. looks like the Nanny State is at it again!
 

Admin

Administrator
GIRFEC and SHANARRI

This is exactly what they are doing in Scotland - deliberate lowering of the vulnerability threshhold to one of state defined 'wellbeing' as opposed to risk of significant harm. Dangerous as well as sinister. :(

If you check out this Schoolhouse blog post, the similarities will amaze you (not!)

We'll be fighting this one to the death.
 

hilarysearing

Active member
Good news! Education Minister Leighton Andrews has quit the Welsh Government after 'conflict' between ministerial and campaigning role. We don't know who will replace him yet - but chances are that home education will slip off the government's agenda.
 
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