update on Kent policy April 22nd

Update 1, April 28th: I’ve spoken to barrister Ian Dowty about the draft policy and he says the draft policy as stands is unlawful in identifying categories rather than treating each family as individual

Update 2: new FOI answered April 22nd 

I’ve been blogging recently about what is happening in Kent with the new draft home education policy.

Last Friday – April 17th – a new home education web page from Kent Council came up on my google news feed. When I went to the page it had a link to a consultation on the new draft policy. I clicked through to the consultation and registered with the site, but then I got a message on screen to say that the consultation was either private (ie I hadn’t been invited) or else didn’t exist

I wasn’t sure what was happening but I thought it would be useful to flag it up to home educators in Kent, so that they could have a go at registering in case they hadn’t heard about the consultation yet from the council.

It then turned out that other people were getting the same message about not being able to access the consultation and it seemed likely that it wasn’t quite ready to go live, even though it had been signposted from the new web page.

I then took some time over the weekend to pull together a few thoughts on what seemed wrong to me with the draft policy. I blogged about that here.

Meanwhile I’ve kept going back repeatedly to refresh the consultation page to see if it’s live yet, because sadly that’s the kind of person I am.

Yesterday all became clear. I had a message from Scott Bagshaw who is the Head of Fair Access at Kent Council and who is overseeing the engagement process for the new draft policy. (I’ve said ‘engagement process’ rather than just ‘consultation’ because we don’t know what’s involved yet)

It turns out that the page which came up on my google feed shouldn’t ever have been public in the first place because it is still being developed  (and in fact it is now password-protected.)

The website people simply hadn’t anticipated that it would come up on google (and almost certainly hadn’t foreseen my monomaniacal hyperfocus on any home education news items where I would then rush to tell everyone about it, possibly jumping the gun)

So this is the current state of play: the new council home education web page is nearly ready and the engagement process for the consultation will be explained soon.

Scott is aware that people already know the contents of the draft policy because it has been available as part of the paperwork from the Cabinet meeting.

I’ve taken down the links to the not-yet-ready consultation on my blog and website because I agree that it is just confusing and I’ve written this post in the hope of making things clearer.

The short version: expect a consultation on Kent’s draft elective home education policy to be announced soon. 

Read more  http://edyourself.org/articles/kent.php

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