A meeting was held in Stafford on April 24th with some members of the AEHEP committee and some home education representatives including Education Otherwise and HE-Special. Official notes of the meeting can be found here and views from one of the participants can be read here.
6 weeks or so before the meeting I announced that I had received an invitation to meet the AEHEP committee and some home education representatives in Stafford. Jane Lowe from the Home Education Advisory Service confirmed that HEAS had also received an invitation. Anne Rix from Education Otherwise said she had received an invitation but it wasn’t known who would actually be going from EO. Tricia Farey from HE-Special said she had secured an invitation.
It became known that there were several home education representatives who had been invited but who didn’t want their names to be shared before the meeting.
People didn’t know what they would ever find out about who had been at the meeting or what had been discussed. It was also not really known why the meeting was being held.
I said at the end of March that I had sent apologies and couldn’t be at the meeting. I inferred that the main purpose of the meeting was a get to know you session.
A few days before the meeting it was announced that Jonathan Adams and Anne Rix would be going from Education Otherwise. Mike Fortune Wood (now Mike Wood) also confirmed at this point that he had been invited. (Incidentally, the Elective Home Education Guidelines referred to by Mike Wood in the previous link are not the 2007/2013 Government Guidelines, but earlier Guidelines which were compiled by home educators in 1999)
It was not publicly known how many LAs would be at the meeting or who the LA representatives would be – except it was taken for granted that Jenny Dodd would be there as Chair of AEHEP and because the meeting was to be held in Stafford.
When the agenda was circulated shortly before the meeting (without saying who was attending) some people had the impression that notes would not be published at all, only ‘action points’, while others thought that there would be notes, but not a lot of detail.
Shortly after the meeting Alison Sauer said on Facebook that she had attended the meeting.
It became known that the meeting had been held under the Chatham House Rule and there was some debate as to who had instigated this. It also became known that there would in fact be official notes from the meeting, not just action points. I expressed the view that CHR doesn’t mean that information can’t be shared, only that the views expressed cannot be attributed.
A few days after the meeting Tricia Farey posted some notes to HE-Special which she agreed could be shared more widely. I put these notes on my blog. The notes were CHR-compliant in that they did not say who had been at the meeting, and stated what had been said but not who said it except when reporting what the author herself had said.
6 days after the meeting I received the official notes and action points from the secretary of the AEHEP which I checked and was told that I could share. I put these on my website. I haven’t yet seen them published elsewhere.
The official notes and action points filled in a few gaps.
Irrespective of what people had guessed or assumed, this was the first official confirmation that Wendy Charles Warner had been invited to the meeting.
The official notes showed that Jane Lowe from HEAS was not at the meeting.
The official notes do not state in what capacity people were attending the meeting but it is billed as ‘AEHEP and EHE Support Groups’. It is a matter of public record that Tricia Farey is from He-Special, and that Jonathan Adams and Anne Rix are Trustees of Education Otherwise support charity.
The official notes reveal that there were only 3 members of the AEHEP committee at the meeting, namely Jenny Dodd from Staffordshire, Dave Harvey from Hampshire, and Penny Stephen from Hounslow. Dave Harvey whom we knew as Vice Chair is inferred now to be Joint Chair with Jenny Dodd since the official notes make reference to joint chairs taking items back to the committee.
(This is what we previously knew of the committee from the launch in February: “Each of the regional forums nominates 2 representatives to sit on the national committee, which was set to meet for the first time directly after the launch. Regional reps who were dispersed around the room then stood up and briefly introduced themselves. I didn’t catch all the names and will now ask for a list. The elected officers are Jenny Dodd, Chair, Dave Harvey Hampshire Vice Chair and Kevin Grant Bromley Secretary.” [Link])
Edited May 5th to add that it appears from a blog comment that Kevin Grant is no longer secretary and since the official notes were edited by Penny Stephen it may be inferred that Penny is either the new secretary or the new acting secretary.
From Tricia’s notes it seems that the next meeting of the AEHEP is in June. We can predict quite a lot of the agenda for the June meeting from the official notes:
AEHEP’s revised Terms of Reference (constitution)
Associate Membership for EHE support groups?
Alternatives to Daniel Monk for training for LA EHE professionals?
Contact details for committee members?
Statement that it is not AEHEP’s intention to ask for a National Registration and Monitoring System?