welsh home education guidance tracked changes 3

2.3 The Welsh Government and children’s rights

This is the third of a series of blog posts commenting on tracked changes to the draft Elective Home Education Guidance for Wales. The public consultation closes on July 3rd.

Tracked changes pdf

2.3 The Welsh Government and children’s rights
‘As with all existing services to children and young people, and in accordance with Article 12 of the UNCRC…’ is extremely misleading. The process for seeking children’s views regarding their education ‘when adults are making decisions that affect them’ relates to the family court or to Looked After Children

3. Local authority approach to EHE
‘It is advisable parents continue to engage…’ is meaningless.
Using the complaints procedures for schools is pointless if there are no sanctions and if the local authority remains unwilling or seemingly powerless to intervene. (The complaints link is actually for schools and says that most parents find complaints a bit useless)
Passing reference to local council complaints procedure adds nothing. Need to spell out how it can be used – and escalated as appropriate – or else leave it alone.
Sentence ‘in the interests of the wellbeing of the child…’ is redundant. Who would suppose the contrary?
Parent Partnership is fairly toothless, can’t tell schools what to do, and may not necessarily be informed about elective home education; unhelpful to raise hopes, kinder to manage parents’ expectations. (Other agencies such as SNAP Cymru have railed against illegal exclusions/offrolling)
More passive verbs! ‘LAs should ensure that all aspects of EOTAS provision are explored’ means nothing. It doesn’t say that LAs must publish an Alternative Provision directory and make it available to parents on request. It doesn’t spell out entitlement. It isn’t a must-do. (Not going to happen anyway as EOTAS budgets in Wales are vastly overspent.)
‘The school and local authority may want to consider initiating a process of mediation…’ means nothing if the LA is not prepared to challenge the school.
‘The aim should be to achieve a positive resolution…’ is redundant. It isn’t a must-do, and anyway who would suppose the contrary?

Figure 2 Practice examples of early intervention and conflict resolution
Cardiff Fair Access Panel doesn’t mention self-referral, also it seems panel can’t be accessed till able to prove ‘raft of measures have already been attempted’ so is not helpful in situations where school refuses to implement any changes.

3.2 Engaging with home educators
Unnecessary to have paragraph about parents agonising etc. The main message of the draft Guidance is annual monitoring and interviews with children, and saying something about sacrifices doesn’t make that any better.
The likelihood of positive relationships within the proposed framework of annual monitoring is vanishingly small. Examples of good practice lack the necessary detail to be translated more widely.

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