As many home educators will be aware, the NSPCC hosted a roundtable discussion in the early New Year on the topic of home education and safeguarding. There is a hold-up in the publication of the final notes.
On 23 November 2015 I published my open letter to the NSPCC on my website
Below is a compilation of what I said on social media
@fionajnicholson 18 December just agreed to meet the NSPCC in the New Year to discuss home education & child protection … hoping I won’t regret it
@fionajnicholson 18 December I’ve met the NSPCC before. Look at how things didn’t get better.
Facebook 22 December: Asking the NSPCC more about the meeting on January 8th” quoting from my email “I would like to be fully prepared for this meeting in order to make an effective contribution. Please can you tell me the agenda for the meeting, who else is expected to attend and what the NSPCC considers to be the main objectives. In particular will we be asked to consider particular SCRs or to discuss possible wording for an updated report”
(I added ” I just had a horrible thought that we are meant to be putting sticking plaster on that serious case review round-up”)
@fionajnicholson 23 December
Guessing agenda for NSPCC meeting to discussion #homeeducation & safeguarding hinges on what “update” might mean
Facebook 23 December: NSPCC: I just said to Graeme: Agreed they wouldn’t have taken it down had it not been for the petition. They would most likely have made any tweaks while it was still up. My concern is that the website still says they are “reviewing” the briefing but the invitation letter says “updating our report.” “Update” to me means adding new material – like publishing a new edition of a textbook – rather than grappling with existential questions such as “why are we even doing this in the first place.” Hence my questions.
(I then added “Just to be clear, I didn’t ask the NSPCC if I could meet them. I emailed them to say they needed a less simplistic approach and received no reply. Then I got an invitation worded the same as Graeme’s.” I also added “I just had a horrible thought that we are meant to be putting sticking plaster on that serious case review round-up”)
Facebook 8 January Yesterday I posted details of the agenda for the NSPCC meeting later today. I had not asked permission from the person who sent the email so I have now deleted the post. I have also apologised to the NSPCC.
@fionajnicholson 8 January
As Graeme says, talking points from NSPCC meeting will be agreed by everyone present before they are made public
Facebook 9 January: I was at an interesting roundtable discussion with the NSPCC yesterday to look at home education and safeguarding and I gather people think it went well. I didn’t say much. Graeme has posted an update here.
(I then added “I am writing up my notes at the moment. It was agreed at the meeting that people would wait and nobody would reveal anything about the meeting until the NSPCC published the officially agreed notes.” I was asked if I thought it went well and replied “It’s much too early to tell. The general vibe was positive” and “Ask me in a year”)
Facebook 23 January: Graeme has posted an update about the NSPCC meeting I went to on January 8th.
(I added “It will be really interesting to see how they write it up”)
blog comment 25 January:
“I do agree that a major issue is lack of clarity amongst professionals.
I regret having to agree not to talk about the meeting until the NSPCC had provided its own notes, because it could have been predicted that they’d take a while to produce, and meanwhile, speculation fills the vacuum.
I have no way of knowing whether the NSPCC in London was aware that this case [Dylan Seabridge] was about to hit the media.
Obviously I am constrained as to what I can say about the NSPCC meeting at this stage but…for what its worth I don’t think the meeting was intended a holding exercise in the sense of lulling us into a false sense of security, if I’m interpreting you correctly.
I think the NSPCC reps at the meeting genuinely wanted to open up a conversation.”
Faceboook 25 January: The NSPCC has amended its web page on serious case reviews for children educated out of school, screengrabs plus Pollyanna perspective here. https://edyourself.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/changes-to-nspcc-page-on-home-education-and-serious-case-reviews/
From the blog post “My first reaction is that the latest change is an improvement”
Also from my blog post “I do agree that a major issue is lack of clarity amongst professionals. I raised this in my open letter to the NSPCC. I have commented to Anthea that I think the NSPCC reps at the meeting on January 8th genuinely wanted to open up a conversation, adding that at the same time I would be stunned if the NSPCC has had a Damascene conversion as a result of the conversation and suddenly has switched 180 degrees and no longer believes that registration and monitoring is a Good Thing, although they MAY no longer think it is The Answer, which would be tremendous progress, in my opinion.”
blog comment 25 January
They’ve said it will be “notes” not minutes because it was an informal discussion rather than a formal meeting. And yes, I hope they send them soon to all of us who were there, because we have to look at them and agree them before they are publicly released.
blog comment 25 January
To be fair, it is much more difficult to capture an informal discussion than to write up the minutes of a formal meeting. I wrote loads down but it took me many hours to distil it.
@edyourself 26 January
2 questions related to my recent NSPCC meeting
1/ Is there an unbridgeable gulf between those who think things can be improved and those who think that cosmetic changes actually make things WORSE by duping people into being (wrongly) happier with their lot? and
2/ Is it time that “learning from Serious Case Reviews” amounted to more than copying and pasting SMART recommendations from the Reviews?
Facebook 29 January: Draft notes have arrived from the NSPCC.
(I added “They are in draft form. The people who were at the meeting have to feed back their comments and request any changes/additions. Obviously nothing is going to be done at the NSPCC end over the weekend though” + “I thought they were pretty accurate so hopefully we won’t have to wait long”)
Facebook 8 February: So…home educators hammer at the NSPCC to take down its thematic briefing on serious case reviews and home education but at the same time it’s on home education websites so everyone can still read it? Sorry but how is that logical?
(I added “eerily at the very moment I was posting this, an email arrived from the NSPCC about the meeting notes.”)
@fionajnicholson 17 February
Just had NSPCC final notes (8.1.16) & am double-checking OK to share, also asked everyone at the meeting if I can share my notes as well
Faceboook comments 17 February: I can’t tell you what the NSPCC covering email said because I don’t have permission to share it but…it was quite ambiguous. It had the words “revised” and “final” in it … It would be extraordinarily difficult to write notes which all participants agreed to be a true reflection of any event … especially if it’s anything to do with home ed … I can’t tell you what it said, sorry! … I haven’t seen anything public from Graeme & I’m not in the groups … The reason why I haven’t shared the NSPCC notes I got earlier today is is to do with my interpretation of the wording of the covering email … [asked if I would be sharing my own notes] I would like to. They aren’t very exciting though …