Education is compulsory - school is optional


In response to requests from Welsh EO members, trustees have been considering how best to support the campaign.  We are aware that meetings to discuss how to respond to the proposals are ongoing in many areas of Wales and on a variety of email lists, etc.  EO no longer has a Government Policy Group, and it would be impossible for EO trustees to keep up with all that’s going on, although those trustees who live in Wales are making an active contribution.  We have therefore decided to create this temporary additional page so that EO members and other home educators are aware of what we are doing.

We would urge all home educators – both adults and children – to respond to the consultation. The original consultation document from the Welsh Government, which sets out the proposals and contains information on how to respond, can be accessed here:

From prior experience with the similar ‘Badman’ proposals for England and Wales in 2009/10, we believe that one of the factors that convinced the government not to proceed was the large number of individual responses from home educating families and groups.  Some of these were comprehensive and detailed; others made brief comments except where they had some particular experience they wished to be considered.

Trustees are in the process of drafting an EO response to the proposals.  In the meantime, a briefing paper is being printed and sent to all Assembly Members.  Drafts of this have been circulated widely, but the final text is here (or see download link at foot of page).  We hope that Welsh home educators will be able to make good use of this well-informed document, in considering their own responses to the consultation.  There is ongoing discussion on this and other sources of information.

We have asked Wendy Charles-Warner, an EO member in Wales and author of the briefing paper, to act as the official representative of Education Otherwise the charity.  Wendy says “I am happy to accompany people on visits to AMs if I am available, to attend meetings with AMs or with groups of EHE families if they wish. I would be happy especially to help encourage children to fill in the consultation documents or to explain to them what to do in the young people’s meetings.”  These are:

Welsh Government EHE Consultation Workshops for Children & Young People

18th October (Thursday) 2012 at Royal Welsh Showground, Powys (see update for reports)

26th October (Friday) 2012 at All Nations Centre, Cardiff (see update for report)

30th October (Tuesday) 2012 at Conwy Business Centre, Conwy (see updates 4, 5 & 6 for reports)

They request number and first names of attendees but this isn't a requirement;  in practice, it's OK just to turn up.

In the meantime, here are some ideas for young people to consider when attending workshops (you can look at the questions on the response form in the same way):

  • Think about what you like about home education and why you want it to stay as it is.
  • The leaders at the meetings may ask their questions in a way that makes it easier to answer how they would like you to. This is called a 'leading question'.  So think carefully about what they are REALLY asking. If you think a question isn't clear or it makes you feel like they want you to say something in a way you don't want to, then speak up and say it isn't a good question, or ask a parent to do it for you.
  • Think about whether you would mind people from the Council coming in to your home to check on you, and why you would or wouldn’t like it.

There is also an e-Petition regarding the proposals, which will be presented on 7th November (so sign beforehand if you support it): (now closed)

The petition wording is:

Opposing compulsory registration for home educating children

We call upon the Welsh Assembly for Wales to abandon plans for a compulsory register for home educated children as part of the draft Education (Wales) Bill.

The law states that parents, not the state, are responsible for the education of their children, which makes such a register both inappropriate and unnecessary.

We will post further information here as and when possible.

Anne Rix (EO Chair)