Compulsory use of the Young Scot Card contd. contd.

Dr John Welford made this Freedom of Information request to Falkirk Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dr John Welford

Dear Education Services

This is to follow up your response to my earlier request:
Compulsory use of the Young Scot Card contd.
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...

and to seek further clarification.

1. You said: “The statement “Every pupil is issued with a Young Scot Card at primary school” should have read “Every pupil is offered a Young Scot Card at primary school”.” I agree with you. But this raises two questions. Firstly,was this mistake an anomalous isolated one for Falkirk High School or has the same mistake been made in all their prospectuses to date? Secondly and more generally, are other Falkirk County Council schools making the same mistake in their prospectuses too or are they, as required, making it very clear that the Young Scot Card is entirely voluntary?

You went on to say: “We are not aware of any pupil at Falkirk High School who has declined the card.”. I find this surprising, unless it is the case that parents and pupils have never been clearly informed that they have a real choice over whether or not to opt for the Young Scot Card. This raises a further related question: how many of the anonymous blank swipe cards have been issued within all Falkirk County Council’s schools?

2. Although my specific reference to Falkirk Primary School was incorrect (and thank you for the clarification), I still wish to see an answer to the fundamental question I was raising. In other words are the parents of pupils attending Falkirk County Council schools being properly informed that it is not necessary for pupils to use the Young Scot card to pay for school meals?

If so, I would like to see hardcopy evidence of this.

Accordingly and specifically:

1. With respect to Falkirk High School are you able to confirm that their prospectuses have usually made clear the voluntary nature of the Young Scot Card?

2. Could you please supply me with hardcopy evidence of this, in terms of one previous Falkirk High School prospectus?

3. With respect to schools generally within the Falkirk County Council area are you able to confirm that their prospectuses have been making clear the voluntary nature of the Young Scot Card?

4. Again, could you please supply me with hardcopy evidence of this, in terms of one school prospectus from some school other than Falkirk High?

5. For schools within the Falkirk County Council area are you able to confirm that parents are being clearly and explicitly informed that pupils have a choice over whether or not to opt for the Young Scot Card to pay for school meals and that anonymous blank swipe cards are available as an alternative?

6. And could you please supply me with hardcopy evidence of this, in terms of one letter or set of instructions to parents?

7. To date how many pupils within the Falkirk County Council area have opted for Young Scot cards and how many have opted for anonymous blank swipe cards?

Thanking you.

Yours faithfully

Dr John Welford

NO2ID Edinburgh

Education Services, Falkirk Council

Dear Dr Welford,

I am writing to acknowledge your further request for information.

The authority has 20 working days in which to respond to your
request and you should expect a response on or before 22 June 2011.

Education Services Falkirk Council

Education Services, Falkirk Council

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Welford,

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 Young Scot Card

I write further to your request for additional information
regarding the use of the Young Scot Card as a school meals payment
card in secondary schools. I am now able to provide you with the
following additional response.

1. Having examined this year’s school prospectuses it would appear
that a second school, Denny High School has also implied that the
Young Scot Card is compulsory. Advice has been sent to schools
advising them to ensure that future editions are accurate. The
remainder of schools simply refer to a “swipe card” system. This is
because a standard text has been used for a number of years.

2. We do not have any record of how many blank swipecards have been
issued to pupils who have declined to have a Young Scot card as we
do not record the reason they are issued.

3. Schools have been asked to explain to parents that the Young
Scot card is not compulsory when information about school meals is
supplied to parents of pupils entering S1 in the new school year.
This information has not yet been produced.

4. Last year’s Falkirk High School prospectus contained the same
text as this year’s.

5. Several high schools have copies of their prospectuses, both for
this and previous years, on the Council website. They can be found
at
http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/services/educa....

I hope that the above information is useful to you. I enclose for
your information a leaflet detailing your right to complain if you
are unhappy with the way in which your request has bee handled.

Education Services Falkirk Council

Dr John Welford

Dear Education Services



I am grateful for your response and the information supplied.

Two of my questions (4. and 6.) requested hardcopy evidence that any Falkirk County Council school had ever informed parents of the voluntary nature of the Young Scot Card. Your inability to provide this represents prima facie evidence that the Council has been operating a strictly compulsory policy over Young Scot Card issue.

Furthermore, given that parents would have been unaware that there was the option of obtaining a blank swipe card, it therefore follows that no parent would ever have been in a position to exercise their choice in the matter, and so no such blank cards could ever have been issued. Your inability to provide figures on blank swipe card issue is therefore hardly surprising.

Since Falkirk Council’s Young Scot Card policy has clearly not been in accord with that of the Scottish Parliament it is at least reassuring that the Council will now be implementing the necessary changes to bring it into line.



Thanking you.



Yours faithfully



Dr John Welford



NO2ID Edinburgh

sheila struthers left an annotation ()

This is only a small part of the overall plan. Read more here: http://www.home-education.biz/forum/gene...

The Children and Young People Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament makes provision for universal data sharing without consent and intrusive surveillance of every child and associated adult, along with the imposition of a Named Person (other than a parent) on every child. A petition to raise awareness among the 129 MSPs (who appear to have missed the fact that children are now all deemed to be 'at risk of failing to meet state dictated outcomes') has been created here: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/m...