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Correspondence relating to home education

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Dear Department for Education,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

On 20th October 2014, Nick Gibb MP stated the following, in response to a Written Question from Barry Shearman MP:

"There are no current plans to collect personal information on children receiving elective home education. The Department for Education is aware, however, of some concerns amongst local authorities about the information they have on such children in their areas. We have recently begun discussions with a range of representative bodies about these concerns and other home education issues, especially in relation to safeguarding"

I am requesting a list of the 'representative bodies' aforementioned and copies of all correspondence between such bodies and the Department of Education since 1st January 2013.

I would like this information in the form of electronic copies.

If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters. If any of this information is already in the public domain, please can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.

Yours faithfully,

Jayne Richardson

Department for Education

 

 

Dear Ms Richardson

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible. For information; the departmental standard for correspondence
received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you
are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your
correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0070312.

 

Thank you

 

Department for Education

Ministerial and Public Communications Division

Tel: 0370 000 2288

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Department for Education

Dear Ms Richardson,
Thank you for your email dated 25 October about Elective Home Education.
 
You requested:
 
On 20th October 2014, Nick Gibb MP stated the following, in response to a
Written Question from Barry Shearman MP:

"There are no current plans to collect personal information on children
receiving elective home education. The Department for Education is aware,
however, of some concerns amongst local authorities about the information
they have on such children in their areas. We have recently begun
discussions with a range of representative bodies about these concerns and
other home education issues, especially in relation to safeguarding"

I am requesting a list of the 'representative bodies' aforementioned and
copies of all correspondence between such bodies and the Department of
Education since 1st January 2013.

I would like this information in the form of electronic copies.

If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could
contact me as I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise
and assist requesters. If any of this information is already in the public
domain, please can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of
breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the
confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should not be
treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”).

The Department holds the information you have requested.  However, I
consider that the following exemption(s) apply to your request:

 s.35 - formulation of government policy

The Act obliges the Department to respond to requests promptly, and in any
case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request.  However,
where one of the exemptions listed above is applicable, the Department
must consider whether the public interest lies in disclosing or
withholding the information.  In these circumstances the Act allows the
time for response to be longer than 20 working days.

In your case the Department estimates that it will take an additional 20
days to take a decision on where the balance of the public interest lies. 
It is anticipated that you will receive a full response by 22 December. 
If it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a conclusion, we
will keep you informed.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications. 

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar
months of the date of this letter.  Your complaint will be considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request. 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office. 

 

 

 
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0070312. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Bishop
Independent Education and School Governance
[email address]
[2]www.gov.uk/dfe

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
2. http://www.gov.uk/dfe

Fiona Nicholson left an annotation ()

Here is an earlier FOI of mine on a related topic where s 35 has also been invoked https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

I have posted all LA/DfE correspondence on my website http://edyourself.org/articles/LAletters...

Fiona Nicholson left an annotation ()

1 of the bodies will be the Association of Directors of Children's Services
http://www.adcs.org.uk/committees/ea-pc....
September 2014
The last meeting of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee was held on Friday 12 September at the Laycock Centre in Islington. It was chaired for the first time by Debbie Barnes, Director of Children’s Services in Lincolnshire.
A representative from the DfE joined the committee to discuss elective home education (EHE). Although the department does not have any immediate plans to review this policy, a series of conversations with stakeholders have now begun in order to assess whether it is still relevant given the government’s guidance has remained unchanged since 2007.
Members talked about the difficulty they have in knowing home education pupils exist at all without a statutory registration process and the limited safeguarding powers they and their staff have to protect home educated pupils from harm.
Several members expressed serious concern that the parental voice appears to be prioritised over that of the child or young person being educated in the home which directly contradicts the child-centred approach used in schools.
Checks and balances around the suitability of the setting, the quality of teaching and the content of curriculum provided in the home setting was also raised with some members suggesting that EHE seems to be a grey area for Ofsted."

I am collecting correspondence and discussions on my website here
http://edyourself.org/articles/LAletters...

Dear Department for Education,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Education's handling of my FOI request 'Correspondence relating to home education'.

I am concerned to hear that 'stakeholders' have been speaking to the Department of Education about home education and I wish to know who these stakeholders are and whether home educating parents have been involved in such discussions. I will take up the matter of further refusal of my FOI request with my MP.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Jayne Richardson

Fiona Nicholson left an annotation ()

DfE has spoken to the ADCS policy committee, 1 LA in the north and visited 2 regional forums of local authorities, as well as attending a scrutiny meeting at Westminster Council.

More information here http://edyourself.org/articles/LAletters...

Department for Education

Dear Ms Richardson,
Thank you for your email dated 21 November 2014 about Elective Home
Education and an FOI request.
 
In your email you ask for an internal review of the decision to carry out
a public interest test relating to your previous FOI request. However, it
would not be appropriate to carry out such a review until the public
interest test has ben carried out and the results notified to you, because
until that happens, your original FOI request has not been dealt with and
there is no final decision to review. 
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0075833. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Bishop
Independent Education and School Governance
[email address]
[2]www.gov.uk/dfe

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
2. http://www.gov.uk/dfe

Fiona Nicholson left an annotation ()

I'm thinking out loud about this here
https://www.facebook.com/edyourself/post...

Fiona Nicholson left an annotation ()

http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...

Q Asked by Mr Barry Sheerman(Huddersfield)Asked on: 28 November 2014
Department for EducationHome Education216357
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2014 to Question 214684, which representative bodies she or representatives of her Department have met in autumn 2014 to discuss home schooling and safeguarding.
A Answered by: Mr Nick Gibb Answered on: 04 December 2014

The Department for Education officials have met with the policy committee of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services; officers of Darlington Borough Council; the children’s services scrutiny committee of the City of Westminster, and two regional forums of local authority elective home education officers; one for London and the South East and the other for the West Midlands.

Department for Education

4 Attachments

Dear Ms Richardson,
Thank you for your email dated 27 October about Elective Home Education.
 
 

You requested:

 

"There are no current plans to collect personal information on children receiving elective
home education. The Department for Education is aware, however, of some concerns amongst
local authorities about the information they have on such children in their areas. We have
recently begun discussions with a range of representative bodies about these concerns and
other home education issues, especially in relation to safeguarding"

I am requesting a list of the 'representative bodies' aforementioned and copies of all
correspondence between such bodies and the Department of Education since 1st January 2013.

I would like this information in the form of electronic copies.

If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters. If any of
this information is already in the public domain, please can you direct me to it, with page
references and URLs if necessary.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of
confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind
you that information should not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been
signed.

 

 

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Further to previous emails the Department has decided that the public interest lies in
disclosing the information except for one document. This is being withheld in accordance
with the exemption under s.35 (formulation of policy)..

 

The bodies are:

 

a. the education policy committee of ADCS;

b. The London and South East Home Education Officers forum

c. The West Midlands forum of home education officers

d. Darlington Borough Council Children’s Services

c. City of Westminster Children Services scrutiny panel.

 

The relevant documents are included in the attached four pdf files. There are no documents
in scope of the request in relation to the Darlington or Westminster meetings.

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to use
it for your own purposes, including for private study and non-commercial research, and for
any other purpose authorised by an exception in current copyright law. Documents (except
photographs) can be also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of
news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the
permission of the copyright holder.

 

Most documents produced by a government department or will be protected by Crown Copyright.
Most Crown copyright information can be re-used under the Open Government Licence
([1]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o.... For information about
the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information please see The National Archives
website
-[2]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
.

 

Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information about obtaining
permission from a third party see the Intellectual Property Office’s website at
[3]www.ipo.gov.uk.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should make a complaint
to the Department by writing to me within two calendar months of the date of this letter. 
Your complaint will be considered by an independent review panel, who were not involved in
the original consideration of your request. 

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the Department, you may then
contact the Information Commissioner’s Office. 
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0070312. If you need to respond
to us, please visit: [4]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Bishop
Independent Education and School Governance
[email address]
[5]www.gov.uk/dfe

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
blocked::http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
2. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
blocked::http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
3. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
blocked::http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
4. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
5. http://www.gov.uk/dfe

Fiona Nicholson left an annotation ()

Posted here, together with related information
http://edyourself.org/articles/LAletters...

Department for Education

Dear Ms Richardson,
Thank you for your email dated 21 November 2014 about Elective Home
Education. 
 
You will now have received the reply to your FOI request in my email dated
18 December. You should consider on the basis of that reply whether you
wish to pursue the issue of an internal review.
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0075833. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Bishop
Independent Education and School Governance
[email address]
[2]www.gov.uk/dfe

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
2. http://www.gov.uk/dfe

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