Graham Badman annex and Local authorities used in EHE review

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am fully aware that there are many different FOI requests about the home education review and that your department is very busy.

I noted with great interest and alarm at what was contained in the annex which was released earlier this week by the DCSF regarding how the statistics were compiled to conclude that more children who are home educated are 'known' to social services than in the general population. This annex was not released as part of the review and that gives me great concern.

I can see that out of the 90 local authorities that responded to the review- 25 were used in getting this statistic.

I know also that children who have special needs and a SEN are included in these figures.

my specific questions are-

1)which 25 local authorities were used in compiling these statistics?

2)Did the other 65 who responded leave this question blank

3) did these 65 not included in the statistics say they had no cases of concern

4) did any of the 25 used split their 'known' children into groups of substantiated concerns with on going plans, substantiated concerns with no ongoing plans, unsubstantiated concerns and SEN (who are not necessarily concerns at all but are known because they need extra services.

5) was the final statistic reached by taking the 'known' children in total and dividing them by the 25 local authorities to get an average and then multiplying that figure by the total umber of Local Authorities in England (150?)

6) if you do not have a breakdown of these statistics then Mr Badman himself should have them. please forward him my questions.

any legitimate research should be referenced in a transparent way so that it reaches a peer review standard and this should include relevant methodology

Yours faithfully,

Tania Berlow

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Ms Barlow,

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible (where a response is required). For information, the
departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses
should be sent within 15 working days or 20 working days if you are
requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0064433

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288
www.dcsf.gov.uk

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Tania Berlow left an annotation ()

I have now seen the in depth questionnaire sent to Hampshire County Council which appears to be the questions asked of the 25 LA's .http://daretoknowblog.blogspot.com/2009/...

can you confirm this is the case and that this is the actual questionnaire which was used to collate the final statistics.?

I ask because this questionnaire specifically asks to disregard children who are SEN or are considered to have special educational needs but for whom there are no safeguarding nor educational provision concerns -
whereas the annex which gives the analysis breakdown of the actual statistics says that children with SEN are included eve if these concerns are mere 'enquiries' i.e. not substantiated issues.-http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/13...

Dear Sir or Madam,

add me to the list of those requesting an internal review

Yours faithfully,

Tania Berlow

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Ms Berlow,

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible (where a response is required). For information, the
departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses
should be sent within 15 working days or 20 working days if you are
requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0072923

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288
www.dcsf.gov.uk

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Department for Children, Schools and Families

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Berlow,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 16 July.
Before answering your request I should like to apologise for the delay in
replying. This is largely due to the increased volume of correspondence
about the review of home education received this year. The Department is
aware, however, that it has missed the statutory deadline for reply and is
in breach of its obligations under the Act. We very much regret this and
any inconvenience this has caused you.

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Your request and our responses are below -

I am fully aware that there are many different FOI requests about
the home education review and that your department is very busy.

I noted with great interest and alarm at what was contained in the
annex which was released earlier this week by the DCSF regarding
how the statistics were compiled to conclude that more children who
are home educated are 'known' to social services than in the
general population. This annex was not released as part of the
review and that gives me great concern.

It may help if I first confirm that the only annexes to the review are
those contained in Graham Badman's report on the Review into Home
Education, namely annexes A - F. An annex to a number of FOI requests to
the Department has recently been released on the Department's FOI website
([1]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/foischeme/). However, this is an annex to
individual FOI requests and does not form part of the published report.
There has never been an annex to the Review which concluded that there are
more children who are 'known' to social services than in the general
population. What the Review actually said was 'the number of children
known to children's social care in some local authorities is
disproportionately high relative to the size of their home educating
population'.

I can see that out of the 90 local authorities that responded to
the review- 25 were used in getting this statistic.

I know also that children who have special needs and a SEN are
included in these figures.

my specific questions are-

1)which 25 local authorities were used in compiling these
statistics?

To clarify - all top tier local authorities (150) were sent the local
authority questionnaire (Annex D of Graham Badman's report). 90 responses
were received. A second questionnaire was sent to the 90 local
authorities who responded to the first questionnaire, 25 of whom
responded. A list of the 25 local authorities is attached.

2)Did the other 65 who responded leave this question blank

The other 65 did not complete the second questionnaire.

3) did these 65 not included in the statistics say they had no
cases of concern

As above.

4) did any of the 25 used split their 'known' children into groups
of substantiated concerns with on going plans, substantiated
concerns with no ongoing plans, unsubstantiated concerns and SEN
(who are not necessarily concerns at all but are known because they
need extra services.

Local authorities were asked to provide information in the categories:

Section 17 enquiry (not including disabled children where no concerns
about parenting or quality of EHE)

Section 47 enquiry (not including cases leading to no further action)

Section 37 (care orders)

Children who are or have been subject to child protection plans (or
previously on the child protection register)

Other (please specify)

5) was the final statistic reached by taking the 'known' children
in total and dividing them by the 25 local authorities to get an
average and then multiplying that figure by the total umber of
Local Authorities in England (150?)

Please can you clarify the specific statistic you are referring to?

6) if you do not have a breakdown of these statistics then Mr
Badman himself should have them. please forward him my questions.

any legitimate research should be referenced in a transparent way
so that it reaches a peer review standard and this should include
relevant methodology

Please can you clarify if you are asking for further information from us?
Mr Badman is a private individual and not a `public authority'.

The information supplied to you is protected by the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. Any documents produced by government officials will be
covered by Crown Copyright. You are free to use the information for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder and is
regulated by the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. You
can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright at:

Office of Public Sector Information
Information Policy Team
Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 4DU

Email: [2][email address]

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.
Yours sincerely,

Josephine Bell
Independent Schools Partnerships and Strategy Team
[email address]
[3]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0064433.

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Dear Sir or Madam,
To clarify,
The Review into Elective home Education came up with a figure of children known to Socail SErvices whihc was twice the national average. I wish to know if the answers from the 25 LA's listed was extrapolated to all 152 LA's to reach that figure and if not how was this twice the national average figure reached?

Yours faithfully,

Tania Berlow

Shena Deuchars left an annotation ()

As Swindon is my LA, I've just asked them for their response to the questionnaire: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/re....

Dani Ahrens left an annotation ()

I have requested Brighton & Hove's response

K Maxwell left an annotation ()

I have requested East Sussex County Council's response.

Pam Perryman left an annotation ()

I have requested Gloucestershire County Council's response.

nutty (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I am bored.

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Children, Schools and Families's handling of my FOI request 'Graham Badman annex and Local authorities used in EHE review'.

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

Yours faithfully,

Tania Berlow

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Ms Berlow

Thank you for your recent email, dated 8 September, requesting an internal
review of previous correspondence (.'Graham
Badman annex and Local authorities used in EHE review'.). Could you
please advise the case reference number that would have been assigned to
the specific correspondence in question, in order that we may consider an
internal review of that case.

Your current request has been allocated the reference number 2009/0076945

Yours sincerely

Josephine Bell
Indendent Schools Partnerships and Strategy Team

Department for Children, Schools and Families
[1]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/index.htm

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Dear Sir or Madam,

I refer to case number
Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0064433.

My question that remains outstanding is numbered 5 below-which is basically asking how the statistics were analysed although you appear to be saying that they were not analysed becasue the review merely concludes that SOME Local Authorities have a higher than average amount of children known to social care

5) was the final statistic reached by taking the 'known' children
in total amongst the 25 LA's and dividing them by the 25 local authorities to get an
average and then multiplying that figure by the total number of
Local Authorities in England (150?).

my question relates to the specific piece of information released below by the DCSF.

'' Known to social care[2]

25 of the 90 LAs asked responded (28% response rate).

* Based on the data we have from the 25 LAs, the average (median) proportion of EHE children per LA known to social care is approximately 7%. We estimate there are approximately 3% of children (5-16 years) known to social care in maintained schools.[3]
* Within the 25 LAs for which we have data, there were 477 registered home educated children who were currently known to social care.
* On average (median) 7 children per LA are known to social care.
* Extrapolating to the national level (150 LAs), this means around 1350 home educated children are known to social care in some capacity (6.75%).

[1] Taking an average caseload per LA (139 children) multiplied by 150 LA.

[2] Known to social care includes Section 17, 37 or 47 enquiries.

[3] Using 2005 data (the latest available), these are approximate figures and include disabled children. ''

Yours faithfully,

Tania Berlow

Dear Sir or Madam,
I FORGOT TO PUT THIS IN-

* Based on the data we have from the 25 LAs, the average (median) proportion of EHE children per LA known to social care is approximately 7%. We estimate there are approximately 3% of children (5-16 years) known to social care maintained schools.5* Within the 25 LAs for which we have data, there were 477 registered home educated children who were currently known to social care.

* On average (median) 7 children per LA are known to social care.

* Extrapolating to the national level (150 LAs), this means around 1350 home educated children are known to social care in some capacity (6.75%).

Yours faithfully,

Tania Berlow

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Ms Berlow

Thank you for responding to my request for the case number of the
correspondence about which you are requesting an internal review.

We are currently considering your request for an internal review of our
reply and will advise you further as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Josephine Bell
Independent Schools Partnerships and Strategy Team
[email address]

[1]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/index.htm

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Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Ms Berlow,
I refer to your request for an internal review which was received on 8 September (reference
2009/0076945).

Before informing you of the outcome of the internal review I should like to apologise for the delay
in replying. The Department is aware there has been a delay in responding to your original request
(2009/0064433) and also your subsequent request for an internal review. While I appreciate it is in
no way a justification, I should like to explain that the Department makes every effort to respond
quickly to requests for information and internal reviews, but the delay in responding in this
case has been due to the unusual volume of requests the Department has received in recent months.

On 16 July you requested the information, copied at annex A, in relation to paragraph 5 of the
working paper "Independent Review of Home Education - safeguarding evidence". A response was sent
to you on 28 August.

The Department has now completed its internal review process and has carried out a thorough review
of the case, chaired by a senior officer who was not involved with the original request.

The purpose of the internal review was to re-examine the Department's response to your FOI request
and to decide whether the provisions of the Act have been applied correctly. The panel reviewed the
information and discussed the following points -

- The initial information collected for Graham Badman's review into elective home education
and the data and statistics collated from that information.

- That initially all top tier LA's (150) were sent out a questionnaire. Of those 90
responded. A 2^nd questionnaire was sent out to the 90 LAs that responded. 25 LAs responded to
this 2^nd questionnaire.

- The attendees are aware of concerns raised by some correspondents that the report was
poorly researched and provided limited evidence to support Graham Badman's recommendations.
However, further information was collected from 74 LAs in September 2009, analysis of which
supported the original findings, that the number of children known to children's social care in some
local authorities is disproportionately high relative to the size of their home education
population.

- That you were querying whether the figure shown in paragraph 5 of the working paper
"Independent Review of Home Education - safeguarding evidence" (ie 6.75%) was a figure derived from
the 25 responses but scaled it up to the 150 LAs. The panel considered, in view of the September
data, that it is unnecessary to revisit the original figures.

- The panel are aware there has been an accidental miscalculation in the statistics
(paragraph 5 of the working paper "Independent Review of Home Education - safeguarding evidence"
shows a figure of 1350 which should read 1050). However, the statement in Graham Badman's report,
paragraph 8.12 " ... the number of children known to children's social care in some local
authorities is disproportionately high relative to the size of their home educating population ...."
was based on the raw data returns from LAs, rather than directly from the information contained in
this working paper.

- The panel noted that Mr Badman is not a `public authority' and as such is not subject to the
Freedom of Information Act. He was appointed to lead the review into elective home education which
was commissioned by the DCSF in 2009. His report was presented to the Secretary of State and
published on 11 June 2009.

Your emails dated 28 August and 11 September requested further explanation about how the figure for
children known to social care was derived. As the above bullet points note, the panel considered
that recent data supported the original findings and therefore nothing useful would be gained by
analysing the original calculation. The September data is contained in Graham Badman's letter, 9
October, to Barry Sheerman, Chairman of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee,
available on the Every Child Matters website at
[1]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters....

Having fully considered your original request and the Department's response of 28 August, the panel
is satisfied with the response that was forwarded to you. It regrets, however, that a reply was not
forwarded within the statutory deadline and that a delay was also incurred in dealing with your
request for an internal review.

If you are unhappy with this decision, you have the right to appeal directly to the Information
Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Case Reception Unit

Customer Service Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Further information about the Information Commissioner's complaints procedure can be found on the
Information Commissioner's Office website:
[2]http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...

Yours sincerely,

Penny Jones

Deputy Director

Independent Schools and School Organisation

[3]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0076945.

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