Sam Rowlands MS
I’d like to thank Mr Sargeant also for raising this question this afternoon. As you acknowledged, Minister, for some learners, traditional school learning settings aren’t always the best for them. Many young people often thrive in non-traditional settings, which can see them move up the educational ladder at their own speed, and perhaps focus on specific areas of interest as well that suit them better, and, indeed, from my own experience, I was somebody who was home educated up until high-school age, and I know first-hand how well some non-traditional settings can work for some families. The outcome of which may be questionable in my instance here, but, certainly the experience of my family was of benefit. But, of course, many of the opportunities presented by non-traditional settings are underpinned by parental choice. So, Minister, how will you continue to support parents in being able to choose the right setting for their children to learn most effectively?
Jeremy Miles MS (Minister for Education)
Well, in the context of the question that he raises about elective home education—and the diffidence with which he presents the benefits of that, I think, is acknowledged—just to remind the Member that, of all the four nations in the UK, Wales has the most generous support for the elective home educating community. The current year funding for that level of support is around £1.7 million. As he will know, in the previous Senedd, we consulted on introducing changes to the regulatory arrangements around elective home education in order to support local authorities and the work they are able to do with parents who elect to home educate. I am clear in my mind that that needs to be part of a broader offer that is able to support home educators in the way that he is describing, and I’m very pleased that Wales is leading the way across the UK in provision in that space.