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Suggestions for how children and young people could respond to Databases Consultation

In response to the Welsh Government’s failure to upload the children’s and young people’s version of the Children Missing Education Database consultation on its website, members of our team have worked with other home educators to produce alternative graphics which we hope will encourage young people who are being home educated to respond to this important consultation.

Coincidentally, we were informed two days ago (Friday 12 April) that one local authority, Conwy, had circulated copies of the children’s and young people’s version to home educating families it is in contact with. (Further comment below.)

Our alternative graphics are being circulated through social media, but we are also publishing them here so they can be accessible to anyone who would like to use them. There are two different graphics available. Both are provided in Welsh or English, and also in two formats, either as plain colour-in sheets (A4 landscape) or as a smaller graphic with space for text below (A4 portrait). They are available as two PDF files, the first containing the four landscape pages, the second the four portrait pages.

There are various ways your children may wish to use these in the hope of ensuring their voices are registered with the Welsh Government. These include:

  • taking inspiration from the graphics to write and/or draw their own response;
  • simply colouring in one or both of the sheets in their preferred language;
  • use one or both of the lined versions to accompany the pictures with their own words.

Given the lack of clarity with the official children’s and young people’s version you may be wondering how to submit your children’s responses to the consultation. This is where the email circulated by Conwy County Borough Council proves helpful. It ends:

How to respond

Please submit your comments by 25 April 2024, in any of the following ways:


EMAIL: Complete the attached form and return to: or

POST: Complete the attached form and return to:

Supporting Achievement and Safeguarding
Equity in Education Division
Public Services and Welsh Language Group
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

Given the lack of any other information from the Government, it seems sensible for young people to use the central consultation email address (not the Conwy one) to submit their responses. That this is an acceptable means has been confirmed by it being cited by Conwy. (That said, it should be noted that the ‘online form’ linked to by Conwy, is the main submission portal for adult respondents!)

Practical tips

For those wishing to email a young person’s response, there are several ways you can do this. First select the pages they wish to use from the two files available and then print hard copies. Once your child(ren) have completed them, scan them (or take photographs) and attach these to an email. Alternatively, for those young people who are confident to work on screen, most PDF viewers allow comments to be added to the file both as text and freehand graphics. Pages completed in this way can be then printed to a new file (remember to select “Document & markups/comments” or similar in the print dialogue) which can then be emailed to the Government.

Whichever means chosen to submit responses from children and young people, please remember to provide relevant details, making sure to state it is a young person’s response to the consultation and asking for a receipt. Please remember that the consultation closes on 25 April.

Email from Conwy County Borough Council

Having mentioned the Conwy email, here is a little more context. It was received by local HE families on 12 April, less than two weeks before the consultation closes. The official versions have already been being used by what the Welsh Government refers to as “trusted partners” well before that date. It also appears that children in schools were being asked to fill them in on the school premises – we have previously highlighted the involvement of the organisation called Children in Wales in this. A printout of the Conwy email is available.

Attached to this were copies of the Welsh and English versions of the Government’s children and young people’s consultation forms along with what looks very much like a Government explanation of the purpose of these forms, though it lacks any identification of the source. Originally circulated as a Word document, it can be accessed as a PDF file. Much of the content will be familiar to readers, but three of the last four paragraphs provide new insights. They are quoted in full below without further comment:

How are we seeking views for this consultation?

The consultation in 2020 was a 12 week public consultation, which also included a child friendly online version of the consultation document and table talk workshops for young people to have their say. We did not request information from consultees about age, but it is apparent that very few – less that 1% – of the responses from individuals (rather than organisations) were submitted by young people.

The revised regulations aim to help local authorities identify children they do not currently know about, and children who are known to the local authority but contact is limited (and they cannot undertake their duties in relation to that child).

We want to hear the views of children and young people on matters that affect them, but realise they may not always have a safe space or feel that they are able to respond. The child and young persons’ version of the consultation document is being shared via our trusted partners – Children in Wales, the Children’s Commissioner’s office, and local authority forums that allow children to discuss relevant issues.


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