On 19 January, we wrote to Education Minister, Jeremy Miles MS. On 28 January we received a reply from a member of his staff. Their reply [PDF] reads:
Dear Families First in Education – Wales,
Thank you for your letter of 19 January to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language regarding elective home education. I have been asked to reply.
I can confirm that the Welsh Government’s intention is to build on the previous proposals whilst taking into consideration the responses to the consultations held in 2019 and 2020 that your letter references.
Feedback from the consultations, workshops and meetings with key stakeholders has helped inform several subsequent amendments to the draft statutory guidance, home educator’s handbook and the intended wider package of support.
Following completion of the development work, we will be engaging with our key stakeholders to explain the proposals and hopefully allay any concerns they may have.
Should you wish to discuss your specific concerns with the relevant officials prior to this, please contact us using the email address at the bottom of this page and a meeting can be arranged at a mutually convenient date and time.
We replied recently and expressed our continuing concerns that the Government has yet to confirm that it fully respects “the commitment in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that ‘parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.’ (Article 26)” Our full response is available as a PDF. In it we responded positively to the officer’s offer of a meeting, but accompanied that acceptance with the following paragraph:
“Before that meeting, we hope to give other home educating families in Wales the opportunity to let us know any concerns they may have about the Government’s intentions which they would like us to pass on. This will no doubt take us three weeks or so to collect and collate, but we would hope to have the information to hand by the time of the meeting.”
We are therefore asking home educators in Wales to send us their comments on the messaging coming from the Government in regard to EHE. For example, see this news item from January on a Freedom of Information Request in which the Government said it was seeking to define what is meant by a “suitable education.”
The opportunity to send us your comments has now passed.
Our team are all volunteers and busy home educators. It would be very helpful therefore if you could keep your comments short – no more than 200 words. This will make it easier for us to to process them. We would very much welcome comments from HE young people as well as their parents.
So if you live in Wales, and would be happy for us to pass on your comments (but not your contact details), to the Equity in Education Division of the Education Directorate, please do write to us before
31 March 23 April. It would be helpful if any young people contacting us would make clear if they are under 18 and where appropriate, that they are writing to us with their parents’ permission.
Whilst we are sure that home educators from other parts of the UK will wish to contribute to this process, on this occasion please can we ask you not to add to our work load.
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