Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DCSF Review - Quis custodiet custodiens? (Rec. 3, 4, 5 & 6)

Recommendation 3
This comes in the middle of section 4, "Elective Home Education in Context – the Views of Home Educators and Others."
That all local authorities analyse the reasons why parents or carers chose elective home education and report those findings to the Children’s Trust Board, ensuring that this analysis contributes to the debate that determines the Children and Young People’s Plan.
I think this could be really good and might significantly improve schools if it's done by people with open minds and moderate intelligence. Which it might well be.

Recommendation 4
This comes at the end of section 4.
That the local authority should establish a Consultative Forum for home educating parents to secure their views and representative opinion. Such a body could be constituted as a sub-group of the Children’s Trust with a role in supporting the development of the Children’s Trust, and the intentions of the local authority with regard to elective home education.
If any of this - the broader "The Review" recommendations - is going to happen, this part is completely essential.

Recommendation 5
This comes in section 5, "The Current and Future Role of Local Authorities and Children’s Trusts," after 5.2
That the DCSF should bring forward proposals requiring all local authorities to report to the Children’s Trust Board making clear how it intends to monitor and support children and young people being educated at home, in accord with Recommendation 1.
Wait, what have the Children's Trust Board got to do with this? (Not to be confused with The Children's Trust - the CTB was announced as An Initiative (see this BBC article with photos of Baby P) though many local councils seem to have had their own branches or versions of it since 2006 or earlier, according to the results of a quick google).

The part before this, in the main body of the review, had some examples of Lovely Things Certain LAs Do To Make Friends With Home Educators, including offering support, making advice available, facilitating meeting other home educators, all of which incidentally makes it easy to keep an unintrusive eye on the families and the children. I rather approve. I mean, I might not go to such groups, because we have a lot on, but if I lived in an area with less going on all the time, they might be brilliant.

But what the Children's Trust Board are doing in here I do not know.

Recommendation 6
This comes in section 5, after 5.3
That local authorities should where appropriate commission the monitoring and support of home education through the local Children’s Trust Board, thereby securing a multidisciplinary approach and the likely use of expertise from other agencies and organisations including the voluntary sector.
... ah, money. Voluntary Sector. Yay. OK, that makes a certain amount of sense. I can't find a clear and consistent explanation of what a CTB is or does, anywhere, but since they were only announced in a few months ago that's not surprising; the wheels grind exceeding slow, after all. They seem to involve an awful lot of branches, so I do hope they've got their interdepartmental communications sorted out.

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