Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Children who are Actually Missing from Education

Could this be co-incidence or is it really just a slice of ordinary life? At dinner last night we were regaled by stories of such an intensity of violence and bull-headed idiocy, that you would honestly have thought the protagonists had been caught up in some ghastly dystopian (mot du jour round here) Hollywood B movie. And then again today, we hear yet more stories of young people fighting, mugging one another, smoking, drinking, using gratuitously foul language, engaging in acts of vandalism and theft; and the setting for all this? Yes, you guessed it, SCHOOL.

I came in here to calm down, but it only gets worse as by what is more certainly a coincidence, someone had sent me a passage from the DFES Children Missing From Education Initiative:

"Children missing from education in this document, refers to all children of compulsory school age who are not on a school role (sic), not being educated otherwise (e.g.privately or in alternative provision) and who have been out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time (usually agreed as four weeks or more.)"

I guess I should be grateful that this paragraph is succinct and comprehensible because most of the rest of the document isn't, being replete with diagrams that make a simple situation almost impenetrable, and abstract pronouncements that could mean almost anything or absolutely nothing. It is the actually the content of this paragragh that should make any right-minded person want to scream.

CHILDREN MISSING FROM EDUCATION???? You want to know exactly where they are? I'll tell you: they're RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE.


Anonymous said...

I don't get this. Doesn't the children being 'educated otherwise' include home educated children?


Carlotta said...

Indeed it does, though of course, this won't stop 'em from "making informal enquiries", (however they choose to interpret that).

What I meant was that the children who are most often missing from education are the ones who are in school, though the definition of CME appears to exclude that possibility.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Interesting twist! Thanks for explanation.