Monday, March 27, 2006

Proposed Changes in Pupil De-Registrations

Talk about shooting themselves in the collective foot! If the DfES is trying to get children in through the school gate, one sure way not to go about this is to make school de-registration more difficult. Yet that is precisely what they are doing.

The proposed changes from the DfES would mean that if a child is withdrawn from school with two or more days warning, the school will inform the Local Education Authority immediately and then delete the child's name at the time of withdrawal.

In the situation that a child is withdrawn immediately, the school would immediately inform the LEA, wait for two days and then delete the child's name from the register. In the interim two days the child will be marked down as absent from school.

Why bother with all this change? Why can't we stay with the system we already have, whereby you just tell your school you are deregging, they take your name off the list, and then at some stage the school informs the LEA about the deregistraton? Several conclusions suggest themselves:

1. That LEAs will be running those databased checks on us, contacting everyone they can think of, police/probation/social services/GPs (in complete defiance of the notion that we don't live in a police state).

2. That LEA will have an opportunity to get their foot in the door and intimidate us into not removing our child.

3. That it might give the LEA the opportunity to refuse to deregister the child.

Any which way you swing it, it doesn't look good and as suggested in the first paragraph, will almost certainly have effects counter to those intended by the DfES. The thing is, if deregistration becomes more difficult, those HEors who might give school a try if their child happens to show some inclination, these HEors are much more unlikely to actually do so. This very real possibility should be put on the table, I think.

UPDATE: The point has been convincingly made elsewhere that these proposed changes are probably not aimed specifically at parents seeking to deregister their children at school, but are more about preventing schools from deregging troublesome pupils, as some have been known to do. However, my guess is that it appears to the educrats to work very nicely whichever way they look at it, potentially allowing LEAs to put pressure on both schools and parents.

4 comments:

Leo said...

State schools deregistering kids off? Is that legal?

Carlotta said...

I have to say this information is anecdotal..I heard that one state school encouraged a block dereg of some 30 pupils because they were likely to bring the GCSE results down...

And from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1734312,00.html

there is a suggestion that grammar schools are also involved in this kind of scam.

Of course, deregging of excluded pupils is obviously legitimate, though the delay may allow LEAs to put pressure on schools to take these kinds of disruptive pupils back on board.

Leo said...

That scam sounds quite preverse. It relly shows how people put the prize before the cause.

In Portugal children cannot be excluded of state schools.

Anonymous said...

My experience in schools indicates that any deregging that might occur is much more likely to be due to behaviour problems than anything else. It is a relief to the other pupils, the teachers and the deregged pupil when he/she goes. Generally, if they are that disruptive they aren't happy and they make other people's lives bad.

Also once schools have turned them down they sometimes get (albeit very expensive for the tax payer) a lot more appropriate help for their needs. I think it will be much worse for everyone if the children have to stay.