The home education community has recently been re-alerted to the fact that personal advisors (PAs) from the government's Connexions Careers Advice Service for teens aged 13 - 18 are cold-calling home educating families in what looks like an attempt to conscript HEKs into the system.
This is not innocuous. From the invaluable Database Masterclass:
"Every young person is allocated a ‘personal adviser’ (PA) who brokers access to services, and is responsible for carrying out an in-depth personal assessment of the young person. This assessment process is known as APIR (Assessment, Planning, Implementation and Review) and covers every area of the young person’s life, including information about parents, family and friends. "
Yep, that really means every area of a young person's life: health, income, family relationships, mental health, emotional health, you name it. And guess where all this highly personal information gets stored? Yep, you got it: yet another database, this time the Connexions Customer Information System (CCIS).
It has also emerged that some local authorities have nominated a Connexions worker to actively seek out those teens who are not obviously within the system, so HEKs are very likely to be in their sights.
PAs are meant to garner consent before starting out on this whole redundant yet dangerous process, but once a teen has given that consent, it looks pretty damn difficult to withdraw it, so plenty of HE parents will be making absolutely certain that their teens have imbibed the message that they shouldn't give out personal information to a complete stranger on the doorstep or over the telephone, so they also shouldn't do it simply because someone says they are from the government.