Monday, November 27, 2006

Exposing Ultra Vires Practice, Part 1

Named and shamed in what will sadly probably be an on-going thread henceforth:

HARINGEY COUNCIL Children's Service.

How's this, on page 5, for ultra vires practice!

" Removal of the Child's Name from a School Roll

17. It is required that, if a child has been registered at a school, the child must remain on the school roll until the EWO for Home Education confirms with the school, the receipt of the Home Education Referral Form and copy of the written notification of intent from the parents.

18. However, in addition to the above minimum requirement, Haringey has adopted a procedure to enhance the protection of the child and recommends that the child remains on the roll of the school until the initial assessment visit has been made and is deemed satisfactory.

19. The off-roll procedure will then be backdated to the date that the parents/carers informed the school of their intention to home educate.

20. This enhanced procedure has been adopted to protect the pupil from losing their place at school in circumstances where parents/carers reverse their decision to home educate very quickly or where there are concerns regarding the safety of the child or the suitability of the education to be provided.

21. However, where parents explicitly request immediate removal from the school roll, the Local Authority will advise schools to do this in accordance with the parents'/carers' wishes and an immediate home visit by the Education Welfare Officer and SIO will be made."

Cough, splutter...ergh you wa? Look, Ms Shoesmith, director of Haringey Children's Services, de-registration is immediate upon receipt of the letter by the school, and in the case that there are no special needs or an SAO, the de-registration is unconditional in all cases, not simply when someone opts in for it.

There is no point trying to hedge the fact that you clearly want to have the right to decide who should and who shouldn't home educate. Why otherwise would there be such urgency surrounding the first EWO visit to a family who opts in for their statutory legal rights, if it is not to vet them? It is hard to imagine what other possible reason there could be for such haste. You can't honestly believe that children are at such enormous risk from their parents, since how could you otherwise bear to do as you do every day and send them home for the night, or heaven forbid for a whole weekend or summer holiday.

It appears, by your actions, that you are in effect taking upon yourselves the responsibility to decide the form of education for children. I am pretty sure that in this situation, you would find that there will plenty of interested families who will seek redress for any failures in schooling provision in Haringey.

And by way of a footnote, Alan Johnson, the Ed Sec and Dave Fletcher/Elaine Haste of the DfES will be told that their reassurances that this sort of thing would not happen are, in your case at least, meaningless.

UPDATE: Surprise, surprise...seems we cannot hold old names accountable for reassurances they gave previously. We should now write to explaining that these reassurances counted for nothing. Template letter to follow.


Jax said...

Who is Arun whatsit then? What's happened to Elaine Haste?

Carlotta said...

Actually, Elaine is still worth writing to. She is still there as is Alan Johnson, of course, though we hear that he doesn't respond to letters that are not either from his own constituents or forwarded by other MPs.

It is Dave Fletcher's boss, Peter Baldwinson who offered many reassurances in the past, who has now moved on and has been replaced by Arun Arul, apparently.