Thursday, September 06, 2007

Think Before You Write Guidance

...for you may not know what you say.

Take, for example, a phrase from Nottinghamshire's Elective Home Education Guidelines - page 4, paragraph 4.

"It is also the duty of the Local Authority to ensure the safety and well-being of the child".

Well, aside from the fact that it looks as if there will be a happy ending afterall for all those poor Notts children who weren't picked up on by the LA, it looks to me as if Notts council haven't a clue about current legislation, because according to most readings of the 2004 Children Act, the LA duty in this regard is to make provision in one way or another, (the setting up the database, creating new posts and boards, the creation of a duty to co-operate with other professionals etc) to ensure the safety and well being of the child, which of course, is not the same thing as having a duty to ensure the safety and well being of the child.

If I am right on this point, I think the authority should be helped to understand that they don't understand the relevant legislation and that by such a statement they are opening themselves up to all manner of serious problems. I would suggest to them that if this information was largely spread about in Notts, the future for the council could look very bleak indeed as children who were not picked up upon will be suing the council for neglect of duty.

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