Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Badman's Recommendations Already Becoming Law

So much for the consultation! Arrangements to monitor home educated children are already in hand. See point 7 of the Improving Skills and Safeguarding Children Bill, released yesterday.

"improving monitoring arrangements for children educated at home".

There must be a procedural point here. Surely it shouldn't be possible to draft stuff into legislation before determining the outcome of the relevant consultation?

I think we must get talking to the BRE and pointing out that the government appear to be playing fast and loose with their code of practice on consultations, eg: criterion 1

"Consultation should take place at a stage when there is scope to influence the policy outcome. "

The Bill will be released in full today. The Guardian forewarns us and the of some of the contents.

We can let our views on the Bill be known here and perhaps we should be talking to the red tops about the general shamminess of the consultation process. This government is dishonest and it isn't just their expense claims.

The Telegraph has more on home/school agreements

Panoptican and Renegade Parent also comment on the issue.


Maire said...

I am gobsmaked by this, do you thinkk they do this all the time where they think there won't be great public interest?

Carlotta said...

I don't know whether we are being treated uniquely shabbily or not. I suspect not, but don't have any evidence, as only really keep an eye on this area.

I do think we should be contacting the red tops about this though. It would be in tune with the general disillusionment of everyone with this current government!

Maire said...

the red tops?

Maire said...

Duh just got it, the tabloids!!!

Carlotta said...

Hi Maire, sorry, yes, I meant the red tops as in the newspapers that Ed Balls seems to base his policies upon..


Anonymous said...

found this on the intro for the draft legislative programme
"This is the third year that the Government has published its legislative programme in draft for consultation in advance of the Queen's Speech. This year it is being published as part of the Government's broader plan for Building Britain's Future. This provides an opportunity for both the public and Parliament to see how the Draft Legislative Programme forms part of the action the Government is taking to build a more prosperous, stronger and fairer country.

The aim of publishing the Draft Legislative Programme is to be transparent about what the Government is planning to achieve through legislation. This provides an opportunity to look across the programme as a whole and take a view as to whether the balance of priorities is right, whether there are important areas that have been missed out or areas of the programme that should be given lower priority. This, in turn, enables views to be fed into the development of the programme before the final programme is announced in the Queen's Speech towards the end of the year.

As a draft programme, the Government expects it to develop and change over the course of the year, as a result both of consultation and as new issues arise. For example, on 10 June the Prime Minister announced the start of public engagement on further democratic reform, some parts of which could require primary legislation - this exercise will be running in parallel with consultation on the Draft Legislative Programme."
I think it is easily but not sure we can say much as it states it expects to be influenced by consultations.

Firebird said...

So really they're not telling us anything we didn't know.

We've had the fake review, the fake consultation is happening now, and they're already drafting the legislation.

If you haven't contacted your MP and local councillors, now might be a good time, and remember, the word of the day is 'proportional' ;-)

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about councillors. Thanks for that Firebird. I will be contacting mine then.
I'm not surprised about any of this.
Frankly the strangely silent Tory end of things gives them the go-ahead doesn't it?
Why are Tory MPs so willing as individuals to side with us-but the party won't??

Carlotta said...

Thanks Jo...I hadn't seen that. However, doesn't look to me as if Ed and his department plan to be influenced by the outcome of the review since they have already explicitly said that they accept Badman's recommendations about monitoring HEors.

That statement you found looks like a pathetic attempt to pretend that this is not so. However, from his letter to Graham Badman here:

http://www.freedomforchildrentogrow.org/Ed Balls to Graham Badman

we read:

"We accept that LAs need great powers to monitor home educated children to confirm they are safe and receiving a suitable education. The current arrangements only require LAs to make enqiries to satisfy themselves that a suitable education is being provided: they have no powers to insist that any evidence is presented. (this is total rubbish of course...what about the threat of an SAO?). We do not think that this provides sufficient reassurance that home educated children are safe and receiving a suitable education. We agree that home educated childrn must be seen regularly in their education setting, on their own, or with an independent person present as appropriate so the LA can verify that the evidence of progress presented to them is up-to-date and accurate and confirm that these children are safe.

In line with your review's recommendations, we are today launching a consultation on changes to the existing statutory arrangements for home education, which will introduce a range of safeguards for home educated children. We will introduce these changes at the earliest possible opportunity, taking account of consultation responses."

It does seem as if the man can hardly go a couple of paragraphs without fudging so completely as to make no sense at all. If he were to take into account the consultation responses, he couldn't possibly predict that he will be able to introduce legislation. Duh.

Carlotta said...

Seems I'm not the only one to form this sort of impression on of the performance of the minister:


lotusbirther said...

Is it just my interpretation that the only point on the draft bill you link to that deals with safeguarding is the monitoring of home ed children? Singled out unnecessarily, is how it appears to me.

The Spectator article you link to above is even more entertaining/disturbing when one reads the original blog it quotes from.

Tammy Takahashi said...

Anything homeschoolers in the US can do to help you out? The govt. deciding to do whatever they want without the approval or true consult of the people it affects is not unique to the UK, unfortunately. It's a govt. power problem.

If there's anything we can do here, please let us know. We're rooting for you for sure.

Anonymous said...

Carlotta, I agree. I am not saying they will be influenced and my typo at the end should have said weasily not easily - I just meant they seem to have covered themselves in terms of complaints we can make.We are fairly certain they don't plan to be influenced but their documents say they will be influenced. only thing I can see is that public comments close a few weeks before the consultation does - wondering if they can say their timescale between public comment closing and making any decisions gives time for the ehe consultation to feed in.
But I don't think it can do cos I read somewhere ehe consultation will report in jan but not sure if that is true.

Carlotta said...

Hi Tammy,

Thanks...it's good to know you're out there. Am not sure how people outside of UK can help just now, but will seek suggestions on an HE list.

People inside UK should be writing to MPs, stressing the disproportionality of Badman's suggestions.

Carlotta said...

"I just meant they seem to have covered themselves in terms of complaints we can make."

Hi Jo, I do see what you mean re their statement, but I still think that Ed's letter is revealing in that he does say that they want to implement the safeguarding stuff, and though the para reported above is pretty garbled, it appears to mean that he will do it whatever the consultation responses say.

I think this does merit a complaint to the BRE, and there must be something about biased information gathering informing the consult...Badman's information being so desperately wayward...so all in all, I think our complaints are worthy and worth making, iyswim!