Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Press and Pulse

Understandably, there has been a lot of debate generated by both the TES piece, and then the BBC item on deregistration issues.

I've been asked a number of times to go into more detail about the matter - as a matter of interest, here is what I have been saying to other media enquiries today:

"Education Otherwise are not the origin of the claim of a "scam"; during conversations with several local authorities I was told by the LAs that they were aware that some schools within their boroughs had been found to be encouraging families to deregister, where there were serious issues with a child's attendance. This was being carried out without any explanation, guidance, or provision to the families of suitable information as to this option of home education.

None of the boroughs that I have spoken to gave permission for that information to be shared, and at no time was I made aware of the name of the schools involved.

In talking with my colleagues on the EO Government Policy Group, I further became aware that the DfES themselves had previously approached EO with news that THEY had received that schools had been found to be carrying out this practice. At that time, they asked EO if they had any knowledge/evidence of this; which at the time they did not.

I have not, personally, met any family who has received such a treatment from a school. EO has been trying to ascertain whether or not there is any substance to these claims.

The BBC reporter who approached me, having read about this issue in the TES, asked me if I knew about it. I confirmed that I had been told this by several authorities, and reported on what I had been told, that some schools had deregistation letters pre-typed which they had handed to families. I was also told that this had included traveller families.

When asked for my opinion as to why this might be happening, I said that I could only presume that, with schools being under pressure to acheive the attendance figures set by OFSTED, that a school having difficulty with a persistent truant, might feel led to offer this as a "solution" to the family.

Having no personal experience of this, and having to rely on the comments made to me by LA officials, I am unable to provide any further information on this subject.

EO are continuing to look into the matter."

On a more positive note, the Orpington workshop today went well. A full report will go up here, as well as an update on what the family has been up to, when I've had a chance to rest. Yesterday the doctor said that my fast pulse is due to high adrenaline levels, and that they are not getting a chance to drop. She "prescribed" regular rest and relaxation...

Having been up till 11.30 last night yakking to Fiona Nicholson (who stayed over, and ran the workshop today), being up by 6.45 and having just waved goodbye to Fiona a short while ago, I am now well and truly ready to put my feet up!


Mieke said...

Sounds like very sensible - but maybe hard to follow - advice from your GP :).
Is it the same in this country, that you have the right to insist to see an article before it is published? That's what I always used to do in Holland. The only thing you can actually have any influence on is your own quotes, but at least it prevents you being misquoted.

Dawniy said...

hiya babes , my word I bet you're exhausted , and yes I know fiona can yak - we are non stop when we get together . . . it's good to natter.
as to the other misquoting/critical thing - well hey don't they just have to talk about the picky bits instead of staying posisitve - this world is so blinkin negative and loves sensationalizing things , we love ya , try to not let it bother you xxx