Memorandum submitted by Elaine Walton
· I wish to submit a view on the triggers for the review and ask that as the DCSF have not responded within the legal timeframe to my request for evidence , that I be allowed to submit further if and when I receive the response to my request.
· The NSPCC were vocal in the press about the risks to children who were Home Educated until an interview where Vijay Patel suggested Victoria Climbies death was an example which was untrue and resulted in him apologising to the Victoria Climbie Foundation, Victoria's family and very reluctantly and refusing to do so publicly the home educating community .
· Education Otherwise have had meetings with DCSF since Autumn '08 which may give background were the nature of the meetings public
1. New guidelines re Home Education were issued in the Autumn of 2007 Local Authorities already have safeguarding powers that can be applied in all situations e.g. under 5's , private schools, school holiday children in fact for Local Authorities to ask for separate powers in relation to Home Education does not add up, safeguarding legislation should logically cover all situations and I believe the present legislation does so.
2. The NSPCC were the subject of a Freedom of Information request by myself asking for the evidence they put forward to inform on the need for a review. The DCSF response showed they had not been furnished with any evidence by the NSPCC
3. I made a freedom of information request asking for details of communications between Education Otherwise and the DCSF in the belief that this may shed more light on the rationale behind the review but although my request was made on the 5th of May 2009 no information has yet been released by the DCSF despite the fact that details of what information I required were clarified fully by the 9th of July 2009.