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Professor Bruce and Mrs Maire Stafford
CONDUCT OF THE REVIEW OF ELECTIVE HOME EDUCATION
Thank you for your letter of 20 June 2009 to Sir Gus O'Donnell about the conduct of the review of home education. I am replying as the review falls within the responsibilities of my Department. You also enclosed a copy of a letter of 14 June that you sent to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Rt Hon Ed Balls MP.
You make a very serious allegation about the conduct of the review undertaken by Graham Badman. I should first point out that Graham Badman is not an employee of this Department nor is he a civil servant. However, we do demand the same standards of integrity from those we have commissioned to do the work on our behalf.
As an independent person conducting the review, it was for Mr Badman to decide what, if any, extracts from the representations he received should be included in his report. The context in which the extract is used is clear in the report and the Church of England were happy for it to be used in this way. While I appreciate your concerns, I think both of these are important factors in determining whether its use was misleading, rather than what additional information might also have been helpful.
I am satisfied that the report honestly and fairly represents the wide variety of views of those who submitted evidence to the review. However, if you are not satisfied with this reply, and you continue to believe that the publication of the report amounts to maladministration by this Department, then you should discuss your concerns with your MP. Your MP can make a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman on your behalf if he wishes to do so. You may also wish to be aware that the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee have announced an inquiry into the conduct and findings of the review and so you may wish to provide evidence to them so that further scrutiny can take place.
I also note the additional concerns you express in your letter of 14 June to the Secretary of State and I have nothing to add to the reply you have received.
children, schools and families