Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Dear Info Commish

Dear Claire Walsh

Thank you for your email yesterday. 

In regard to the matter of the compliance of the DCSF with the rules regarding the timing of responses to requests, would it make a difference to the ruling of the Enforcement Team if it was found that many of the FOI requests where the department exceeded the guidelines by a large margin were not random and due to overload but were specifically to do with the evidence behind the Badman Review?  If it could be shown that it is possible that the delays had been used to try to prevent home educators from receiving the information they needed to rebut the claims that their children were more likely to be abused, would that make any difference?

I look forward to your reply to these questions.

Here are the the questions that have not been answered from my request for information of 1 July 2009.

‘In particular, please supply copies of all statistical returns from English local authorities and other agencies to the DCSF which indicate the educational status (school) or electively home educated) of school aged children on their “at risk” registers.

If there are no returns demonstrating a comparison between the two cohorts I would like to receive a clear statement clarifying this point.

Finally, please confirm that Mr Badman’s contention and all evidence used to support his contention, relates only to children of compulsory education age, since electively home educated children are by definition all of compulsory education age’.

There does not seem to be an answer to this in the spreadsheets I have been given, if I am mistaken I would very much appreciate some guidance as to where I could find it.

I would also appreciate a clarification as to whether this is all of the data behind the claims in the media that:

“Children educated at home are twice as likely to be on social services registers for being at risk of abuse as the rest of the population.”

I ask this because home educators have produced a spreadsheet that calculates the actual rate of abuse amongst home educated children from Freedom of Information request responses from the majority of LAs.

It shows that abuse in home educated families is less than a third of that in the whole population.

If this is so seems very unfortunate and shocking that such claims should be made about very real families and children on the basis of data that did not undergo any data assurance!

Yours Sincerely

Maire Stafford

 DS 1 advised me to remove from my signature the bit that said
'Ordinary person having to defend her family in her own time and at their expense with no pay and no support or training in these complex issues.' so sensible.


Elaine said...

good response , I just said on the other post they shouldnt be allowed to stop investigating non response just cos they respondsed to non badman review foi's on time , in fact it is proof that they were attempting to conceal the truth imho. And like you have said in your reply to them us being unable to access the data allowed them to carry on their smear campaign

Maire said...

I completely agree, just need to express it clearly. Might add a note that I am thinking along those lines and will respond shortly re timing. Thanks for the prompt.

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