Education Minister Jeremy Miles made a further statement and took questions on June 6th. Points included: guidance does not create a new definition of suitable education; parents’ handbook to be published w/c June 12th; evaluation of guidance from summer 2024; aiming to consult on regulations for children’s database [new law] in 2024 with database pilot in 2025; parents and children not obliged to meet the LA although “sensible to do so”.
Wales has had the power to make its own education legislation – separate from England – since 2011.
In early 2020 the Welsh Government consulted on database proposals. This is still under development. The Welsh Government statement accompanying the publication of new guidance said “We are also progressing proposals in relation to establishing a database of children who are not known to a local authority, assisting local authorities in their duties to identify children who may not be receiving a suitable education.”
The principle primary legislation for England and Wales is the Education Act 1996. Section 7 states that “the parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable — (1) to his age, ability and aptitude, and (2) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”
Children Missing Education is covered in section 436A. CME Guidance for Wales is described as “A practical toolkit to help identify children and young people missing education”. Elective home education is on pages 74-76.
Deregistration is the procedure to be followed when a parent takes a child out of school for home education. The legal source is the Pupil Registration Regulations Wales which say the child’s name should be deleted from the roll and the school then has 10 school days to notify the local authority.
The Welsh Government asks local authorities to provide annual information about home educated children which is published in the Autumn. The latest is September 2023.
Anglesey 116; Gwynnedd 165; Conwy 185; Denbighshire 145; Flintshire 245; Wrexham 133; Powys 288; Ceredigion 241; Pembrokeshire 297; Carmarthenshire 739; Swansea 291; Neath Port Talbot 296; Bridgend 176; The Vale of Glamorgan 152; Rhondda Cynon Taff 381; Merthyr Tydfil 59; Caerphilly 222; Blaenau Gwent 214; Torfaen 172; Monmouthshire 123; Newport 249; Cardiff 441
NB Local authorities currently provide more information to the Government than is actually published and various bodies would like to see more data analysis made available. This would not require new database legislation as it would be covered under the existing non-statutory arrangements. The Education Minister Jeremy Miles told the Children, Young People and Education Committee in Summer 2022 that he has commissioned Data Cymru to analyse the annual local authority returns for the reasons why families are choosing home education. See this Committee report November 2022, pages 45-50
ALN in Wales
Wales has its own laws for additional learning needs also known as special educational needs. My page on ALN in Wales can be found here