Response to statutory home education guidance

Responding to statutory guidance published on 12 May 2023, Rocio Cifuentees MBE said:

“As a result of a review carried out by my predecessor in 2020, Welsh Government accepted in full three tests that policy for home educated children would have to meet:

  • First, that all children in Wales can be accounted for and that none are invisible.
  • Second, that every child receives a suitable education and their other human rights, including health, care and safety.
  • And third, that every child is seen and their views and experiences are listened to. This is essential for the first two tests to be met.

“That review concluded that the best way to achieve these aims is through new primary legislation. Welsh Government rejected that call. In my first annual report as Commissioner, I called for an evaluation plan to be published alongside any new statutory guidance, so that we can measure the effectiveness of the guidance and its impact on children’s lives. Welsh Government accepted this recommendation. It’s therefore disappointing that this plan is yet to be published.

“My focus now will be on listening to children, their families and local authorities to understand to what extent this new statutory guidance meets those vital aims in practice, and what challenges remain. I also want this guidance to be communicated clearly to home educated children and their families, to allay misconceptions, and ensure its main purpose of enabling children to access their rights is understood.”