On October 7th 2020, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, wrote to the First Minister for Wales. In her letter, she told him that she will be looking at how the Welsh Government made decisions about protecting the rights of children who are educated at home or at an independent school. This is called a ‘review’.
The Review concluded in January 2021 and the report was published in February 2021. You can read more about this below.
Why did the Commissioner review Welsh Government?
One of the Commissioner’s responsibilities is to make sure all children in Wales, wherever they’re taught, have access to their rights.
Children and families have very different reasons to choose home education and they have very different experiences of home education.
Children have a right to an education and that can be at home. Some children go to an independent school.
Being educated in those places doesn’t mean that children are not getting their rights. But we believe that some of the protections in law could be better.
What should be improved?
We think teachers in independent schools should be a part of a list called a ‘professional register’ that can take action if teachers break rules about looking after children. Teachers in other schools already have to be part of the professional register. In Wales this register is managed by a group called the ‘Education Workforce Council’.
We also want to see improvements to ensure we know that children that are learning at home are getting their full right to an education.
Where can I find out more information?
The Commissioner has published a full report which you can find here
There is also a summary version of the report which is here
The Government published their formal response on 22nd March 2021. You can read this on their website here
What happens next?
Welsh Government agreed to some of our improvements, but have decided they could not make the changes ahead of the 2021 Senedd election.
Now that there is a new Education Minister in place, we will continue to talk to him and his team about making the changes that are needed as soon as possible.
We will keep this webpage updated.
What if I want to know more about the Commissioner’s views on home education?
If you want to know more about the Commissioner’s views regarding home education, click the link below.
What if I’m worried or concerned?
If you have any worries or concerns about your rights, please get in touch with us. We have a free and confidential advice service. If you’re worried about anything else, there’s lots of help available from people like ChildLine and Meic.