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Bruce Stafford
Posted on 30 Jun 2009 9:09 pm

Jax's point is key - Baroness Drefelin's response is more than disingenuous, it's the Parliamentary equivalent of being 'economical with the truth'.

Moreover, the number of cases to be dealt with by LAs is irrelevant to assessing the magnitude of the impact - you can have a large number of cases but a small impact or a small number of cases but a large impact. The whole point of having the impact assessment is to assess its magnitude; it's poor policy making practice to make an assumption about how small or big it will be, the Govt won't know that until it's done. In addition, Drefelin can’t claim the numbers will be small because as the review points out the number of children being home educated is unknown.

The presumption that each case will impose a small burden on LAs also seems naive - possibly indicating a lack of understanding of what might be involved if the proposals are ever to be implemented. For example, the review, itself, calls for trained staff to be involved - this will have a cost and may involve training provision to be commissioned. In addition, I for one will not allow only one LA official to see my daughter on her own - if you can't trust parents then why should I trust the LA staff. A minimum of two staff will be needed (both females so same sex as my daughter), plus I want the interview to be videoed. This will have implications for staffing numbers and other resources.

I had hoped that senior policy makers in DCFS would have realised by now that they had been badly served by a poor quality review. However, it apears that the same lack of thought and understanding underpinning the actual review is being carried forward.

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