Yesterday our fundraiser reached the target. Congratulations and many thanks to all the donors and the people who shared! We are very grateful indeed!
There is still a lot to do to stop the draft regulations being enacted, so please contact your local Assembly Member to put pressure on the government.
The first Table Talks took place last Friday in North Wales and we have been told that it was disappointing to say the least. People had been asked to register beforehand due to the limited number of places available. However, it seems that the registration system did not work as planned as many who tried to register never received a response, and therefore attendance was low. It is to be hoped that this was due to human error and not an attempt to discourage home educating families from attending the sessions.
In addition, we understand that the organisers refused to discuss the legality or the need to enact the draft data-sharing regulations. Instead, the talks revolved around how the regulations would be implemented, thus suggesting that the proposed regulations were a fait accompli, (interestingly, something similar happened last year in the Table Talks about the consultation on the Guidance on home education).
The talks were supposed to end at 1pm, but they were concluded by the organisers at around 11am in order to accommodate the Local Authority staff attending, who had to leave at that time. The overall impression was that the talks were tailored to achieve a pre-determined result in favour of the regulations. A formal complaint has been made to the organisers, and further complaints will be made to the First Minister of Wales and the Education Minister.
We recommend that HE organisations and families do attend the Table Talks to voice their opinion and to keep a record of any irregularities. We would also advise you to be well prepared.