David Wolfe QC provided Protecting Home Education Wales his legal opinion on The Children Act 2004 Education Database (Wales) Regulations 2020 (draft) and found that, if they become law, they would be in breach of the right to private and family life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and would be unlawful. Therefore, the regulations should be stopped.
Protecting Home Education Wales is very pleased with the QC’s opinion and very thankful to all who contributed to the fundraising campaign.
We appreciate that everyone’s priority right now is to protect their own families from Covid-19. But if you could make some time please try to respond to the consultation by 22 April 2020.
We should be mindful that eventually, and hopefully soon, Covid-19 will pass and we will go back to our “normal” lives. We would want to make sure that our human rights are not undermined by the Welsh Government. If the regulations are passed they will certainly affect all home educators, so it is important that we stand up for our rights now or it will be too late.
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.