These updates are from our GoFundMe page:
On 13 November 2019 we have started posting updates first on this website.
11 November 2019
QC’S LEGAL ADVICE PUT BEFORE THE CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER
Ms Sian Gwenllian AM, Shadow Minister for Education and Welsh Language, wrote directly to us today thanking us for “sending the useful legal advice.” She stated that it was important that the guidance on HE was legally correct and as a member of the Children, Young People and Education Committee was able to raise this at a meeting with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland. Please see the video recording of the committee meeting here (or read the transcript).
Ms Gwenllian also said “the committee will discuss these with the Education Minister and I will keep an eye on things as they progress”.
You might want to raise any concerns with Sian Gwenllian AM in her capacity as Shadow Minister for Education and Welsh Language and with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales:
1. Sian Gwenllian AM – Sian.Gwenllian@assembly.wales
2. Children’s Commissioner for Wales – firstname.lastname@example.org
8 November 2019
EDUCATION COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS QC’S ADVICE NEXT THURSDAY
We have received responses from the education minister, Kirsty Williams, and a number of Welsh Assembly members to our submission (the QC advice). Copies of her letters can be found here, here & here.
We have also written to all members of the committee stressing the importance of the matter and a copy of those letters can be found here.
You may have seen in social media that some local authorities appear to be applying the draft guidance on home education here in Wales, along with LA’s across the UK. The QC has advised us that applying a guidance that is in draft form (i.e. hasn’t been approved) would be unlawful. This must stop, and you will note that we have raised this point with the AMs.
We are gathering evidence of any LAs misconduct to present before the Children, Young People and Education Committee so if you have received any correspondence from them that you are happy to share with us (ideally redacting any personal details), please contact us using the form on this site and send us a link to the letter.
We intend to submit any such correspondence to the AMs so please do not send it to us if you don’t want it to become public. We will not disclose the source unless you ask us to.
We would encourage all HE families, their families and friends to continue to write to their local AM’s requesting that if their LA are applying the draft guidance in any part they cease to do so immediately and asking what they are doing to protect Home Educating families in Wales from this unlawful draft guidance proposed by the Welsh Assembly Government.
25 October 2019
WELSH ASSEMBLY MEMBER questions lawfulness of draft guidance on the back of the legal advice we obtained (and submitted to all AMs).
Please remember to sign and share this petition.
Even if the target of 5,000 signatures is reached, we encourage you to keep asking people to sign it as the higher the total the clearer it will be to Assembly Members that they need to think very carefully about these proposals. Remember, children can sign this petition and one does not have to live in Wales.
21 October 2019
BIG DAY TODAY!
We have just hand delivered 60 letters personally addresses to the Welsh Assembly Members enclosing the QC’s advice on the draft guidance.
You will find below links to the our consultation response which we have submitted this morning and the form of letter to the Welsh Assembly Members including a copy of the QC’s advice.
Many thanks for your donations; we could not have done it without you.
19 October 2019
One of our donors has organised a petition before the Welsh Assembly for the withdrawal of the draft guidance on home education (see link).
Please sign the petition and share.
19 October 2019
HOW WE WILL SPEND YOUR MONEY!
QC’s fees (see link to invoice) -£3,252.00
GoFundMe fees (2.9% + £0.25 per donation) -£ 140.55
BALANCE £ 7.45
18 October 2019
WE’VE DONE IT! WE HAVE REACHED THE TARGET!
All thanks to you. We will be delivering the legal opinion by hand on Monday and sharing it with you.
In the meantime we will keep you updated of any developments.
17 October 2019
MORE GOOD NEWS!
We have received the QC’s invoice so we can now reduce our target to £3,400! Only £460 to go!
17 October 2019
IMPORTANT NEWS TO ALL DONORS
The QC’s advice on the Welsh EHE Draft Guidance will be delivered on time to the Welsh Government by 21 October.
The advice will then be made available to all the donors. The same may be used simply as a deterrent or, if necessary, a defence against unlawful interference with the human rights of all Home Educating families.
We thank you all for getting behind us but we still need all your support to get over the line to reach our £3,600 target.
Please, please keep sharing and asking others to donate.
Thanks a million.
16 October 2019
GREAT NEWS DAY!!!!!
We have now raised over £2,000, we are at £2,150 as we publish this and it is all thanks to you.
The QC fee will be less than we expected, so we need to raise a total of £3,600 rather than £4,500; we are very pleased with this.
Not far to go now. Please, please help us to promote, donate and share it as much as you can to get this Legal Opinion into the Welsh Government for the deadline this Monday 21st October.
A big heartfelt thank you to all the donors.
15 October 2019
Today we received the draft legal opinion from the QC. We need to raise the funds to obtain the completed final opinion.
The draft confirms, amongst other things, that LA’s cannot demand meetings with the family, nor insist on seeing the child. Two of the most crucial points.
The Welsh Assembly Government have a Bill system which allows for legal submissions and this can ensure that the full legal opinion is discussed by Assembly Members who will be instrumental on whether this guidance goes through.
We are thrilled that the donations have reached £1,425, but we are still a long way from the funds that we need to take this essential step further: to obtain the full legal opinion to set before the Assembly.
Please help us to protect the rights of home educating families in Wales. This can be fought and you can help fight it by circulating this post and contributing as much as you can spare. What happens in Wales could have an effect on what happens elsewhere in the UK.
Please share this message. Many thanks.
14 October 2019
Please see new The HE Byte article mentioning the Named Person Scottish case and what is going in Wales, including our campaign.
12 October 2019
We have now reached £1,065!
Many thanks to all the donors and those who have shared and support the freedom to home educate.
11 October 2019
We have had a very positive discussion with the Queen’s Counsel who is now ready to prepare a legal opinion raising legal concerns on the Welsh Government’s draft guidance on home education. The QC’s fees will be at least £3,000 plus VAT (ie £3,600) with a ceiling of £4,000 plus VAT and so far we have collected £760 which is fantastic.
We are very grateful for all who have donated so generously.
There is still a long way to go and not much time to spare. Thank you once again for your generosity and please help as much you can to the cause and keep spreading the word.
Many thanks to you all
9 October 2019
Please see new article by The HE Byte mentioning this fundraiser.
When Good Parents Do Nothing – The HE Byte