Friday, 2 July 2010

Home Educated Children and the Schools Parliament

Back in May I wrote a Council motion to get the City Council Schools' Parliament to include Home Educated Children. The motion wasn't selected for debate but the system here is that when that happens it gets considered by either the Cabinet Member or a committee and so it doesn't just go away.

Anyway, today I had the response to the motion which says that Home Educated Children will be offered the chance to take part.

I am posting both the motion and the reply below.

Motion Text:

“Council recognises the excellent work done by the Liverpool Schools Parliament. Council believes that the Parliament gives a chance for children from across Liverpool to take part in, and experience, democratic discussion and decision making.

Some children in the City are however excluded from any possibility of taking part in the Schools Parliament. These are children who are being educated at home.

Council believes that a number of representatives of “home educated children” ought to be allowed to take part in Schools Parliament debates and events.

Council understands that there is a network of parents involved in home education in the City and that through them it would be possible to organise a selection process for representatives for the Upper and Lower Houses of the Parliament.

Council therefore requests the relevant Executive Member to ensure arrangements are made to recruit home educated children to the Parliament in time for the next academic year.

Council also requests the relevant select committee to review this arrangement after one year of operation.”

Reply from Committee Services on behalf of Cabinet Member:

Councillor Corbett as Cabinet Member has received a detailed briefing on this matter and asked me to advise you that the following actions are planned:

The first training days for new members of the Schools’ Parliament are taking place on Wednesday 29th September 2010 for those aged 11+ and on Monday 4th October 2010 for those of primary school age. Both are taking place at Liverpool Town Hall with a 10.00a.m. start. Those children and young people presently educated at home will be invited to attend the relevant training day. If they wish they can be accompanied by a member of their family or a carer.

Between now and then those children and young people who are educated at home will be contacted through the THEN (The Home Education Network) website and the Merseyside branch of Red Balloon, an organisation providing education and support for pupils who have suffered bullying to the point that they self harm and can not currently face the school environment. Information will be placed on the THEN website and with Red Balloon describing the work of the Schools’ Parliament and the advantages to individuals by being involved with the Parliament.

This will be accompanied by the contact details for Jeff Dunne, the Coordinator of the Schools’ Parliament, and it will therefore be possible for those interested to contact him directly prior to the training days to answer any questions or queries that might arise.

The Cabinet Member has asked to be kept informed of what progress is made in this matter and will provide any further updates to you in due course.

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