Friday, 6 September 2013

This afternoon HEA met with representatives from the Office of the Board of Studies (OBoS) for two hours. At the behest of our members a copy of the PDF letter sent yesterday (linked here) was presented to them and a formal request made to withdraw the August 2013 Information Pack (IP).

OBoS expressed concern regarding the feedback they had received regarding homeschooler's reactions to the Information Pack and requested an outline of issues causing specific concern. HEA provided OBoS with a list of priority issues as collated from emails sent to HEA by home schoolers since the publication of the Information Pack. The HEA were able to provide clear examples of the resulting impact. (linked here)

OBoS agreed the Information Pack had wording issues, stating it had never been intended to impose the restrictions it was perceived to engender. The OBOS are about to publish a Q & A document and have indicated they will hold off until they can incorporate HEAs concerns. They will also consider writing an open letter to the home schooling community and will undertake to respond to the HEAs letter within 48 hours but may take up to five business days. OBoS requested feedback on the sort of language that has set a different 'tone' to previous packs and this is being provided to them.

OBoS are aware the IP is a matter of great concern, impact and distress in the homeschool community and one which will see homeschoolers actively voicing their discontent in liaising with MPs and so forth. Whilst the OBoS indicated they would like to work through issues with HEA, the HEA clearly indicated the only acceptable starting point for consultation would be the removal of the Information Pack.