Myth busting guide - An update

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For Family Court Advisors - Please see below Information and link to document:

What's wrong with the DfE's Myth Busting document

A quick update on our collective challenge to the ‘myth busting’ document which remains on the DfE Children’s Social Care Innovation site.

  • 50 of us wrote to the Minister on 4 September, requesting he withdraw the inaccurate content.
  • Children’s Minister wrote back on 10 September effectively saying no.
  • We held a very productive meeting at Coram Chambers on 12 October. We resolved to fight for the withdrawal of the whole document.
  • A campaign co-ordinating group was set up – reps from Article 39, Become, Independent Children’s Homes Association, Napo and Social Workers Without Borders.
  • FOIs to DfE and Ofsted were submitted on 19 October.
  • An accessible table showing what’s wrong with the guide was published on the Together for Children site on 12 November (also attached).
  • Holding responses to the FOIs were received at 20-day point, on 16 November. DfE is relying on s36 qualified exemption (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs); Ofsted is relying on s35 (formulation of government policy). These are, of course, strange exemptions to be relying on when the ‘myth busting’ document claims to be purely about clarifying existing policy.
  • The 12 October meeting agreed to send joint letter to Secretary of State. Campaign co-ordinating group decided to give Children’s Minister another chance to fix the problem.
  • I have written to the Children’s Minister today asking him again to withdraw the document or, alternatively, agree to meet with a representative group of organisations.
  • If we get nowhere with this, we’ll draft a joint letter which will hopefully go to SoS with at least 50 signatures!

 

**Happy International Children’s Rights Day**

Carolyne

 

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Carolyne Willow

Director

Article 39

 

Our vision is a country where children living in institutional settings are given the best of care and protection, in environments where they feel safe, valued and respected, and their views and experiences matter.