Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
I am pleased to launch the consultation on the draft ‘Children Act 2004 Children Missing Education (Wales) Regulations’. In my Oral Statement in June 2023, I announced my intention to make regulations that will require a database of children who are not registered at a school, not in receipt of education other than at school, or who are not known to the local authority as being suitably home-educated, and to consult on the regulations in early 2024. Missing education is in itself a welfare issue, and the database proposals aim to support our commitment to the success and well-being of every learner.
The proposal has been informed by the first consultation on the Education Database Regulations in 2020. The responses were considered in detail, and we have worked to ensure the right balance between assisting local authorities to effectively undertake their duties in relation to education, and ensuring data sharing between public bodies is proportionate and solely for the purpose of identifying children who may be missing education.
The Welsh Government has already engaged with our key stakeholders on these proposals and sought feedback. The Regulations will initially be piloted across a small number of local authorities to determine how effective they are in identifying children not known to the local authority. The pilot will be evaluated, with any required changes made ahead of wider roll-out across Wales.
The consultation commences today and will conclude on 25 April 2024.