The MoE have told Dr. Yumiko Olliver-Gray that they will be replying to this email tomorrow.
While there is a cover letter with the ‘feedback form’ – it does not advise the recipients:a) why this feedback is being asked for (what is the rationale for it? who prompted it? Is it requested by the Minister or is it less formal? is it purely ‘scoping’ for more detailed research?) – this also shapes the information respondents will provide.b) what will be done with this information (it is advised that it will be gathered into a report, but who is the report for? What is the report going to do? who is collating the information and analysing it?)c) Who has this letter gone to? (many in my area did not personally receive a letter or email; this raises questions as to whether only ‘selected’ respondents were initially approached and if so why?)
As a minimum, government agencies, when gathering data, need to be very clear about the following:a. The confidentiality associated with the information – can it be linked to individuals (and will it be)? In relation to this, a clear ‘clause’ about the maintenance of confidentiality/privacy should be included in the covering letterb. Who will see the ‘raw data’?c. What will happen to the information once it has been processed? (will it be destroyed, kept for future reference or used to inform other reports, policy etc?)d. Other ethical points for consideration include the right to retract or withdraw information provided and the right to anonymity if desired.
How will the information be collated and understood when it comes back – here I have two major concerns:a) while it has been indicated that the feedback form doesn’t need to be adhered to and feedback in any other form is fine, what needs to be clearly defined is what the MoE wants to know. What is meant by ‘success’? What is meant by ‘what’s working’ (for whom? between whom?).The information you may receive could be hugely varied, making it impossible to draw conclusions from (although this in itself could be significant); it would also make the time and effort (from both the MoE and homeschooling respondents) somewhat obsolete.b) There a many variables that impact homeschooling – this ranges from choice of curriculum or philosophy, number of children being homeschooled, length of time homeschooling, location, support networks etc. As none of these variables are included in the feedback, interpreting the information you receive could be very superficial and worse, incorrect in how it is represented.
Please share/forward this link with other home educators.
From the Smiths:
Updated 22 September 2014: Two years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here
Needing help for your home schooling journey:
Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:
Information on getting started: https://hef.org.nz/
Information on getting an exemption: https://hef.org.nz/
This link is motivational: http://hef.org.
Exemption Form online: https://hef.org.nz/