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A review of the Scottish Executive document - Guidance on the Circumstances in which parents may choose to educate their children at home: Consultation Paper

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How to Respond and How We Will Handle Your Response

Please return your responses to arrive by 14 February 2007 at the latest:

1. By e-mail to: home.education@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

2. By mail to:

Review of Home Education Guidance,
Scottish Executive,
Educational Options Team, Area 2B-(N),
Victoria Quay,
Edinburgh,
EH6 6QQ.

3. On-line at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations

Please complete and return the respondent information form attached at Annex B of this document, so we know how to handle your response.

If you have any questions, or would like any part of this consultation paper translated into another language, please contact Nicola Radley on 0131 244 0942.

We would be grateful if you could clearly indicate in your response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you are responding to as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.

This consultation, and all other Scottish Executive consultation exercises, can be viewed online on the consultation web pages of the Scottish Executive website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations. You can telephone Freephone 0800 77 1234 to find out where your nearest public internet access point is.

Handling your response

We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Please complete and return the respondent information form enclosed with this consultation paper as this will ensure that we treat your response appropriately. If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly. The respondent information form is reproduced at Annex B.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Executive are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public (see the respondent information form), these will be made available to the public in the Scottish Executive Library. We will check all responses where agreement to publish has been given for any potentially defamatory material before logging them in the library. You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the SE Library on 0131 244 4565. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.

What happens next ?

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us draft an updated guidance document. We aim to issue a report on this consultation process by 15 March 2007.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to Lynn Henni at the address above.

Registering to receive information about other consultations

The Scottish Executive now has an email alert system for consultations http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Consultations/seConsult. This system allows stakeholder individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly email containing details of all new consultations (including web links). SEconsult complements, but in no way replaces SE distribution lists, and is designed to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with all SE consultation activity, and therefore be alerted at the earliest opportunity to those of most interest. We would encourage you to register.

The Scottish Executive Consultation Process

Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Executive working methods. Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Executive, there are many varied types of consultation. However, in general, Scottish Executive consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

The Scottish Executive encourages consultation that is thorough, effective and appropriate to the issue under consideration and the nature of the target audience. Consultation exercises take account of a wide range of factors, and no two exercises are likely to be the same.

Typically Scottish Executive consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the issue, and they are also placed on the Scottish Executive web site enabling a wider audience to access the paper and submit their responses. Consultation exercises may also involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as through public meetings, focus groups or questionnaire exercises. Copies of all the written responses received to a consultation exercise (except those where the individual or organisation requested confidentiality) are placed in the Scottish Executive library at Saughton House, Edinburgh (K Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD, telephone 0131 244 4565).

All Scottish Executive consultation papers and related publications (eg, analysis of response reports) can be accessed on the website.

The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review
  • inform the development of a particular policy
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including other available information and research evidence.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.