The British Department for English Education still doesn’t seem to have a clue how compulsory post-16 education in England is going to work with Scottish and Welsh kids moving here or with English kids moving to Scotland and Wales so I’m having another go at getting some answers …
I’m wondering if you’ve made any decisions or solved any of the problems created by introducing mandatory post-16 education in England only that I have asked you about several times but you haven’t had answers for?
The last reference number for my enquiry was 2013/0011665.
I first asked you how this was going to work in 2007:
“Kids currently spend a minimum of 11 years at school, most spend 12. In 6 years time we’re going to see kids spending 14 years of their lives in compulsary education. Will boarding schools be required to provide married quarters for childhood sweathearts who decide to get married at 16 or will the minimum age for getting married be increased to make sure you don’t end up with married couples spending double Science arguing about who’s cooking the dinner when they get home from school and why they have to have the mother-in-law round for Sunday dinner that weekend? What about couples who decide to start a family at 16? It’s perfectly legal – will schools start providing crêche facilities? Who will pay for them? Will 16 year old girls be entitled to maternity leave from school? What about the benefits that will be paid out to these people who have a family at 16 but can’t work because they have to go to school until they’re 18? Ok, so most 16 year old parents would rather laze around on benefits rather than get a job but not all of them do. Upping the age you can get married to 18 won’t work either. You need your parents consent to get married at 16 or 17 in England now but there’s nothing to stop you going to Scotland and getting married at 16 without your parents permission because the law is different there.”
I followed this up in February 2013, naively expecting that you might have figured out how you were going to make it all work in the intervening 6 years:
“Some time ago I wrote to you asking how the change to school leaving ages in England was going work.
In particular I’m interested to know what a Welsh or Scottish person who leaves school at 16 and moves to England is going to do about the fact that they’ve finished their secondary education but would be required to complete a further year or two of secondary education in England because they’re only 16. A Welsh or Scottish person of 16 or 17 years of age will effectively be barred from taking a job in England when the change comes into force.
There is also the reverse situation where a 16 year old moves from England to Wales or Scotland and there is nowhere to complete their secondary education.
The response I got from you didn’t offer any explanation as to how these situations would be handled but merely expressed a hope that Wales and Scotland would follow the British government’s lead and raise the age for mandatory secondary education to match that in England. Clearly this isn’t going to happen otherwise it would have been announced by now so please can you explain how these scenarios will be handled in future?”
Your most recent response (March) basically said you didn’t know how it was going to work and you were clinging to the hope that Scotland and Wales would follow suit and fix your problem for you. They haven’t and they probably aren’t going to so how is the British Department for English Education going to solve the problems caused by enforcing mandatory post-16 education in England?