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Complaint to the Ministry of Education

The following is a correspondence between the Swedish Department of Education and myself. At first my thesis was excluded but with some persistence and insistence that I be given my democratic right, the thesis was finally published on their homepage at http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/12023/a/128238 (bottom of list, C.C.M. Warren (pdf 412 kB))

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Dear Sir

On 19 September 2009 I emailed a PDF file to skollagen@education.ministry.se containing a 132 page academic report on Homeschooling for inclusion on your webpage, Remissvar på skollagen at http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/12023 with a covering letter which read:

Dear Sirs,

As a retired British author, lecturer, professional educator and teacher who has been resident in Sweden for over 12 years I feel compelled to share my thoughts on the proposed school law Ds 2009:25. I am accordingly sending you a remissvar paper entitled An Independent Study and Critique of the Swedish Government's Proposed New Legislation on Homeschooling in accordance with Lagförslagets 22 kapitel 18-19 §§.

I attach my consideration as a pdf-file (HSCCMW.pdf) for uploading to your website.

A hard-copy will be sent by registered mail within the next 4 days and will reach you well before the end of Week #39.
Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours sincerely,

C.C.M.Warren, M.A.(Oxon) 

In case you have misplaced my email, you can download a fresh copy of my report at: 
http://sites.google.com/site/homeschoolinginsweden/download-main-article/HSCCMW.pdf?attredirects=0

A few days later a hardcopy of the report was sent to the Education Ministry by registered post with another covering letter which can be read here:

http://sites.google.com/site/homeschoolinginsweden/home/covering-letter

This was done in response to the guidelines on your webpage and following a telephone conversation with the Education Ministry by a fellow professional who informed us that my thesis would be published on your webpage.

I was appalled, therefore, to find that the Ministry had taken the arbitary decision to exclude "spontanan remissvar" written by private individuals, viz:

"Spontana remissvar ingivna av enskilda läggs inte ut på webben. För att ta del av dessa remissvar kan man kontakta Utbildningsdepartementets registratorskontor via epost registrator@education.ministry.se eller telefon 08-405 10 00 (växel)."

My report is, furthermore, hardly "spontaneous" but was a serious academic project conceived and prepared over a three week period. Moreover, it was included as part of a report by an organisation, Rohus, which has been published on your page http://regeringen.se/sb/d/12023/a/128237 at http://regeringen.se/content/1/c6/12/82/37/68450a9d.pdf

My report, along with other appendices, was for some reason not included on your website.

The fact that a well-written academic report, which is amongst the biggest and most detailed (412 KB) that have been submitted commenting on the suggested school law has not been published on the Utbildningsdepartementet home page is difficult to understand. Sweden is highly acclaimed for its openness and transparency. Why not in this case? Why not allow an open discussion on this crucial future issue? And why was it detached and deleted from a report that was accepted for inclusion on your homepage?

If this is your policy and not a mistake, I will feel compelled to take this issue to the national and international press. I am trusting, though, that this was an unfortunate oversight and hope that you will kind enough to include my PDF file at http://regeringen.se/sb/d/12023/a/128238 by the end of this week.

Thank you in anticipation of your putting this right.

Yours sincerely,

C.C.M.Warren, M.A.

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7 October 2009

Bäste herr Warren, 

bakgrunden till departementets beslut att inte publicera remissyttranden ingivna av enskilda på regeringens hemsida är att sådana publiceringar i vissa fall kan anses strida mot svensk lag (personuppgiftslagen). Elektroniskt utlämnande av handlingar går utöver de skyldigheter en myndighet enligt 2 kap. tryckfrihetsförordningen (offentlighetsprincipen) har att lämna ut allmänna handlingar. 

Då du uttryckligen i mejlet givit ditt medgivande till publiceringen bör det inte finnas något hinder för densamma. Ditt yttrande kommer att publiceras i eget namn i listan över spontana remissvar. Dessutom har samtliga bilagor till Rohus remissvar nu också lagts upp på hemsidan.   

Vänliga hälsningar 

Leo Gumpert
Utbildningsdepartementet
Skolenheten
Tel: 08-4052076
Mobil: 073-0732457
 


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7 October 2009

Dear Mr Gumpert

Thank you for putting up my report. I appreciate that.

Yours sincerely

C.C.M.Warren, M.A.
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