For over twenty years or so home education in this country rolled along more or less smoothly. True, some LEAs were more intrusive than others and some parents were given a hard time. After the Harrison case though in 1981, it became more or less accepted that parents did in fact have a right to educate their own children. The majority of parents to whom one talked seemed to have established some species of modus vivendi with their local authority.
The real change in attitudes seemed to coincide with widespread access to the internet. Now any parent considering home education could at once be in immediate contact with other like minded souls. They could exchange notes, tell each other their legal rights and join online communities. With this easier communication came a hardening of approach towards local authorities. Whereas most families had before this regarded visits by their LEA as an unavoidable nuisance and necessary evil, it now became common for people to stand on their rights and decline to have any contact with LEAs other than sending a written report. To use an idiomatic expression, one might say that they were winding each other up into confrontation rather than co-operation. This all happened at a time when the numbers of home educators seemed to be rising inexorably. I don't doubt that this too is connected with internet access.
Inevitably, LEA officers became irritated at what they saw as such bloody mindedness. There was also genuine concern at the rising numbers of children being withdrawn from school. It was now that the local authorities began agitating for new powers. The rest, as they say, is history. I am well aware that this perspective on the current situation is not one shared by all home educating parents. Never the less, I have received enough emails over the last couple of years or so from other UK home educators to convince me that I am not alone in my analysis of the situation. In other words, other parents besides me feel that if fewer parents had ended up in confrontation with their local authorities and there had been a bit more give and take, then the Badman review would never have been held.