Despite recent changes in the law, the setting up of ContactPoint, proposed legislation based upon the recommendations made by Graham Badman and so on; it is still very easy to home educate in this country. All you need to do is not send your child to school. I have been prompted to reflect upon this by a comment on one of my posts by somebody who believes that he will be at risk of arrest if he goes out with his child during school hours. This is a grotesque and unrealistic fear. I cannot imagine what law would be invoked for such an arrest.
It is quite true that if one does not send one's child to school, then there is more chance of the local authority hearing about it than was once the case. But then so what? All they can do is ask you a few questions and sometimes press for a visit which you are quite at liberty to decline. Most local authorities now are familiar with the idea of home education, which was certainly not the case twenty or thirty years ago. From that point of view, home educating is a lot easier than it once was.
While I am aware that some people have had problems with Truancy Patrols, the fact is that once they know that you are home educating they will, in general, leave you alone. My daughter and I were stopped by one when she was eight and that is how we became known to the local authority. However, I had no need to give them my name and address if I chose not to. I did so because we were not hiding from the LA, just had not seen any advantage in notifying them of our existence. They certainly have no right to arrest anybody! Children alone are slightly different and sometimes the police will wish to speak to a parent or guardian in order to ensure that they are genuinely being home educated.
Of course, all this may be about to change. In other words it may become more difficult to home educate in the future, although that is in some doubt. But for anybody to suggest that it is necessary to "jump hurdles" in order to do so, as somebody did in a comment yesterday, is frankly absurd. My advice to anybody wishing to educate their own child is, "Don't send your child to school". That's all there is to it. Incidentally, I cannot help noticing that some home educators are using the term "ultra vires" in order to describe the behaviour of local authorities who ask too many questions or pretend that they are entitled to visit homes. Ultra vires is a legal expression which can be applied to a public authority exceeding their lawful powers. In the case of a local authority asking questions or saying that they wish to visit a home, this is probably "reasonably incidental to its authorised activities" and so beyond any definition of ultra vires. We do not need to turn to obscure Latin phrases to describe this sort of thing. There are perfectly good English expressions which meet the case, such as "Trying it on" or "Coming the old soldier"!