Here are two small news items which may, in the long run, make it harder for home educating parents to refuse visits from their local authorities and just send in written reports from time to time:
Before I write another word, bearing in mind a couple of the people who comment here regularly, I should make something crystal clear. I am not suggesting that home educated children are any more likely to be abused than those who attend school. Having got this out of the way, what are we to make of this newspaper report?
There has already been unease in some local authorities at the idea that a child who was home educated and whose home was not visited regularly by local authority officers will, as an adult, pursue the council through the courts, claiming compensation for not having received a proper education and so being unable to get a job in later life. Again, please don't remind me that providing a suitable education is the parents' responsibility and not the local authority's; I know this as well. When panics of this sort begin, actions are not always taken on strictly reasonable grounds; there is often an irrational, knee-jerk reaction. So it may well be with these claims for compensation.
I have an idea that quite a few local authorities will now be getting nervous and going through their books looking for possible victims of abuse whom they might have overlooked. It is inevitable that in some places, these will be thought to include home educated children who have not been seen for some time. Even before this, there were signs that some councils were starting to take a tougher approach and insist upon children being produced for their inspection. I suspect that this will become even more common in the future.