As solid evidence of my contention that some home educating parents could start a fight in an empty room, I offer the following. It is Greenwich Council's advice to parents who wish to educate their own children:
Greenwich are currently being accused of misinterpreting the law, persecuting certain home educators and generally behaving in a way which would disgrace the Gestapo. Specifically, their website is supposedly suggesting that annual visits are compulsory. Let's see: 'a Home Education Officer will make a request to visit the family on an annual basis, if possible,' Does this sound like compulsion? 'Will make a request', 'if possible'. What Greenwich are saying really is that the passage of time is a change in circumstance and that what constitutes a suitable education for a five year old might not be quite the thing when that same child is eleven or even fifteen. For that reason they are asking to see what is being done from time to time. Many local authorities suggest that they would ideally like to visit every year; this is not illegal. Most of them, once they are sure that the child is actually being educated, will stop coming round after a while. My own council, Essex, when asking for an annual visit used to say in the letter that they would be happy with a written report instead and that visits were not really vital.
One cannot help feeling that if parents just spoke to their local authority and invited them round for a chat, a lot of the unpleasantness of which one hears might be avoided. Once the council know that a child is OK and that she is getting an education, they tend to leave the family alone. This strikes me as the most sensible policy all round for both parents and councils.