One can usually hazard a pretty accurate guess as to the line which home educating activists will be taking on many contemporary issues; from ID cards to vaccinations. It made it, I suppose, inevitable that controversy should arise in the home educating community about the introduction of Summary Care Records, knows as SCRs for short. These are a short account of the most important bits in your medical record that a doctor treating you would need to know. Allergies to penicillin, blood group, history of diabetes, that sort of thing. As things stand, if you were to be knocked unconscious in a road accident, there could be a considerable delay in finding who your doctor was and getting access to the sort of information which could save your life. This will speed things up and allow a doctor treating you to find the important stuff out straight away.
There are various things to remember about Summary Care Records. They are completely voluntary. Your doctor will write to you and explain how you can opt out if you do not want to be in the scheme. You can also have notes added to the SCR yourself, if you think that they are misleading. You will be able to view your own SCR online and see what the doctors have put in there and you can also see your child’s SCR, unless she has Gillick Competency, in which case she can view her own record.
Needless to say, there has been a rush of home educating parents who have opted their children out from this scheme, although I cannot quite see why. It seems to me to be very irresponsible and suggest an adherence to dogma at the expense of their child's future welfare. The SCR only contains the bare bones of a person’s medical history; not chapter and verse. There seems to be an anxiety about the information in an SCR being hacked, but so what? I would be happy for my own allergies to become public knowledge!
The real reason that home educators oppose things like the SCR is that there is a visceral distrust of professionals among many such people. Anybody trained to work with children, whether a teacher or doctor, is often viewed with suspicion as the kind of person who would try to prevent home education if at all possible. In other words, this is more paranoia than any rational concern. I am simply counting down and waiting for the explosion from militant home educators to this news:
What do you want to bet that we will be hearing from home educating parents who claim that they will now stop visiting doctors and hospitals entirely when their child is injured or sick?