Anxiety remains high in UK home education communities over the issue of changes to de-registration from school. At issue: the proposed minimum two day delay in deregistration whilst the school informs the Local Education Authority of the dereg. This has been proclaimed by the DfES a cure to the alleged problem of parents withdrawing their children from school over-hastily, and will also give the LEA the opportunity to put pressure on schools not to de-reg failing or troublesome pupils.
There is much scepticism in the HE community about the reality of over-hasty school withdrawal. There certainly aren't many examples of families to be found back at the school gates the next day begging to be let in. Even in situations where families find themselves home educating reluctantly due to the failure of schools to address their needs, these families are rarely to be found asking schools who have already caused them to take drastic reluctant action, to take their children back.
From our side, it looks as if the two day delay is proposed so as provide sufficient opportunity for LEAs to put pressure on parents to return their children to school, and/or for LEAs to run a quick suitability check on families.
Of course the proposals implicitly dramatically infantilise the population - "Oooh poor little poppets, they don't know their own minds" sort of thing. The risk the ptb run with treating people like this is that people may well start to live up to their perception. I wouldn't be above suggesting to the DfES that this proposal will result in an increase in parents casually whipping their kids out of school for a couple of days here and there.
But the main point is that the law should, instead, clearly reflect what should be reality: that it is parents who are responsible for their children and this includes being responsible for their education. This proposed change in de-registration from schools alters this presumption of responsibility, firmly placing control of the life of a child within the remit of the education authorities.
Pragmatists at Education Otherwise report that it looks bad in terms of changing the minds of the ptb at the DfES. When last we heard, the DfES had received some 180 positive responses from LEAs and schools. We must get letter writing, I think. I feel a letter to Jacqui Smith (Schools Minister) coming on.