For any UK Home Educators who are not yet convinced of the need to keep a very close eye on the DfES (see this blog post), check out the recommendations on page 23 of this piece of DfES funded research. Whilst nominally a piece about traveller children, all electively home educated children would fall subject to the recommendations.
*In terms of securing uniform guarantees of children's rights and entitlements to equality of education irrespective of provider, and the safeguarding of the care and protection of children from possible harm and abuse, parliamentary legislation is required.
*Legislation should apply uniformly to all families with children currently being educated at home and those wishing to elect for home education in the future.
*It is suggest (sic) that the legislation should ensure that:
a) a standardized national system of registration be implemented by each local education authority in terms of assessment criteria; monitoring/inspection visits; and the time sequence related to these events
b) the wishes of children are established and taken into account in the assessment process.
d) (sic...there was no C)... a clear curriculum entitlement is defined which is broad and balanced.
e) all children to be registered (irrespective of whether they have ever been registered with a school), and that all children registered under EHE are seen initially and in the teaching and learning situation on a regular basis defined in law and a standard format for post visit reports and their distribution.
f) all children registered under EHE are assessed on a regular basis in relation to expectations of educational progress.
g) that a timetable be established and defined in relation to the procedures incumbent on local authorities pursuant to assessment judgments of the provision being unsuitable.
h) parents and secondary aged children have the right of appeal at any decision by the appropriate authorities in regard to an application and continuance of elected home education.
*The legislation should be supported by appropriate circulars and other guidance together with an initial and periodic national training programme.
*That Local authorities be required to include within their Inspection Cycle, an assessment of the quality of the assessment and monitoring/inspection functions in relation to elective home education and to report on their findings.
*That the criteria for assessment and monitoring/inspection visits should be based on a modified version of the requirements for the inspection of independent schools under Section 162a.25
*The Department for Education and Skills should implement changes in order that the cycle of prejudice is broken down, racist bullying tackled and the educational needs and aspirations of Gypsy/Roma and Traveller communities are taken into account within maintained schools.
*That a review be commissioned by the DfES after five years of the implementation of the new legislation.
So yep, let's get going. If you don't fancy being traced too specifically, just register with the DfES Consultation Website and list any number of different consultations as well as any likely to include those about Home Education. But if you do really want to make a point that you are watching the DfES, write to Elaine Haste or Mr Thompson at email@example.com and ask them to send you all information about consultations to do with any changes to Home Education legislation. You should receive something like this in response to the latter:
"Thank you for your email regarding home education; I will include your name on a list that is being set up to receive any further relevant information as it becomes available."