We guessed it was bad, but it's nonetheless still galling to read yet more of the Local Authority responses to the DCSF's Consultation on Elective Home Education Guidelines which are emerging as a result of Freedom of Information requests by a number of home educators to various councils.
The fact that the final version of the Guidelines clearly did not give the LAs the leverage they were asking for, could give us some hope that the message will finally sink in. But just in case it hasn't...
To the any LA despots out there: You might be able to control what school children do to the very nth degree, but this is only because parents have (even if completely unwittingly) given you that responsibility. Don't forget in all your customary wielding of power, that the principle of parental responsibility for the welfare and education of children hasn't gone away. You never ever have a prima facie responsibility to do anything in this area, so butt out and only intervene when you are pretty damn sure you really need to. Most of you don't have enough money to go throwing your weight around doing something so totally unnecessary and so frequently very damaging as to interfere with perfectly well-functioning families, so go find something meaningful to do instead.
You know, the secret to education is to learn something. Perhaps the likes of the Education Welfare officers in Doncaster, Bournemouth, Warwickshire and Cambridgeshire really have seen the light at last, but if this is not the case and we really are right back were we were in 2004, well, you would have to wonder whether they'd have been better off being home educated.
UPDATE: Pete has alerted me to the fact that it can be done!