Well done those HEors who pursued this line; if they end up working for the investigative team on Private Eye, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised. You can bet they will go in search of the truth like dog after a bone and won't be fobbed off with phoney stats, headlines and soundbites.
Reading Graham Badman's report, you would have thought that the Church of England were fully in favour of clamping down heavily on home educators. Badman achieves this effect by quoting highly selectively from the C of E submission.
From the Badman Review of Home Education, Section 4.8:
"...the Education Division of the Church of England states its concern:
"that children and young people not in formal education are missing the benefits and challenges of learning in community with their peers. Children who do not go to school may not experience the social and cultural diversity encountered there; they will not learn how to deal with the rough and tumble of everyday life; they may never meet people with different faith and value systems. All such encounters, even the difficult or painful ones are enriching. We are concerned not only with the five Every Child Matters outcomes, but also with the spiritual well-being of all children and young people.
Spiritual well-being arises not only from being cared for in a loving family and/or faith community, but also in encounters with people of different opinions and backgrounds; in learning to listen to a variety of opinions; to encounter diversity and the riches and life-enhancement it can bring. Spiritual well-being depends on living and taking a full part in community life. Children and young people in schools learn about and from the five major religions. This may be a difficult part of the curriculum for home educators to provide, yet it is vital for the Government’s community cohesion agenda that all children learn in a balanced way about the variety of religious values and practices, and to be encouraged to question their own beliefs and practices.”
Badman however somehow failed to mention that the Church of England actually concluded their consultation submission with the following:
"We have seen no evidence to show that the majority of home educated children do not achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes, and are therefore not convinced of the need to change the current system of montoring the standard of home education. Where there are particular concerns about the children who are home-educating, this should be a matter for Children's services."
Home educators have subsequently received reassurances from the Church to the effect that the C of E does indeed stand by the conclusion above.