"But Unison, the union that represents most social workers, believes this proposal is not needed.
Helga Pile of Unison said: "We don’t believe there is a need for this duty to be put in place… we fear this could be a blunt instrument and be too heavy-handed.
"There are powers for social workers to get a court order or involve the police if they need to see a child alone, but in many other cases they won’t want to have to go in with this insistence that they see the child at that stage."
Now here's an idea for the government. How about actually listening to the people who actually do the work and know what they are talking about, ie: social workers and you might as well include home educators in that too whilst you're about it.
Social workers understand that families will know that they have draconian powers, and that they risk losing every last ounce of co-operation from families. They know that such powers will put them in an even harder place as they try to balance having the co-operation of the family with the pressure from government to see the child.
And they might as well also know right now that that they will almost certainly lose any hope of co-operation from home educators who will probably just tell their children to be honest about their feelings and just tell these unnecessary interlopers to bog off and that they have nothing else to say.
(This from a mother who, without any rose-tinted glasses on, has seen her daughter be polite, well-mannered, kind, considerate and witty all day and who really doesn't want to have to tell her to behave so rudely, but in the current circumstances, if an NSPCC person turned up on our doorstep, I would say she is perfectly free and within her natural rights to behave as curtly as possible).