What have Children Missing Education got to do with home educators, you would rightly ask? Well it's all a question of how Local Authorities set about finding children missing a suitable education. Should HEors have to submit to routine checks in order to ascertain whether the education they provide is suitable or should they only come under scrutiny if others raise the alarm bell?
The question has huge constitutional consequences. Think about it for a second. Asking LAs to routinely check for a suitable education means that without doubt, the state is responsible for determining the nature of that education. The state becomes the ultimate arbiter in the matter. Not very British, all a bit scary, open to abuse, the easy road to totalitarianism. Far better that in the first instance, the nature of a suitable education be determined by individual families and the state only steps in when this situation has demonstrably failed.
Given the current constraints on the public purse and the natural (or more cynically subsequent) preference for small state politics of the Tory party, the drive towards localism, (devolving power to those whose lives are directly affected by the influence of that power), seems to be gaining ground in government circles. The whole thrust of Elizabeth Truss's testimony in the recent Education Committee , with her insistence that parents are responsible for a child's education, seemed to be going this way.
The draft guidance here seems to suggest the current preference for localism, suggesting, in effect, that HE families get on with it, and are only investigated when alarm bells are rung. In the meantime, LAs can get about alerting professionals such as GPs and the police to the issue of CME.
All this seems eminently sensible to me as it saves time and public money not screening bundles of healthy HE families, and instead allows resources to used where they are needed.
So yep, will be responding to the consultation (click on Response Form on the upper right (you will need Word), or else send a response to an email) to tell them as much.