From a Home Schooling mailing list comes this astonishing story:
We have just returned from a weekend away. At Liverpool Street station on Thursday (when we left) we were approached by a truancy officer together with a helmeted uniformed officer. There were also two other uniformed officers stood behind at close-ish range.
They asked us if we were on holiday and if we had permission for Reuben to be out of school. I explained that we were home educating and that we were on holiday. They had no problem with this but asked us to fill out a rather lengthy form which they would then send to check us out with the local authority. I explained that we were not known to our local authority as this was not a legal requirement. They said this wouldn’t be a problem. The LA would just check that we were not ‘out’ of one of their schools.
The details of the form were as follows:
Date of birth
Date child last attended school
If child was excluded – date of exclusion
Whether child was with parent
Reason for being out of school
Name and address of parent
There may have been a few other things that I can’t remember.
I was unsure about filling in these details. I had hoped to remain unknown to the LA for at least a while longer.
In the event, our train left in 10 minutes, so we filled it in to avoid hold-ups.
Has anyone else been approached like this? Is there a formal response that I should have been aware of? Do you think that the LA will put us on their register now? Or perhaps, as Ian thinks, it will be lost in a mountain of paperwork and never touched again.
I will let you all know if we are contacted for an inspection, as this would be the only route to it as far as I know.
There is no way that people in this country know that this is going on, because if they did, they would surely be outraged. Parents are responsible for their children. If a child is with its parents, by definition the child is not a truant, because truancy means absent without leave from school:
n. pl. tru·an·cies
The act or condition of being absent without permission.
Not only were these children not truant because they were accompanied by their parents, but there were a total of four salaried people there to intercept them. Four people who were wasting their time questioning parents about on their own business in their own country.
Great Britain has gone totally MAD.
The most worrying thing about this is that this person stated that there was no legal requirement to fill this form, but filled it anyway instead of saying point blank that she would not comply.
This is the greatest problem that we face; any government can enact legislation; the thing that gives it force is obedience. If the home schooling community of the UK will not stand up for its rights, then it will have no rights.
And that is a fact.