Some time around January 23rd 2016 the NSPCC revised its web page about learning lessons from serious case reviews where children are not educated in school.
My first reaction is that the latest change is an improvement.
Screen grab January 16th 2016
Home education is not, in itself, a risk factor for abuse or neglect. We support a family’s right to choose how to educate their children and know that this can be a safe, supportive and effective option. However, case reviews have shown a very small number of carers use home education as a means to isolate a child. This can prevent authorities and universal services identifying problems concerning a child’s health and wellbeing. We regularly review our briefings and 18 months on from the initial publication this briefing is going through this process. This review will include consultation with some representatives from the home education community.
January 25th 2016
Many families choose not to send their children to school for a variety of reasons. This choice is usually made by parents acting in the best interests of their child. However a lack of clarity among professionals about the rights and responsibilities of those who choose not to send their child to school has meant that a very small number of carers are able to use home education as a means to isolate a child. Professionals and the home education community need to be aware of the risks around safeguarding and what action can and should be taken to protect those children who are at risk of abuse. We regularly review our briefings and 18 months on from the initial publication this briefing is going through this process.
I do agree that a major issue is lack of clarity amongst professionals. I raised this in my open letter to the NSPCC
I have commented to Anthea that I think the NSPCC reps at the meeting on January 8th genuinely wanted to open up a conversation, adding that at the same time I would be stunned if the NSPCC has had a Damascene conversion as a result of the conversation and suddenly has switched 180 degrees and no longer believes that registration and monitoring is a Good Thing, although they MAY no longer think it is The Answer, which would be tremendous progress, in my opinion. (Longer comment here)