Following the sad death of an 8 year old boy in Wales in 2011 the Pembrokeshire coroner has concluded that his death was caused by Scurvy - a fatal lack of vitamin C in the body. This young boy's physical and mental welfare was allowed to slip under the social services radar as he was being home schooled; when education officials visited the family they had no power to insist on seeing Dylan and were turned away by the parents.
Apparently there is no official Register to monitor home schooled children and it makes me wonder how many more children are being left unsupported at home? Perhaps struggling with parents who are suffering with long-term mental or physical illness (or some who simply don't care?) and no-one has the power to check that they are being adequately educated and, at the same time, can confirm they are being well cared for.
I assumed that there was, at least, a yearly academic meeting to check on progress and for certain criteria to be met - the fact that home schooled kids can be left completely unmonitored is quite shocking to me.
This also makes a mockery out of parents being fined for taking their kids out of school for a few days during term time - easy targets perhaps? Local education authorities should be ensuring that they have the resources to communicate with all parents who claim to be home schooling - rigorously challenge them over the education they are providing...and support them and their children too.
And for those parents who home school and do an amazing job...I take my hat off to you!