Yes, sadly, home edders in Kent are now facing a new threat from the LA. During a committee meeting proposals were tabled proposing changes to current HE guidelines. Essentially, the LEA is creating 3 jobs and the people that fill these jobs will be tasked with seeking out every single unknown home educator in Kent and registering them. All home edders in Kent will be subject to "monitoring" and all home edders will have to submit to yearly visits.
They will automatically be liasing with "other agencies" to see if there any issues, whereas at the moment a form is sent to parents to ask for permission to pass information between agencies. I'm suspect they will be using "safeguarding children" language to justify this breach of data protection. (Note: interesting safeguarding is not suppose to be used now, so I find it interesting that such terminology is in a document that was presented to KCC committee members!)
The language of the proposed changes is aggressive and actually most of it is lifted from the report that Ofsted produced not long after the Badman/Balls bill was beaten. The suggested policy changes are written by Patrick Lesson, who guess what, was actually behind the Ofsted report in which Ofsted calls for the registration and monitoring of all home ed kids, which at the time was unsurprisingly denounced nationally by Home Edders, the MP Graham Stuart and other supporters.
So, Home Edders in Kent are gearing up for a fight.
Thankfully, this time we have the law and national government guidelines, on our side. Still, I predict it will be a long and difficult process. And the suspicious part of me can't help wondering if this is a back door attempt at re-introducing the Badman proposals on a local level.
I urge home edders in other counties to be vigilient!