Argh. The TES has an article about the review on home education. It repeats the allegations made that home education may be a cover for abuse, and invokes the Spry case as evidence of that.
There's a weird disconnect in the way that the system is responding to the scandals within the social services field. The Climbie enquiry and others following have behaved as though the children who were abused were unknown to the authorities and it is the lack of information on the children which was at fault and not the system.
Mrs Spry, as a foster mother, would have been subject to much more invasive checks than any home educator, and yet those checks did not reveal the abuse. It seems illogical to assume that less rigorous checks would reveal abuse in other cases. All the scandals recently, Climbie, Baby P, the man who fathered children with his own daughters... all were known to the authorities, all should have prompted intervention. It is the lack of action when a child at serious risk of harm is identified that should be concerning us as a society.
Of course there is also the fact of the dreadful effect of being taken into care, as the prospects for children who are in the care of the local authority are pretty appalling.