When IS consent not consent? When it doesn't agree with you, of course.
Children are to be asked if they like being home educated. "Catalina, do you like being home educated?"
"Yes, I do," replies Catalina.
The enquirer turns away, staring hard at the parent nearby. "Ah, I see your mother. Do you actually LIKE home education or does your mother want you to say you like home education?"
Catalina is six. She doesn't comprehend the question. The enquirer nods, marks it down in his little black book. Child says she likes being home educated but is only saying that because her mother wants her to say she likes being home educated.
This is one of the reasons that I don't think it's a good idea for children (in some cases) to be grilled like hamburger on a griddle by unscrupulous agents who will twist the children's words to suit the purposes of the agent. However, in some cases, some children will turn around and flame the griller to turn the grilled into the grillee.
And if we refuse to let the agents see our children, refuse to allow the agents to grill our children like hamburger on a griddle? Then there is cause for alarm. Loads of red flags wave in the breeze. Agents get agitated. Police are called. People bring riot gear. They manoeuvre battering rams into place. (Don't snort 'that is ridiculous'. It happened to one home educating family).
Children may not want to talk to strangers. Heck, I seldom do myself. Young people may not enjoy speaking to people with forked tongues and be too polite to say "Mrs. Agent, you are talking complete bilge. Will you please go away now and let me finish watching 'Hamlet' in Greek?"
This is why we don't 'engage' and 'have good relationships with LAs.'
We know, down to the bone, that these agents swallow the whale of lies that the government thrusts down their gullets. That 'school is safe' (often absolutely untrue) and that 'children cannot learn unless they're at school' (cancel their piano and kung fu lessons on Tuesday and Thursday evenings - you're wasting your money).
These agents don't think and don't question. They don't peer behind the rhetoric. They don't challenge the complete and utter rot. Don't or won't.
Either way, they are no fit company for our children.