"Unlike driving on the wrong side of the road, which is a hazard, there is nothing that physically harms anyone about homeschooling"
German law forbids homeschooling because it is considered highly harmful to both society as a whole and the children.
Generally speaking, EU anti-homeschooling law tends to focus on the rights of the child, ultimately in terms of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and our Human Rights Act.
The difficulty is that the ultimate legal authority in Europe, the Court of Human Rights, has declared that outlawing homeschooling is not incompatible with the Human Rights Act. There are a few reasons for this, but ultimately its non-negotiable. European states are free to do this if they want and there is no appeal of incompatibiliyt with the Human Rights Act. Just as individual states in America might outlaw homeschooling and it be able to fly because federal law sees no incompatibility with the bill of rights.
Its also a criminal, not civil, matter which means that its not really about the amount of harm caused in some ways, more whether there has been a breach of the law in the first place.
re how far would a country's diplomats go to get you out of hot water. TBH, exactly the same distance that I'd guess an American senator would go to get someone born in their state out of trouble in another state. You go and live in another country, you abide by their rules, basically. You might be airlifted out if a war starts but day to day...and certainly for something like this which is pretty much a premeditated decision to break the law. Different if you are a holiday maker, but if you are living there, you're pretty much on your own.
I think you could hedge and fudge but I dunno, it seems like a lot of work, I can't believe its the easiest way to go. I'd get going with the school if it were me.
I think you need to look at what the law says about education. UK law does not specify that homeschooling is legal. It specifies that a child must receive an education by way of school or otherwise. Maltese law must say something here. It might not say "Homeschooling is legal" but "All children must attend school". Or, "all children must be schooled.". The two statements are quite different. (because potentially, parents can be the ones doing the schooling.".
ETA oh scratch all that I just found this http://www.expat-quotes.com/guides/malta/education/education-in-malta.htm
scroll down, it says that non-Maltese children of expats are allowed to be homeschooled. If that is correct then you are sorted
(also have a law degree, by the way, as well as being British)
Edited by Fillyjonk - 3/9/13 at 9:40am