Since there is no duty on LAs to monitor there is no duty on home educators to respond. However if you don’t respond the LA are allowed to infer that you are not providing an education and may subsequently issue you with a School Attendance order (SAO). This process is governed by section 437 of the Education act 1996.
LAs often try to dictate how you respond to their enquiries. Despite this, how you actually respond, is up to you. Providing your response is reasonable under the circumstances. The LA may not insist on any particular form of response and must fairly examine any reasonable account you offer them.
Your Response to Monitoring
The best advice available says that you should always respond to a monitoring requests and generally the best response is to produce three documents.
List of resources
The list of resources should include all resources available to you. They should include not only your own personal resources like books and computers but also access to the library and membership of any social groups that are relevant. List everything of relevance.
An SAO requires that you register your child with a named school within 15 days. You may however defend yourself in court by arguing that you are providing an education at home.
It is probably best not to have to go to court so making some kind of a response will be preferable. If you have been issued with an SAO or believe you may be issued with one and you don't know what to do next the best course of action is probably to join the online forum where people will be able to offer you support and information about how to move forward from here.
Do not ignore any correspondence from the LA, this will almost certainly result in court action against you and remember you have only 15 days from when you have received an SAO to respond, so treat this as urgent.
LAs may not insist on home visits. They have no right of entry into the home to check upon the child's education or your provision.
Some LAs believe they have to authorise you to home educate when you first deregister. This is incorrect. Home education is normally a right in law.