Mr Mooney asserted early on in the Radio London interview (transcript here) that it takes an awful lot of effort for home education to be successful.
Having spoken with a number of parents who have both home educated and schooled their children, we understand that the amount of effort involved is often not very different. For example, it can be hugely difficult to encourage a schooled child to take part in the learning process in the school when very often, nothing could be simpler in the home educating life. A home educated child is likely to leap out of bed to pursue his chosen activity. He absorbs information most of the time because he is interested in what he is doing. This information does not necessarily come in apparently neatly structured packages, but it is utterly appropriate because he is motivated to acquire it. This method of learning is easy, effective, personalised and tailored to the learner's needs and abilities.
Further, knowledge for a home educated child is often acquired inexplicitly. Whilst this is of course the case for practically every other person on the planet, (and probably does much to rescue the school system from abject failure), we think the learning process in the home is optimal because it provides more opportunity for active learning, and therefore for inexplicit knowledge acquisition, to take place. For example, home educated children often learn how to spell a word not by pouring over a spelling book and consciously learning how to spell it, so as to be able to reproduce it in a spelling test the next day. Rather they learn to spell by reading the word in a text which fascinates them, the visual memory of word is, in the process, stored unconsciously and is then reproduced easily when they next need to use it. If they find they actually can't recall the spelling when they need it, they can always ask the parent without any repercussions or sense of failure, or they could use their spell check, and because they are so interested to use it, they don't forget it easily.
In summary, the fact that a home educated child is motivated to learn and the fact that he is able to absorb theories inexplicitly in the context of something that interests him, all this can make home education very easy indeed.
Mr Mooney implies that you need to be a trained teacher in order to home educate successfully, with the implication that this is so because the content of so many subjects is beyond most parents.
If this is the case, Mr Mooney, if most parents (themselves schooled) cannot help a child reach the same level of ability that they themselves nominally reached as a child, would you not say that this casts some considerable doubt upon the value of learning all that stuff in schools in the first place? It is actually a fact that many HE parents find that they may have done very badly in some subjects at school, but when they come to research the subject to assist their children they find that the subject matter presents almost no problem at all. This, probably because this time they can tailor and personalise the learning, and are motivated to learn. By way of just one example, I know of a mother who herself failed her CSE maths, but who in the space of three months, worked with her 12 year old son (previously labelled with all sorts of behavioural problems) and helped to get the both of them an A grade O' level in Maths.
Mr Mooney asserts that there is way too little power for a Local Authority to intervene in the lives of home educated children. He calls the legislation "lax" and "a national disgrace".
It is the case that Local Authorities already have the power to intervene substantially in the lives of home educating families and when the education of the child is deemed to be unsuitable, an LA can already issue a School Attendance Order. There is no need to increase the degree to which the state is required to intervene.
For further refutations of Mr Mooney's assertions, don't miss Sometimes it's Peaceful where Gill makes a superb job of his arguments about secondary age home education, and has also unearthed some of Mr Mooney's previous quotations which would appear to be coming back to haunt him.