The response from the home education community to Tony Mooney's latest pronouncements on HE in the TES has been impressive, immediate and compelling.
From the TES's discussion board:
"Myra Robinson's suggestion that "all the rights are in favour of the parent" is a misguided statement. There are adequate laws in place to protect the children of home educated families. It is up to the Local Authorities to implement the laws if they feel there is a cause for concern. If the LA and their employees do not use the law to protect the children then it is their failure."
and from S.Deuchar
"The quoted figure of 150,000 home-educated children is a serious over-estimate, (home-education researchers estimate the number as up to 65,000 with about 35,000 known their LEA). The inspectors estimate that "about a quarter of parents provide nothing". This may mean that 25% of the families they know about (up to 9000 children) are not providing an education suitable to the age, aptitude and ability of the child. If this is true, why are the inspectors not using the mechanisms of s437 of the Education Act to issue a School Attendance Order for these children? If it is not true, they are slandering a large number of parents who are doing the best that they can for children, many of whom have been failed by schools."
"The article also contains no evidence or basis for the claim that one in four home educating families is not providing a suitable education, other than the unsubstantiated opinions of two individuals."
And could the Dragon of the Valleys possibly have a point about a conflict of interest? You decide:
"Known facts about Tony Mooney:
1) Ex-science teacher
3) EHE inspector for hire who doesn't believe EHE is possible unless
you're a nice middle class family who hires private tutors.
4) Private tutor for hire. Shocking conflict of interest.
5) Rent-a-gob pushing his own prejudices & self interest."