Thanks for the argument about the wisdom or otherwise of responding to the consultation in the comments section below. It was perhaps long overdue and am sorry not to have included arguments either way previously. Despite not airing it here, I didn't just slip into responding without weighing the pros and cons and without discussing it with those who were better informed than I on the thinking in the DfES. TBH, I do remain unsure as to what to do, but on balance have decided in favour of getting HEors to respond and encouraging them to demonstrate to the DCSF that they understand the significance of messing with parental responsibility for education of children.
I would bill this as a killer argument, and one that if properly understood should mean that the DCSF will drop any attempt to monitor for reasonable progress or for whatever other standards they can dream up.
There are other possible arguments too. Dani decries her response as a boring post. Perhaps it's just me, but I was gripped! She discusses a number of issues I didn't stress fully in my response, and which can also be fleshed out as killer arguments of wide significance. eg:
"I welcome the emphasis in paragraph 2.7 on the fact that local authorities only have a duty to act if they have good reason to believe that parents are not providing a suitable education. While many local authorities currently believe they should make enquiries of all home educating families they are aware of, this practice goes well beyond what they are required to do by law.
"Unless my behaviour gives cause for concern, I am not routinely questioned as to whether I am breaking the law. For example, I do not have to persuade local authority staff, on a routine basis, that I do not violently assault my partner. It is presumed by society that I am innocent of this crime, unless proved guilty.
"As the law stands, I am due the same courtesy, as a person who is presumed to be abiding by the law which states that I must provide an efficient, full-time education, suitable to the age, aptitude and ability of each of my children."
Whilst I am not sure that this argument could be fleshed out as pertinent to the principle of the presumption of innocence, (since according to this principle there is no reason why a person may not be investigated for committing a crime, but merely that in law one's status is innocent until proved guilty), it certainly does seem to have a bearing upon the idea that we should not be subjected to unwarranted levels of personal intrusion, since at what point would one stop? If you investigate HEors for not educating their children when there is no reason to suspect that they are failing in this duty, why not set up security cameras all over everyone's home? That, I think, should be the logical consequence, since people have all manner of rights under EU law which it would be possible to infringe in the home, and for which we don't routingely investigate.