My argument to him is now going to be: look what this will actually mean. It will mean that children, some of whom have profound problems of one sort or another with school, who may well be simply terrified of it and who would NOT be well served by being forced to go back to it, but who ARE extremely well served by being educated out of school, will spend their whole lives worrying about the subjective judgement of a complete stranger, since this could simply devastate their lives.
Home education is an entire way of life for these children. Being forced back into school on someone's probably poorly informed judgement about what constitutes a suitable education would destroy their entire lives and ruin the balance and trust that a family regularly achieves by home educating their children.
No other children are held to such regular and all-encompassing account.
There is a received but extremely poorly informed idea that school refusal is an irrational phobia that must be overcome and that this is best achieved by forcing children back to school. Yet outcomes for these children are not good. (Hersov and Berg). We don't force adults back into a work place where they are unhappy and/or unsuccessful and which doesn't suit them. Why should we persist with this approach with children when experience in the HE community demonstrates the success of home education as a means of achieving a successful outcome?
Children who were living extremely successful lives will find that those lives are entirely conditional, entirely unsafe. This will be devastating and home educating parents will not accept it and will do their utmost to resist it.
It MUST NOT HAPPEN.
Meanwhile, Lord Lucas who will be speaking on the bill in the Queen's Speech debate tomorrow, will be saying much the same thing, if for other extremely pressing reasons.
And for a general critique of the failure of Every Child Matters to deliver anything significant by way of safeguarding and success for children, go here.