Now there couldn't be any teensy, weensy possible chance that the DCSF intentionally released the Registration and Monitoring Consultation results on the same day that Home Educators were likely not only to be digging themselves out of snow drifts, but were also distracted by the second reading of the Children, Schools and Families Bill, now could there? I mean is there any possible chance that a man with the integrity of Ed Balls would have wanted to bury the news that 4497 out of 4833 of respondents thought that the proposals don't strike the right balance between the rights of parents and children? Nah, surely not.
Perhaps, (well, let's be as kind as we possibly can be) he hadn't actually read the consultation results himself. Yes, yes, that must be it, for otherwise the man must either be classed as a liar or seriously delusional for yesterday he said (see second para under column 436):
"In the vast majority of cases, home-educating parents will want to co-operate fully - this will be very light touch indeed"
The thing is, Ed, the truth does have a habit of outing itself. 4217 respondents who we can safely assume were mostly home educators thought that local authorities shouldn't have the right to visit the family home to interview the child within four weeks of HE starting, after six months have elapsed, at the anniversary of HE starting and thereafter on an annual basis. Only 311 respondents out of 4717 actually did think it a good idea, and you can bet your life, most of these weren't home educators. I think I know one home educator out of literally hundreds who thinks your plans have some (and even this person equivocates on many points), merit. The hundreds of other home educators I know are firmly of the considered opinion that you proposals are appalling in any number of different ways. So either you are neglectful in not understanding this is so, Ed, or you are lying, or you are delusional.
Whatever the explanation, this man shouldn't be in office.
UPDATE: The Guardian has further evidence that Ed has lost the plot.