Somebody commenting here yesterday put forward an argument which I have seen advanced many times by home educators. It is this. Any change in the legal situation around home education should only take place after consultation with and obtaining the consent of home educators themselves. As the person said;
'You can only get real change about home education if you win over home educators'
Of Schedule 1 of the Children, Schools and Families Bill, it was said by the same person;
' I cannot think of one planned change that would have been positive for any home educators '
The idea seems to be that one should only change the law if one can be sure that any new law will not have a negative effect upon any group. If it is likely to do so, one should be sure to ask that group for their views and opinions before introducing legislation. This seems on the face of it reasonable, but the implications are truly terrifying.
When the law is changed, it is because our representatives in the legislature agree to do so. These people are MPs and we vote them in so that they can, among other things, make new laws. They make these laws for what they see as the general good of society. A law which prohibits the private ownership of pistols was made because it was felt that the fewer guns floating around, the better. This law was very unpopular with those belonging to shooting clubs. They were not even consulted; the law was pushed through without anybody asking the group most affected what they thought. Similar things have happened with owning pit-bull terriers, beating children at school, husbands raping their wives, fox hunting; all sorts of things in fact. Nobody suggested that any of these special interest groups should be courted, consulted and carefully won over. That is not how representative democracy works.
With the practice of home education, a new set of rules should, at least according to home educators themselves, be applied. Any new law there should only be made with the permission of those affected by the legislation. The implication is that any attempt to pass a new law redefining paedophilia should only be introduced with the agreement of paedophiles. One should not have banned hare coursing without first asking those involved in killing hares with dogs whether they wanted their activities to be curtailed. Any law which tightens up the principle of consent to sexual activity could only be introduced after consultations with the rapist community.
I would like to know why home educators feel that their own favoured activity deserves special consideration in this way. If anybody could explain to me why this should be, I would be very grateful.