Ed Balls’s plans for home educators in England are all washed up thanks to unrelenting pressure from the Tories and Lib Dems during the dying days of the UK Parliament in the period known as wash-up when deals are struck by the government to get important pieces of legislation through prior to dissolution.
Plans to restrict home education freedoms by imposing a parent licensing scheme, mandating entry by council officers to private family homes without warrant or consent, and the compulsory interviewing of children alone by official strangers were among several contentious elements within the Children Schools and Families Bill that have been dropped. Other casualties include compulsory home school agreements and statutory sex education with no opt-out, which had been vehemently opposed by teachers, parents and faith groups.
In a letter to his Conservative education shadow Michael Gove, Ed Balls expressed disappointment that his plans had been defeated, spectacularly failing to acknowledge the immense anger, misery and distress he has caused many families across England over the past 18 months by seeking to impose his own distorted ‘values’ on those who do not share them, who deplore his totalitarian tendencies and would never allow him near their children, CRB checked or otherwise.
Get over it, Ed. Your plot has been well and truly lost and your Portillo moment is just around the corner. We wouldn’t have complied anyway.