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Homeschooling in the UK increases 40% over three years

Homeschooling in the UK increases 40% over three years

Across the UK 48,000 children were being home-educated in 2016-17, up from about 34,000 in 2014-15.

Mental health issues and avoiding exclusion are two reasons parents gave for removing children from classrooms.

The government will publish new guidance on the “rights and responsibilities on home education” but councils want more monitoring powers.

They are concerned about the quality of the education homeschooled children receive as well as “safeguarding” issues, such as the ability to properly protect children from abuse or maltreatment.

Dr Carrie Herbert, the founder of a charity for children outside mainstream education, said the rise in homeschooling suggested “something quite tragic about the state of the education system”.

She said she was concerned some parents might also feel pressured into home-schooling their children to avoid exclusion or prosecution over poor attendance.

“I’m not sure it’s very useful anymore to put 30 children in one classroom with an adult all doing the same thing in the same way at the same time,” said Dr Herbert, of The Red Balloon charity.

“We should really be thinking more 21st century and outside the box about this and teaching online in real time can help do this.”