Elective home education rises by a third, say councils

A survey by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services estimates that the cumulative number of children and young people being electively home educated during the 2020-21 academic year was 34 per cent higher than 2019-20 totals.

The number of families choosing to home educate has been increasing in recent years, but the pandemic appears to have accelerated the trend, with health fears related to coronavirus the most common reason given by parents, followed by concerns about their child’s anxiety or mental health problems.

The ADCS said numbers had fluctuated over the year with significant ‘churn’ as high numbers of children and young people both returned to school and were removed from school amid the pandemic uncertainty.

The report warned however that many of the electively home educated notifications received since September 2021 had been for families with multiple layers of vulnerability where elective home education ‘does not seem the most appropriate route for the children concerned’.

In the five years before the pandemic, the EHE population was growing by about 20% each year. This year the largest reported EHE cohort in a single local authority was 3,121, the mean average across all 126 authorities that took part in the survey was 534 and key stage 3 – for pupils aged 11-14 – was selected most often as having the highest number of EHE children.

Anntoinette Bramble, the chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, added: “Disruption to school education due to the pandemic has accelerated already rising numbers of parents and carers choosing to home education their children. The government should bring forward its plans to introduce a register for all home educators to ensure that adequate safeguarding measures are in place.”

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.

Supplier Profiles