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Comment on Schools Week EHE figures

Heather Sandy, Chair of the ADCS Education Policy Committee, said:

“The number of children being educated at home was significantly rising year on year even before the pandemic and these figures show this trend continuing. However, these figures are simply estimates. We have no way of knowing exactly how many children are being electively home educated, nationally or locally, and local authorities do not have the powers to assure ourselves that children are receiving a suitable education in a safe learning environment. We need a register that gives us a full understanding of the number of children being educated at home at the soonest possibility. Local authorities also need powers to match our responsibilities with regards to these children. Whilst a register in and of itself will not keep children safe, it will help to establish how many children are being educated other than at school and assist with the identification of children who are vulnerable to harm.

“The pandemic has resulted in more parents choosing to educate their children at home, in the ADCS EHE 2021 survey parental concern about Covid-19 was the most common reason behind elective home education closely followed by a philosophical/lifestyle choice. Also, we are now seeing more children who are less engaged with an education system which does not meet the needs of all learners, this is evidenced by the rising number of school exclusions, persistent absenteeism and a year on year increase in the number of children being home educated. Government must work with local authorities and others towards an inclusive education system.”


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