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Increase in number of home-schooled children fuelled by mental health concerns

Local authorities report a significant increase in the number of children being home-schooled with Covid 19 related mental health concerns named as a key factor.

Research by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services found that the number of home-schooled children has increased by over a third since the 2019/20 academic year.  Health concerns relating to Covid-19 remained the most common reason for parents choosing to electively home educate (EHE) their child/ren, however, the survey shows a significant increase in the number of parents citing health or emotional health reasons. LAs reported anxiety and mental health needs of children and young people as an increasingly common factor in parental decisions to electively home educate.

Survey responses also show that LAs remain very concerned about the lack of powers available to them to ensure that all EHE children are safeguarded and receiving a suitable education.

ADCS educational achievement policy committee chair, Gail Tolley said “For six years now, we have seen year on year increases in the number of children being educated at home,”

“This report highlights just how much of an impact the pandemic and the closure of some schools has had on this number, with parental concern about the pandemic cited as the most common reason why children became electively home educated in 2020/21.”

Reda the full report here.