Concerns home schooled Sheffield children will not be able to return to classroom after Covid-19

Sheffield Council has warned that families homeschooling their children may not be able to send them back to their former school if they change their mind.

Friday, 26th February 2021, 12:30 pm

The issue was discussed during a meeting of the children, young people and family support scrutiny committee earlier this week.

Andrew Jones, director of education and skills, said they had seen the single biggest rise in people degregistering from school this year than ever before, following a gradual increase over the past five or six years.

Rosemary Ward, interim head of access and inclusion at the council, said the number of parents requesting deregistration from school for their children so they can home educate had risen from 462 to 659 in the past year.

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Sheffield Council has warned that families homeschooling their children may not be able to send them back to their former school if they change their mind. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Throughout September they saw 20 to 30 deregistrations from school a day. This since decreased to between one to two a week and they are expecting it to decrease further once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

She said: “We are concerned that once we come out of the pandemic, schools start going back and we have the vaccine rollout that we may have a number of families wanting to re-enter their children into school and we want that to be as seamless as we can possibly make it but we understand that some of the families won’t be able to have their children back in the schools they came out of.

“We do have a local agreement that within three months they can return to their former school but if it is extended beyond those three months and their schools are a very popular school and therefore it is oversubscribed we have got to make sure we have that information and knowledge so we can mitigate some of the risk.

“We are concerned in terms of actually making sure we are in contact with them now but getting children back into school when parents have confidence to bring them back onto roll.”

Councillor Colin Ross, Liberal Democrat member of the committee, added: “I’ve got a nasty feeling that come September we might have quite a lot of disappointed parents who can’t get their children back into the local schools that they have taken them out of.”

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