More families home educate their children in Sheffield due to fears about Coronavirus
Almost 200 more families have opted to home educate their children in Sheffield following lockdown earlier this year.
Before lockdown there were 462 families known to Sheffield Council who were home educating and since September the number has risen to 650.
Coun Abtisam Mohamed, Cabinet member for education, said parents needed to be aware they may lose their child’s school place.
“We have been in discussion about the impact of so many families coming into home educating due to their worries about Covid,” she said.
“We have a worry that when things are more settled and the infection rate reduces, a lot of families will wish to return their child to school.
“If they are in a high demand area for school places they are unlikely to have their original school place to return to, which in turn will lead to an admissions issue later next year.
“We don’t have the answer to this as elective home educating is a parents’ right to choose, we just have to make sure they fully understand the potential consequences to this decision.”
Coun Mohamed also said delivering lessons to pupils who were self isolating was challenging.
She added: “There is a significant danger that one of the outcomes of this period is considerably wider gaps for disadvantaged pupils and other vulnerable children and young people if our home learning offer is not sufficiently inclusive.
“Covid is an unprecedented emergency that is impacting greatly on schools. Leaders and staff in schools have responded with extraordinary speed to establish routines and approaches as quickly as possible to support pupils while the majority of staff are well and available for work.
“We know ensuring quality provision for those learning at home while self-isolating, while other children in their bubble continue to attend school, is very challenging in itself. It almost feels like colleagues are being asked to do two jobs simultaneously.”
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