Hundreds more Sheffield parents choose to home school

Sheffield Council has seen the biggest ever increase in the number of parents wanting to homeschool since the beginning of the pandemic.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 4:45 pm

The number of parents requesting deregistration from school for their children so they can home educate has risen from 462 to 659 in the past year, the biggest single increase Sheffield Council has ever seen.

Elective home education was discussed in a meeting of the council’s children, young people and families scrutiny committee today.

In the meeting, Andrew Jones, director of education and skills, said: “We have had the single biggest rise this year than we have ever had and the committee will be aware from the previous times we have been here that the numbers have gone up in the past five or six years already.”

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Stock image of a parent home schooling

Rosemary Ward, interim head of access and inclusion at the council, who presented a report on the issue at the meeting said they saw 20 to 30 deregistrations from schools on a daily basis throughout September last year.

This had since decreased to between one to two a week and they are expecting it to decrease further once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

She added that the main reasons parents gave for deregistering their children from school pre-Covid-19 were anxiety and lack of disability provision.

Now, Covid-19 and anxiety are the most common reasons given but there are still a high number of parents who did not explain why.

The council said it continuously engages with the city’s home educating community to evidence all children are receiving a full-time, efficient and sufficient education.

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