Schools pushing children into home schooling, say councils

Local authorities in England say some parents are being “coerced” by schools into home educating their children, often before GCSE exams, and that there has been a sharp increase in the number of pupils being removed, according to the government’s admissions watchdog.The annual report of the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) says more than 52,000 children were registered as being home schooled in 2017-18, using figures supplied by the 152 local education authorities in England. But it notes that, because there is no requirement on parents to register, the figure is an underestimate of the real total.The figure represents a steep increase from a similar survey in 2015-16 that estimated about 37,000 school-aged children were registered as home educated.Shan Scott, the chief schools adjudicator, said some local authorities had reported substantial increases “of between 40% to 70% in recent years in the numbers of children electively home educated”.

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