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Home schooling in Shropshire sees another rise

By Lisa O'Brien | Education | Published:

The number of children being home schooled in Shropshire has risen over the past three years, new figures show.

In Shropshire, 366 children are being home schooled, which has risen from 359 last year and 263 in 2014/15.

In Telford and Wrekin, 280 children are being home educated, which has increased from 150 three years ago.

There is no legal obligation for children to attend school but the law says they must receive an education.

They can be taught by parents or private tutors and the guidance from both the English and Welsh education departments is that it must be a "suitable education".

Shropshire Council said parents home schooling their children are offered a visit at least once a year but do not have to accept this.

Parents can choose to send in a written report rather than meet a representative from the local authority, but contact is more frequent where there are concerns that a suitable education is not being provided.

Telford & Wrekin Council said the number of children being electively home educated in the borough changes frequently.

Telford & Wrekin Council spokesman Russell Griffin said it has risen in line with the national picture.

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He added: "Education is a fundamental right for every child and parents have the right to make the decision to educate their child at home rather than in school.

"When parents decide to undertake elective home education they become responsible for ensuring that their children receive a suitable education.

"The role of the local authority is to ensure that pupils who are electively home educated receive a suitable education, and this is usually undertaken by an advisory teacher for elective home education.

"Parents who decide to home educate are required to ensure that their child receives a efficient, full time education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child.

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"In doing so the learning can take place in a variety of ways and different environments."

Home schooled children are not required to follow a particular curriculum or timetable.

They are not required to take GCSEs or any exams. If they do, parents have to pay the exam entry fees.

Across the UK, the number of children being home-schooled rose about 40 per cent over three years.

There were 48,000 children being home-educated in 2016-17, up from about 34,000 in 2014-15.

Nationally, mental health issues and avoiding exclusion are two reasons parents gave for removing children from classrooms.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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