To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of children in England being educated at home; whether they are taking steps they to reduce that number; if not, why not; and what additional support they intend to provide to local authority children services to assist with the costs of home education.
8 December 2020
The information you requested is not held centrally by this department. The department does not currently collect data on numbers of home educated children.
Parents are not required to register if they are home educating their children and, therefore, there is not a robust basis on which the department can reliably collect statistics on home education.
In relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, the department is working closely with local authorities to encourage a return to full attendance in school and is monitoring the situation. Initial conversations with local authorities indicate that the majority have noticed an increase in enquiries from parents about home education. Where parents are anxious about the safety of their children returning to school, local authorities and school leaders are reinforcing that it is in the best interests of pupils to return to school.
Over March and April 2020, the government provided £3.2 billion of emergency grant funding and over £5 billion of cashflow support to assist local authorities through the COVID-19 outbreak.
On 22 October 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced allocations of a further £919 million of un-ringfenced funding to respond to spending pressures. This is part of a package of further support for councils, worth over £1 billion.