To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the number of students who are home educated, and (2) the quality of home education.
8 December 2020
The information requested is not held centrally. The department does not collect data on numbers of home educated children nor on the nature of the provision made for them.
Parents are not under a duty to register if they are home educating their children. Therefore, there is not a robust basis on which the department can reliably collect statistics on home education.
Local authorities are under a duty to take action if it appears to them that the home education provided to a child is unsuitable. The department issued revised and strengthened guidance to local authorities in April 2019, setting out how they can exercise their powers in this regard.
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.