Home Education in Bristol is on the Rise

Home Education in Bristol is on the rise, reflecting national trends:

The number of families across the UK choosing to home educate their children has more than doubled between 2013 and 2018, with some Local Authorities (LA) reporting an increase of over 750 per cent.

The findings come from Freedom of Information requests made by Oxford Home Schooling whilst looking for home education trends across the country.

The statistics showed that home education has shot up by 130 per cent since 2013, with an increase in nearly every LA. In 2013, a total of 24,824 children and young people were being home educated. By 2018, this rose to 57,132.

Barnsley Borough Council had the largest increase in home educated students, growing by 772 per cent over the five-year period. In 2013, there were just 65 children being home educated, but by 2018, there were 567.

Pembrokeshire and the Isle of Anglesey saw increases of 642 per cent and 640 per cent respectively. But Scotland had the smallest increases with an average rise of just 82 per cent.

Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset did not make the list of top 10 councils with the largest increases in home education since 2013. But South West LAs also experienced increases in home education numbers.

According to the figures released under the FOI act, Bristol had a 56 per cent increase over five years, rising from 228 children in 2013 to 355 in 2018.

For South Gloucestershire, the rise has been much higher with a 116 per cent increase. In 2013, there were 221 children being home educated, rising to 476 by 2018.

And for North Somerset, the increase was 92 per cent, rising from 132 children in 2013 to 253 by 2018.

Home education figures look to have grown again since 2018. Trading with Schools Manager, Ali Mannering told Bristol Schools Forum in November 2019 that between April 2018-19, a total of 518 Bristol children were known to have been electively home educated at some point.

The 10 councils which have seen the largest increases in home education since 2013 are:

1) Barnsley Borough Council – 772 per cent increase)

2) Pembrokeshire Council  – 642 per cent increase)

3) Isle of Anglesey  – 640 per cent increase

4) Bury Metropolitan Council – 523 per cent increase

5) Slough Borough Council – 441 per cent increase

6) Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council – 385 per cent increase

7) Blaenau Gwent County Borough – 375 per cent increase

8) City of Edinburgh – 308 per cent increase

9) City of London – 300 per cent increase

10) London Borough of Camden – 297 per cent increase

Principal at Oxford Home Schooling, Dr Nick Smith said: “People choose to homeschool their children for all kinds of reasons. It could be because the student has special educational needs, has been bullied at school, or has other interests, such as sport, that make traditional education impractical.

“Homeschooling allows families to spend more time together, developing the parent-child bond, and gives students the kind of one-to-one attention that can sometimes be lacking in a school environment.

“The increases seen in our study are therefore unsurprising. The growth of home education reflects the UK’s changing educational needs.”

You find more information about the rise of home education across the UK at: https://www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk/blog/the-growth-of-home-schooling-in-england/

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