Elective Home Education (EHE) has significantly risen in Bristol, with figures submitted to a forthcoming Bristol Schools Forum showing parents moving away from formal education settings.
Whilst there has been a decrease in the issuing of penalty notices in the last financial year, the number of irregular attendance prosecutions S444 has sharply increased.
Under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, a parent is guilty of an offence if their child is of compulsory school age, a registered pupil at a school but the parent fails to ensure they are regularly attending.
The statistics were published in the Sixth Trading with Schools Annual Report for 2019/20, by Ali Mannering, the head of Trading with Schools (TwS) but does not have any further details regarding the background of the prosecutions.
Mannering introduces her report as outlining ‘many examples of the outstanding collaborative and dedicated work undertaken by colleagues who are committed to the continued support of educational settings and the best possible outcomes, particularly for children and young people.’
Statistics in the chart are for the financial year 2018/19 and 2019/20 – though schools and education settings closed on 23 March 2020 due to the first UK coronavirus lockdown.
Bristol Schools Forum is a public meeting, with the next one taking place on Tuesday 24 November 2020 at 5pm.