Head teachers ‘push’ home-schooling to lose problem pupils

The Times has followed up its story from Saturday on concerns over the number of home-schooled children with claims that some heads are driving parents into home schooling difficult pupils to boost their league table positions.

The suggestion is that schools can improve their exam results and attendance figures by removing disengaged children from the school roll and one way to do this is by persuading their parents to home-school them.

The paper is even claiming that some schools have presented parents with pre-filled forms which just require a signature for the parents to take full responsibility for educating the children away from the school and onto themselves. 

Graham Stuart, a Conservative MP and chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on home education, is quoted:

“There’s evidence that parents with children who are presenting with behaviour problems are getting pre-filled forms sent to them to take their child out of school, which is scandalous behaviour. It definitely happens, it’s not just an isolated incident.” 

The paper reports evidence given by council officials to the Commons’ education select committee when Mr Stuart was chairman and quotes comments made by Elaine Grant, the monitoring and support teacher for Croydon in 2012:

“I try to work with schools to allow a cooling off period… because I only hear one side of it from the school. It is different when the parent comes and the child is being bullied and the school has written them a letter and said to the parent ‘sign it’.” 

The DfE is quoted suggesting such an approach is not allowed:

“Schools are not allowed to offload pupils on the basis of academic performance. Moving a child is a decision made by the parent with the best interests of the child in mind. There are clear rules in place regarding exclusions.”

More at: Head teachers ‘push’ home-schooling to lose problem pupils (subscription may be required)


The evidence quoted here seems a few years old so do you think this is happening in schools now?

If so, how can/should it be addressed?

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  1. thiskidsthinkin

    So, instead of finding a different way of teaching that works for the child (doesn’t have to be in the same school), the child gets off loaded to a parent who may not be capable of home schooling! Even a special unit in schools using alternative methods may be the way forward. 

    Home schooling should always be a parents choice. I know several American parents who have pulled their child out of school and are now home schooling because the education system wasn’t meeting their needs. Sometimes sitting at a desk isn’t the best way to teach a child. One parent I know uses their childs interest in photography to also teach about the other subjects. Another uses art as a tool for teaching.

  2. Warwick Mansell highlighted the problem of disappearing pupils in 2014.  http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jan/21/gcse-pupils-disappearing-from-school-rolls

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