The number of children being home-schooled has risen by about 40% over three years, the BBC has found. Across the UK 48,000 children were being home-educated in 2016-17, up from about 34,000 in 2014-15.
Mental health issues and avoiding exclusion are two reasons parents gave for removing children from classrooms.
Dr Carrie Herbert, the founder of a charity for children outside mainstream education, said the rise in home-schooling suggested “something quite tragic about the state of the education system”.
“I’m not sure it’s very useful anymore to put 30 children in one classroom with an adult all doing the same thing in the same way at the same time,” said Dr Herbert, of The Red Balloon charity.
“We should really be thinking more 21st century and outside the box about this and teaching online in real time can help do this.”
Oliver Wood, from Thetford in Norfolk, was severely bullied at his former school before becoming a pupil of Red Balloon. The 15-year-old has autism and suffers from anxiety.
Red Balloon has an online school that follows a “normal” school day as much as possible. Its curriculum is tailored to suit the child’s interests, with the aim of getting them back into the habit of learning, socialising with others and for some, returning to school.
The charity has 93 pupils and has had to close its books until it can afford to hire more teachers.
Watch the video and read the full article Home-schooling in the UK increases 40% over three years – Video
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