Home education has tripled in Cambridgeshire in five years - 66 youngsters learn at home in Ely

PUBLISHED: 12:06 10 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:36 10 February 2016

Home Schooling has almost quadrupled in Cambridgeshire

Home Schooling has almost quadrupled in Cambridgeshire

Archant

Home education has tripled in Cambridgehshire in the last five years with figures showing that 66 children are being home educated in the Ely area.

The figures are part of a county council report, which is urging home school parents to ask for help if they need it.

There are 42 children in the Ely, Littleport and Witchford area and 24 in the Bottisham, Burwell and Soham areas who are home schooled, the report shows.

This compares to 109 children in Cambridge city.

There are a total of 605 young people in Cambridgeshire who learn at home - there were just 200 in 2010.

Adrian Loades, executive director of the children and young people committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Education is compulsory, school is not.

“We have no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis.

“We have no powers to enter the homes of, or otherwise see children or monitor the quality of their work, for the purpose of monitoring the provision of elective home education.

“We do wish to make a clear offer to families for support with issues that they tell us that would like assistance with.

“This is a very different approach to some other local authorities who still insist on visits and contacts when the legal position to do so is weak to the point of uselessness.”

The top three reasons given for taking children out of school are lifestyle, cultural and philosophical reasons, dissatisfaction with the local school and bullying.

The children and young people committee at Cambridgeshire County Council today (Feb 9) look at Mr Lodes’ report with an invitation to discuss why there is a growing trend to home education.

Included in the report is an NSPCC statement that says: “We support a family’s right to choose how to educate their children and know that this can be a safe, supportive and effective option.

“However, case reviews have shown a very small number of carers use home education as a means to isolate a child.

“This can prevent authorities and universal services identifying problems concerning a child’s health and well being.”

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