Huge rise in home education sparks ‘off-rolling’ accusations

A children's commissioner report sets out strong evidence of off-rolling practices, with stories of schools putting pressure on ‘harassed parents’ to home-educate challenging students or those with SEN. Pete Henshaw takes a look

A huge increase in the number of children “disappearing from schools” to be educated at home is likely to be the result of “off-rolling”.

A report from the Children’s Commissioner for England reveals stories of schools that have pro forma letters declaring a decision to home-educate and parents who have signed up to home education without realising it.

The report shows that the number of children registered as home-educated has risen by at least 20 per cent in each of the past five years – and has doubled since 2013/14.

In 2018, it is estimated that almost 60,000 children in England were being home-schooled at any one time – a 27 per cent rise on 2017. For 2018, the total figure of home-educated children could be as high as 80,000, the report suggests.

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