Safeguarding alert for thousands of home-educated children

There are safeguarding concerns this week for more than 10,000 potentially vulnerable children and young people who are being electively home-educated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A survey of local authorities suggests that more than 75,000 students are being electively home-educated this term, a dramatic increase on 2019 levels.

A quarter of this number – about 19,500 – have become electively home-educated since September 1, with the most common reason cited by parents or carers being health concerns related to Covid-19.

And 14 per cent of those being home-educated – more than 10,000 – are children known to social care or wider children’s services.

This fact has sparked safeguarding concerns given that there is no mandatory register of home-educated children. As such, local authorities have no surefire way of keeping track or checking up on the welfare or education of these children.

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