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Home Education Trends: Changing Cohorts

Education Otherwise’s ‘trends’ series of reports maps numbers of home educating children and the reasons why parents across England and Wales choose to home educate their children; the 2024 issue separates England and Wales. This issue is for England.

Home educating families are changing and those changes are reflected primarily in those choosing to home educate in the last two years.

Media reporting has again highlighted rising numbers but, increasingly, we are seeing recognition of the fact that those rises are driven by parents ‘voting with their feet’ to remove their children from schools which they consider do not meet their children’s needs. These parents are home educating but do not ‘elect’ to do so.

Ministers, members of both houses and public bodies still continue to propound the narrative of rising numbers of home educated children as a concern and promises of mandatory registration still continue to be made. However, good sense can prevail and a recent vote in the House of Commons found a Labour Bill to introduce a register for children not in school defeated soundly1.

Previously noted increased awareness2, on the part of Government and some public bodies, of the need to address widening divides between home educating families and local authorities continues. We are now seeing signs of improving relationships in many regions.

This year’s report brings some signs of hope, tempered by worrying indications of increasing failures within the school system.

Please download the new report: here.