Major Rise in Homeschooling in England Over ‘Philosophical’ and Health Reasons

Seven-year-old Leo (L), and four-year-old Espen (R) are watched by their mother Moira as they complete their remote learning tasks, set by their local primary school after they were made to close due to COVID-19, in Marsden, northern England on January 21, 2021. - Schools and colleges across Britain closed …
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

England has seen a significant rise in the number of children being homeschooled over the past academic year, with parents citing concerns over health, as well as philosophical and lifestyle choices, as being the main reasons for taking their kids out of school.

A survey from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) published on Wednesday, detailed the increasing popularity of elective home education.

The survey found that the number of children who were being educated at home at some point during the 2020/2021 academic year increased by 34% over the year before. In all, the overall settled rise of total children being homeschooled at any one time is estimated at around 7% in the year.

The major increase in the cumulative number of children being educated at home, as well as the discrepancy between that increase and the overall increase in the number of children being homeschooled, was attributed to so-called ‘churn’, with kids being taken out of school for a limited period of time, but then returned later on in the year.

When councils were asked for the top three reasons given by parents and carers for opting for homeschooling, the number one reason cited was concerns regarding the Chinese coronavirus.

The second most popular reason for homeschooling was “philosophical or lifestyle choice”. This was followed by more general concerns about the physical and emotional health of the child.

The organisation lamented the fact that local authorities lack the power to interfere with certain aspects of homeschooling.

“We are seeing more families refusing to engage and quoting parental guidance regarding rights to educate their child and a lack of powers for [local authorities] to enforce cooperation and information sharing to meet their statutory duty,” the report states.

The report also demands that mandatory regular home visits be implemented “so the child is seen” and to “observe the work taking place”.

The rise in homeschooling comes during a period of increasing politicization of Britain’s education system.

Earlier this year, the National Education Union– Britain’s largest teaching union– called for “activist training” on issues such as “whiteness”.

The Critical Race Theory-style recommendation stated that there is “silence around British imperialism and racism”, and that there is an “urgent” need to “decolonise” all phases of education in the United Kingdom.

The union has also demanded that toddlers receive lessons on so-called “white privilege”, something which the then chairman of the House of Commons Education select committee, Robert Halfon MP, compared to ‘Soviet indoctrination session[s]”.

Meanwhile, a report published last year found that white working-class children have been systematically disadvantaged by the British education system, with white working-class boys, in particular, being most disadvantaged out of any demographic.

Education has also become a political battlefront in the United States, notably in Loudoun County, Virginia where parents have called for a ‘Parents Bill of Rights‘ in response to the district injecting tenets of the far-left Critical Race Theory (CRT) movement.

In response to the backlash against the leftist indoctrination, President Joe Biden’s Justice Department began investigating local parents who complain at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists“.


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