Home education is more popular in the Fens than in Cambridge, according to latest figures

Home education in Cambridgeshire has almost quadrupled in five years

Home education in Cambridgeshire has almost quadrupled in five years - Credit: Archant

More families are educating their children at home in the Fens than in Cambridge city centre, says a report, which is urging home-school parents to ask for help if they need it.

Home education has tripled in the county in five years, the report, says with 605 young people learning at home in Cambridgeshire today compared to 200 in 2010.

Of those, 150 youngsters are in the Fens compared to 109 in Cambridge.

Wisbech has 82 young people learning at home compared to 46 in March and Chatteris and 22 in Whittlesey.

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

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“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.

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“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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