Over the past academic year, England has witnessed a considerable increase in the number of children undertaking elective home education. Parents referred to health concerns due to Covid-19 as their major reason for the choice, followed by philosophical and lifestyle choices.

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) released a survey, revealing the elective home education’s growing popularity in detail.

The survey’s outcome

According to the survey, at some point in the 2020/2021 academic year, the number of children taught at home rose by 34% compared with the previous year. 

Generally, the figure accounts for around 7% stable increase of the total homeschooling children at any time per year.

It has also been observed a practice called “churn”, as Breitbart reported, that has had some impact in the results. The so-called “churn” refers to those children that left their schools for a short period before returning later in the year. 

“Churn” is one of the reason for the cumulative homeschooling number’s increase, and the inconsistency between that increase and the overall homeschooling increase. 

Health concerns related to the Chinese coronavirus, COVID-19, was cited as the leading reason among the top three for choosing home schooling, making parents and carers take school education as their option.

The second reason was “philosophical or lifestyle choice”, followed by more popular concerns, including the kid’s physical and mental health and general dissatisfaction with the school.

The report complained about the lack of power of local authorities to interfere, control or assess 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 stated.

The report also insisted on the need for obligatory regular home visits applied “so the child is seen” and to “observe the work taking place.”

Homeschooling footage of a mother in the U.K., Feb. 23, 2020 (Home Education Journey UK/Screenshot via TheBL/YouTube)

Britain’s education system’s politicization

The surge in homeschooling appears amid the growth of politicization and indoctrination in the Britain’s educational system and its curriculum, explains Breitbart.

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

The Critical Race Theory-style recommendation emphasized an “urgent” need to “decolonize” all phases of education in the United Kingdom due to the “silence around British imperialism and racism.”

Toddlers must be taught lessons on so-called “white privilege,” as the union requested.

Robert Halfon MP and Chairman of the House of Commons Education select committee compared this request to “Soviet indoctrination session[s].”,

White pupils disadvantaged in U.K.

While the union demand lessons to tackle “white privilege”, according to an official report released last year, the British education system has caused systematic drawbacks for white working-class children, particularly white working-class boys, who have experienced the most drawbacks as against other ethnic groups.

The report expressed concern as the “House of Commons Education Select Committee “found that “White working class underachievement in education is real and persistent”, and called on the Government to “take steps” to ensure that they fulfil their potential.”

The report concluded by saying that “current discourse around White Privilege can be divisive, and we hope that by highlighting the hardships faced by many White people from disadvantaged backgrounds, our inquiry may help advance a new way to discuss disadvantage without pitting different groups against each other.”

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