By Local Democracy Reporter
THE number of children who have left Thurrock schools to be home schooled has doubled since 2013.
Figures released following a freedom of information request show that the number of pupils being home schooled increased from 162 in 2013, to 323 in 2017 – a rise of 49 percent.
Of the 323 in home schooling, 290 were recorded as having left school due to “parental choice” but there are no details on what factors may have led to that choice.
Admissions issues were the reason for 21 children to be home schooled and seven left school as a direct result of bullying. This is an increase from six in 2013.
Sue Bell, founder and clinical director at the Essex youth organisation, Kids Inspire, said: “With one in three mental health problems stemming from traumatic experiences in childhood – for example bullying or other forms of abuse – the result can often be anxiety or depression.
“There are a variety of reasons why young people are being home schooled, one of which could be a result of bullying and parents choosing to deal with the presenting problems away from school.
“We currently support some young people, and their families, that are being home schooled. Our support is offered to them following, for example, a referral for challenging behaviour, anxiety or depression.”
When the figures are compared to the rest of the county, the number of children home schooled in Thurrock in 2017 is equal to 43 percent of the total number of children being home schooled across the county.
The figures released by the county council show that 750 children are currently being home schooled in Essex, excluding the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock.
The chair for the Essex Safeguarding Children Board has expressed concern that nationally some parents have been encouraged to take their children out of school because they are difficult to control.
He also said he there is a “significant risk” to parents taking a child out of school.
Thurrock Council were contacted but did not respond in time.