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Number of home-educated children in Torfaen doubles in five years

The number of children who are educated at home has doubled in five years.

Councillors on the education scrutiny committee will look at a report on exclusions, home schooling and attendance, at their meeting this week and discuss the council’s policies in these areas.

A report by Andrew Powles, the council’s director of education says that in 2019/20, a total of 113 children were taught at home and in 2023/24 the total had increased to 232.

During 2023/24, 14 home-educated children returned to school.

In his report he says: “Torfaen’s EHE policy ensures that children who are educated at home receive a suitable education while safeguarding their welfare and well-being. Parents who wish to educate their child at home must notify the child’s school in writing. The school must then inform the Local Authority who will maintain an updated EHE register.

“The local authority (LA) engages with and offers support and advice to parents or guardians who
have chosen to educate their children at home. This support may include information on curriculum, resources, and other educational opportunities available to the child. The LA has a duty to be sure that the best interests of the child are at the heart of their education plan.

“A designated officer will conduct an assessment on at least an annual basis to determine if the home education being provided is suitable, efficient, and full time. Seeing the child and ascertaining the child’s views will be a key factor in assessing suitability also. If the LA cannot conclude that a child is receiving a suitable education, or their welfare is at risk, it may take appropriate legal action, including issuing a school attendance order (SAO) or applying for an Education Supervision Order (ESO).”

The report also says that since September 2023, the council’s education welfare service has followed up five cases where children were identified as being ‘missing in education’. The service follows a procedure to “to ensure that the young person gains access to the most appropriate education as quickly as possible”.


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Number of home-educated children in Torfaen doubles in five years

letters spelling out home schooling
(Photo by Envato Elements licence)