Laura Sharman 17 November 2020

Councils warn a million young people could be missing full-time education

’Significant gaps’ in legislation means more than a million young people in England could be missing formal full-time education, council leaders have warned.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said a soaring number of parents are choosing to educate their children at home, partly due to fears over the pandemic. Figures show that home education registrations have risen by more than 200% for the past two months, compared to the same period last year.

The LGA is calling for councils to have the tools and flexibilities to check a child’s home schooling, and for schools to be forced to share attendance registers with councils.

Cllr Judith Blake, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘The rising numbers of children not in education is hugely concerning, but is hard to tackle due a lack of council powers and resources, and flaws in an education framework ill-suited to an inclusive agenda.

’Children are arriving in schools with a combination of needs, often linked to disruption in their family lives, at a time when schools’ capacity to respond is stretched to capacity.

’While parents, councils and schools all have responsibilities to ensure that children receive suitable education, some significant gaps in legislation mean that it is possible for children to slip through the net and be exposed to serious risks by not being in full-time education.’

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