Parents are homeschooling kids to 'avoid holiday absence fines' for term time holidays
10 December 2018, 10:51 | Updated: 11 December 2018, 11:04
New reports reveal that some parents are choosing to homeschool their children to avoid being slapped with hefty fines for taking holidays during term time.
An increasing number of parents are opting to homeschool their children they can take them on term time holidays without getting slapped with a fine from the Local Education Authority (LEA).
There's been a 27.4 percent increase in the number of parents opting to tutor kids from home over the last five years in Staffordshire.
It was concluded that some schools were even encouraging mums and dads to make this decision in order to avoid being prosecuted for absent kids.
It's common knowledge that it is cheaper to go on holiday out of peak school holiday season, and some families end up paying hundreds or thousands more for a one week sunshine break.
READ MORE: What's the fine for taking children on holiday during term time?
Other reasons cited for homeschooling were emotional and behavioural difficulties in school, or because a pupil was on the cusp of expulsion.
Councillor Philip White, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for learning and skills, said: "We have been aware of concerns that parents of some pupils were being encouraged by schools to move their children to home education without a considered debate of the pros and cons.
"Ofsted already has the authority to focus part of an inspection on the numbers of children leaving to be home schooled – and to examine the reasons why – and I would urge inspectors to look closely at any school where there is an unusual number of withdrawals.”
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about homeschooling
Homeschooling does not follow a set curriculum, and the parent/tutor does not need a minimum level of education or any qualifications to teach their children at home.
The Local Authority may drop in to check on what you're teaching your child, but this is not a legal requirement.
Parents in England can start their family’s homeschooling journey by deregistering them with their local authority. After that they can teach them whatever they think they need to know, and in a schedule that suits them.