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Neath Port Talbot sees 410% increase in parents homeschooling their children

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Over the last decade homeschooling has risen by 410% in Neath Port Talbot, according to figures supplied through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by homeschooling provider Wolsey Hall Oxford

In 2013, figures revealed that 47 children were homeschooled in Neath Port Talbot but by 2022 this had increased to 240. 

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In the last four years alone, Neath Port Talbot has seen an overall rise in homeschooling of 63%. The number of Primary-aged children being taught at home rose from 54 to 73 (35%) and the number of Secondary-aged children has risen from 93 to 167 (80%). 

These figures show that despite Covid-19 restrictions easing up, and schools re-opening, many parents have opted to continue homeschooling their children. They reflect a similar picture seen across the UK, as statistics show that there are now more than 71,515 homeschoolers – up from 59,559 in 2018 and 22,408 in 2013. Wolsey Hall Oxford has been collating this information from over 100 UK Councils through FOIs.  

Wolsey Hall Oxford Principal, Lee Wilcock, comments: “What seems very apparent is that those parents who chose to try homeschooling for the first time during Covid-19 have realised how beneficial online learning can be. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace and at a time which suits them. It is a much more child-centred approach to education than is available in a traditional classroom.” 

Wolsey Hall said that the pandemic is not the only reason parents are opting to homeschool their children. 

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Some of the most common reasons for parents to choose homeschooling include a lack of progress or underachievement at mainstream schools; frustration with teaching standards in mainstream schools; and concerns for their child’s safety, including bullying.

Behavioural issues that are not suitably dealt with in mainstream schooling; medical reasons or learning difficulties that inhibit a child’s ability to learn in a conventional environment; travelling and expat families; as well as gifted/higher learning potential students or those who are elite athletes/in the performing arts industry are other reasons cited.

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