More than 90,000 children were estimated to be in home education in the autumn term – a rise on the previous year, Government figures suggest.

Estimates by the Department for Education (DfE) suggest 92,000 children were in elective home education (EHE) at the census date in autumn last year, compared with 80,900 children in autumn 2022.

The figures come after an investigation by the PA news agency found that dozens of councils in England have seen a sharp rise in the number of children in EHE since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DfE data – reported by local authorities in England on a single day – estimates that the number of children known to be in home education in the autumn term was lower than in the summer term.

An estimated 97,600 children were reported to be in EHE in summer 2023, compared with an estimated 86,200 children in the spring term of 2023.

During the 2022/23 academic year, an estimated 126,100 children were known to be in home education at any point, compared with an estimated 116,300 during the 2021/22 academic year, the new figures suggest.

It comes after councils told PA that more families have opted to formally remove their children from school after the pandemic allowed them to experience homeschooling.

A growing number of parents are also now educating their children at home because they feel the current school system cannot meet their needs, according to home education charity Education Otherwise.

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