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Rise in home schooling

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
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Rise in home schooling

MORE pupils are being schooled at home in Dumfries and Galloway following the shake-up to the education system over the past couple of years.

Youngsters were forced into remote learning for most of 2020 and part of 2021 due to the pandemic.

And while many parents are continuing to work from home after restrictions have been lifted, council education chiefs revealed that more pupils are now learning at home also.

The issue was raised at the recent full council meeting where Castle Douglas and Crocketford Councillor John Young asked: “If a child is home schooled, could they eventually drop out of the system as such?

“Are we able to monitor their welfare or not?”

Gillian Brydson, the council’s director of education and learning, replied: “The level of parents seeking home schooling has increased recently.

“It is something that we in Dumfries and Galloway have taken a national lead on in terms of our policy, and ensuring that our policy meets the national expectations.

“It is the law that a child can request home schooling, and if they do that in primary and secondary school, then it is theoretically possible that we may lose line of sight between nursery and primary, or between primary and secondary.

“However, we take all actions we possibly can to ensure that small numbers of children who are home schooled have their annual education checks,.

“We agree with parents when authorising home schooling requests that we will look to work with them on an annual basis to ensure that they have got adequate support.

“Because clearly we would look to bring back any child that would wish to come back into the schooling system.”

The Scottish Government website gives guidance to any parent considering home schooling.

It reads: “If your child already goes to a council school, you must ask for the local council’s consent to withdraw them from the school. The council will expect you to explain how you plan to give your child a suitable education.

“In some cases, consent to withdraw from the school roll is not required. Cases include if your child has never gone to a council school or if your child goes to an independent school.

“However, the local council is likely to contact you to find out if your child is getting a suitable education.”

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