Cornwall

Cornwall Council wants register of children 'missing in education'

Child
Image caption Cornwall Council is calling for a compulsory register of those who are homeschooled

Cornwall Council has admitted it cannot keep track of numbers in homeschooling.

There were 1,024 children registered as being homeschooled in March 2018, according to council figures.

But some others are unregistered, said a report that claimed the current system was "not effective".

The Department for Education (DfE) has been consulting on the issue across England and said it would "respond in due course".

Image caption Voluntary registration of homeschooling "allows some children to become missing in education" says Cornwall Council

The report to the DfE by Cornwall Council said the "majority of parents and carers engage with the local authority readily" when they removed their child from school.

But it said voluntary registration of home schooling "allows some children to become missing in education".

The council is calling for a compulsory register of those who are homeschooled.

And it is urging ministers to provide enough money so it can monitor and support home education properly.

About 48,000 children are home educated in the UK and numbers have been rising steeply.

Councillor Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council's portfolio holder for children, said: "There are a number of children that have moved to Cornwall that are in home education and if they are not on the roll we have no way of mapping those children, and that's the same around the country."

The DfE said in a statement it wanted "all children to receive a high quality and suitable education ‎that provides them with the knowledge and skills to succeed".

There were "thousands of dedicated parents across the country who are doing an excellent job of educating their children at home", it added.

And the DfE said it was "especially keen" to hear from parents as well as councils on issues such as registration, monitoring provision at home and support for home educating families.

More on Inside Out South West, BBC One South West, Monday 3 September 19:30 BST.

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