Homeschooling has risen by by 172% in Harrow over the last ten years according to figures supplied through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by homeschooling provider, Wolsey Hall Oxford.
The figures show that back in 2013, 82 children were homeschooled across the borough, but as of this year, the figure has risen to 223.
In the last four years alone, Harrow has seen an overall rise in homeschooling of 58%. The number of primary school aged children being taught at home rose from 72 to 131 (82%) and the number of Secondary-aged children has risen from 69 to 92 (33%).
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 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.”
The covid-19 pandemic is a large contributing factor in parents opting for home education, but is certainly not the only reason for the increase in homeschooling.
It is also interesting to note that a well-being survey conducted by Wolsey Hall Oxford in September 2022 – and completed by 343 parents – concluded that 91.5% of parents believe that their child’s well-being has improved since they opted to homeschool.
One parent noted, “My son has thrived. He is a true (gregarious) introvert… He loves being around people socially, but it tires him out, so school left him feeling drained, with no energy for true social interactions.
“Being able to learn alone and quietly has left him with plenty of energy for social and extra-curricular activities – scouts/young leaders, tennis, drama club, youth group etc. He has become confident in his own abilities and also learnt when and how he can take the initiative to get help when needed.”