Home education, or homeschooling (blanket terms covering a wide range of non-school-based learning) is currently a hot topic.
There are many reasons why families choose to take their children out of the formal education system; illness, ideology, problems with bullying, special needs, disengagement. Equally, there are many different forms of home education, such as flexi-schooling, de-schooling or unschooling.
It also appears that the numbers of children being homeschooled are on the rise. The Guardian reported in April 2016 that the numbers of home educated primary aged children rose by 60% in the three academic years to 2014/15. For secondary aged children, the number was 37%. Although the actual numbers of children are small (0.5% of the total pupil population) it is an interesting trend.
With the widely reported parental dissatisfation with SATs tests for year 2 children, there may be even more parents looking at new ways to educate their children.
While there are many who do not agree with the idea of home education, it may still come as a surprise to hear that it is actually illegal to homeschool in many European countries. The UK, compared to many other countries, still has very few regulations when it comes to compulsory education.
Many homeschooled children receive tutoring from professional tutors (a number of tutors on The Tutor Pages describe some of their current students as being homeschooled) and online tuition often now plays an integral part in the learning of home educated students.
As the numbers of home educated children increase, we may see governments attempt to impose greater control in an area that previously they have preferred to quietly ignore. It depends on which side of the debate you fall as to whether you think this would be a good or bad thing for education in the UK.