Homeschooling is a topic of contention for many parents in the UK; some parents are firmly on the side of homeschooling whilst others believe formal education is the best option for their children. In the great debate between homeschooling and formal education, each side has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages, but both still remain an important part of education in the UK today.
However, can the same be said for education in the future?
Homeschooling in the UK
Homeschooling is often considered to be the ‘modern’ way to educate children, but in reality, it’s more traditional than formal schooling is. It was only in 1876, when the Elementary Education Act was introduced, that compulsory education for children started to became the norm in the UK.
Before the Elementary Education Act, access to education was very limited, and many children, especially those from lower-income families, would never have seen the inside of a classroom. Much of the education that these children received would have been at home.
Since the introduction of the Elementary Education Act, this has changed, and now a large percentage of children in the UK are educated in formal classrooms and follow a set curriculum, but this isn’t the same for every child…
Homeschooling in the UK: The Statistics
If you look at homeschooling in the UK in solely a statistical way, then it appears that homeschooling is very far off becoming a ‘dying breed’. In 2018, the BBC discovered that homeschooling numbers had seen a 40% increase between 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 – rising from 34,000 homeschoolers to 48,000 homeschoolers.
These statistics aren’t a one-off phenomenon either. In 2015, the BBC reported that homeschooler numbers had risen by 65% over the course of 6 years. The figures are very promising for the growth of homeschooling, but they only show a part of the story.
According to statistics from the Department of Education, in January 2018 there were 8.74 million pupils enrolled in English schools. This number reveals, that despite homeschooling being on the rise, it still only accounts for the education of around half a percentage of children in the UK.
The Future of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is neither dying out nor close to becoming the new norm for schooling, but it is growing, and in many ways, evolving at the same time. New concepts for the ‘homeschools of the future’ are emerging around the world, changing the way that homeschooling could work in the future.
One of these concepts that’s already becoming a reality for many students, especially in the US, is hybrid homeschooling. Hybrid homeschooling, a model that sees children splitting their education between formal education and homeschool education, is making its way around the US, where homeschooling is also on the rise.
Between concepts like hybrid homeschooling and the upward trend of homeschooling, it may play a much bigger role in the future of schools. However, for many parents in the UK, the formal school system is currently still seen as the only viable option to provide their children with a good education.
You might also like: