Children and Young People: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th July 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for there having been recent increases in the number of children and young people being outside of the mainstream education system.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of children outside of the mainstream education system being subjected to sexual exploitation.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department does not collect data on the number of children and young people who are educated other than at a school. Local authorities have reported an increase in the number of children educated other than at a school for reasons that include COVID-19 related health concerns.

The Department supports the right of parents to educate their children at home. Most parents do this with the intention of providing their child with the best education, and sometimes during challenging circumstances.

For some parents, their child’s education is not the primary reason behind their decision to home educate. This can mean that some children are not provided with a suitable education.

In some cases, children outside of mainstream education can mean they are children missing education. Local authorities have a duty to make arrangements to establish, as far as possible, the identities of children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered pupils at a school, and to take action where they are not receiving a suitable education.

The Department does not collect data on the number of children outside of mainstream education being subjected to sexual exploitation. Local authorities have a duty to safeguard all children in their area, regardless of education setting, as set out in the Children Act 1989.

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