Home-schooling levels put Harrogate second in North Yorkshire

44 children are home-schooled in Harrogate district last year, up from 26 in 2012.

44 children are home-schooled in Harrogate district last year, up from 26 in 2012.

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Harrogate has the second highest number of home-schooled children in North Yorkshire.

According to figures obtained by the Harrogate Advertiser, there were 44 children being taught at home instead of school at the end of the last academic year (to July 2014). This figure is up from 32 in 2013 and 26 in 2012.

This puts Harrogate second in the list of districts in the county, behind only Scarborough where there were 70 children being home-schooled when last recorded, and ahead of York and Leeds.

NYCC executive member for schools, 16-19-year-old education, and early years provision Coun Arthur Barker said: “There are lots of benefits in having children in formal education, not least that they can socialise with other children and learn social skills as well as educational skills.

“The other way round I fail to see any benefits.”

Coun Barker added, however, that 44 home-schooled children is a relatively low number when set in the context of the number of children in full-time formal education.

“On the raw figures Harrogate is second highest in North Yorkshire, but if you relate it to population it would show that Harrogate is quite low down,” he said.

“For example, in amongst the other districts you have Richmondshire with a total population of around 50,000 and Harrogate with over three times that, so I think you have to link it back to population.

“It is not easy to assess why these children are being home-tutored - it could be one of several reasons and I wouldn’t like to comment - but they are nevertheless important.”