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19th Jul 2017

The amount of children home schooled in Ireland has doubled

Does this surprise you?

Laura Holland

Does this surprise you?

The latest report from Child and Family Agency Tusla has shown that the amount of children receiving homeschooled education has nearly doubled in the last five years.

Their statistics show that the figures rose from 699 in 2011 to 1,322 in 2016. To date in 2017, there are 1,354 children being homeschooled and this could still rise with the new school year starting in September.

Home Education Network Ireland has said that there are different reasons for the rise in homeschooling in Ireland, from bullying to personal preference.

A spokesperson for the organisation, Pauline O’Reilly says:
“Parents and young people choose education outside of school for a variety of reasons, including bullying within school, needing more individual attention or simply feeling that it’s an approach that is going to work for the whole family.”
She adds:
“From speaking with officials within Tusla, as well as from our own contact with parents, the incidence of teenagers leaving school due to anxiety and stress, particularly girls, is one area on the rise. We know that research from the ‘Growing Up In Ireland’ study, shows that 23% of 17 and 18 year old teenage girls report have self-harmed which is a huge cause for concern.
Home education gives another option and a different environment in which to learn and some find that it is less stressful. It is not for everyone, but many find that even the knowledge that there is another option gives them comfort.”

Home Education Network Ireland is the main peer-to-peer support group, providing a phone line, meet-ups around the country and a residential conference each year.