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Increase in home schooling applications continues into 2022

By David Lynch - 15th Apr 2022

Medical News Ireland

The first two months of this year has seen a marked increase in applications for home education, according to figures provided by the Child and Family Agency, Tusla.

In the first two months of this year, Tusla received 291 applications for home education. This was up from 170 for the first two months of 2021; 110 in 2020; and 126 in 2019.

“Over the last 10 years there has been a steady increase and interest in home education applications,” a Tusla spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

Based on the trend so far this year, Tusla’s alternative education assessment and registration section “foresees that the recent increase in home education applications will remain for 2022”. 

In total, the number of applications for home education in 2019 was 617, and this rose to 1,923 in 2020. Last year there were 1,536 applications. 

According to Tusla, between 2019 and 2021, 2 per cent of preliminary assessments were refused registration “as their home education provision did not meet a certain, minimum education”. 

Regarding the possible impact of the pandemic on application numbers, the Tusla spokesperson said there “are many reasons why parents choose to home educate children, including, but not limited to, personal circumstances/family life, philosophical or religious reasons”. 

“In addition to this, many families’ personal circumstances, family life, and/or medical needs have changed during the recent Covid-19 pandemic,” the spokesperson told MI

“The increase in home education applications also includes parents/guardians who had previously considered home education prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and following a positive experience of home education, they decided to continue.” 

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