Hundreds of children across Wokingham have reportedly ‘thrived’ after latest figures reveal there has been a 171% increase in homeschooling across the region.

In a Freedom of Information Request, Wolsey Hall Oxford homeschooling college has revealed that there are now 203 children being homeschooled in Wokingham compared to 75 in 2013.

In connection with these figures, a survey also conducted by the same institution measuring their student’s well-being has found that 91.5% of parents believe that their child’s wellbeing has improved since they opted for home-schooling.

A local Wokingham parent said: “My son has thrived. He is a true (gregarious) introvert. He loves being around people socially, but it tires him out, so school left him feeling drained, with no energy for true social interactions.

“Being able to learn alone and quietly has left him with plenty of energy for social and extra-curricular activities – scouts/young leaders, tennis, drama club, youth group etc.

“He has become confident in his own abilities and also learnt when and how he can take the initiative to get help when needed.”

In the last four years, Wokingham Borough has seen an overall rise in homeschooling of 28%. The number of primary school-aged children rising from 68 to 84 (24%) and the number of secondary school age children has risen to 119 from 91 (31%).

The reason for the rise in homeschooling numbers is thought to be due to the fact students have had a taste of a lifestyle where they are able to work from the comfort of their own home during Covid.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions easing up, and schools re-opening, many parents have opted to continue homeschooling their children.

They reflect a similar picture seen across the UK, as statistics show that there are now more than 71,515 homeschoolers – up from 59,559 in 2018 and 22,408 in 2013.

This information has also come from a Freedom of Information request, collating this information from over 100 UK councils.

Wolsey Hall Oxford Principal, Lee Wilcock, comments: “What seems very apparent is that those parents who chose to try homeschooling for the first time during Covid-19 have realised how beneficial online learning can be.

“Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace and at a time which suits them. It is a much more child-centred approach to education than is available in a traditional classroom.” 

As well as Covid, it has also been found that some other reason parents are choosing to homeschool is; lack of progress or underachievement at mainstream schools, concerns for their child’s safety/bullying and frustration with teaching standards.