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FOCUS: Pandemic prompts rise in homeschooling in Jersey

FOCUS: Pandemic prompts rise in homeschooling in Jersey

Wednesday 10 May 2023

FOCUS: Pandemic prompts rise in homeschooling in Jersey

Wednesday 10 May 2023

The number of children being homeschooled in Jersey has almost doubled since before the pandemic – with one parent explaining that “lockdown gave us the experience that we realised was the right one”.

The number of local children being homeschooled has risen from 41 pupils in the 2018-2019 academic year, to 77 pupils in the 2022-2023 academic year.

This post-pandemic increase can be seen across other other jurisdictions, with the BBC reporting that the number of parents choosing to homeschool their children in England had increased by 34% between 2018 and 2022.

Express spoke to one local parent who has been homeschooling his children since the pandemic...


Pictured: Lockdown meant that many children and parents had a taste of homeschooling for the first time.

He explained that “lockdown gave us the [homeschooling] experience that we realised was the right one”.

The parent – who wished to remain anonymous – explained that the education set-up at schools “only serves certain types of children well”.

He added that children who need extra help often struggle to find time for more personal assistance.

The parent described his own children as having their “confidence crushed” by the traditional school environment, leaving them “disinterested” in learning. 

He admitted that he was “disappointed” in the “lack of support” from their school when the pandemic forced children to move to remote learning, describing the available at-home resources as “poor”.

It was this that prompted the parent to employ a private tutor to help shape the required learning to his children’s own specific needs.

He described how the tutor “helped develop a more gentle way of learning”, as opposed to the “one-size-fits-all” approach offered in schools.


Pictured: A private tutor can help "develop a more gentle way of learning, as opposed to the “one-size-fits-all” approach offered in schools.

The parent explained that he was amazed to see how well it worked for his children to learn in a way that “shaped the learning journey for them”.

"They seem so much more relaxed"

He explained: “It is so helpful for children to learn in a nurturing environment and, although they follow the curriculum as a guide, it feels as though they are getting a richer and broader experience.

“They seem so much more relaxed and really fulfilled.”

He added that his children all know they are able to go to school if they want to, but so far they have no expressed an interest in returning to mainstream education.

"Certain children shrink at school"

The parent admitted that the “first question” that people always ask about homeschooling is about the lack of socialisation, but he said he would argue that his children’s “social skills are better than other children their age who are at school”.

He explained: “Certain children shrink or become shy at school when they are subject to peer pressure [at school]. Homeschooled children don’t have those inhibitions, and it’s incredible to see how easily my children make friends in the playground with children of all ages without any inhibitions.

“It’s s a really interesting outcome of homeschooling and not one we expected.”


Pictured: “Certain children shrink or become shy at school when they are subject to peer pressure."

Despite being really positive about homeschooling in general, the parent explained that he finds the lack of support for homeschooling parents in Jersey “disappointing”.

"The support is really lacking"

He said: “It feels as though you are expected to be grateful if you are given approval to homeschool your children, when in reality I believe it should be something that is encouraged.”

“The support is really lacking,” he added. “Someone comes around once a year to check the children’s progress is as expected, but there is no one to contact for advice about planning or resources or anything else you might need.

“The attitude towards homeschooling locally is the wrong one – people need to recognise the issues in mainstream education and understand why this might not be what is best for all children.”

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