Home schooling requests across Tayside and Fife almost tripled in first term of the new school year, figures have revealed.
Figures obtained from the local councils across the regions show that a total of 108 home schooling requests were made between August and October.
This is an increase of more than 60 compared to the same period in 2019, when there were 39 applications submitted across the regions.
Parents in Scotland have a right to teach their children at home rather than sending them to school.
If a child is already enrolled in a school, parents have to get consent from their local council to take them out and start teaching them at home.
Dundee saw the biggest increase in the number of home education requests during the first term of the school year – with more than eight times as many made this year compared 2019.
Figures obtained from Dundee City Council (DCC) show that in the period between August and October 2020, there were 34 requests made to the local authority for pupils to be home schooled.
In comparison, just four requests were submitted in the same three month period last year.
A DCC spokesman acknowledged the role concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic has played.
He said: “Parents have a right to educate their children at home.
“During the pandemic we have received a higher number of requests and we talk over the issues thoroughly with each family.
“Every request is dealt with flexibly, so that for some home schooling is only a temporary measure.”
Between August and October this year, there was a six-fold increase in the number of requests for home schooling in the Angus region.
During this first term of the school year in 2019, just three requests were made to Angus Council for children to be taught at home.
However, in the same period this year, the number of requests increased to 18.
A report which went before the council’s children and learning committee earlier this year outlined that many of the requests cited concerns about transmission of the virus in schools.
It read: “From August to October 2020, there have been 18 requests for home education and two for flexi-learning.
“This is an increase compared to the same time period in 2019 when we received three applications for home education.
“These requests cite safety concerns about transmission of the virus in schools as well as parents simply wishing to spend more time with their children.”
Perth and Kinross
Home schooling requests in Perth and Kinross made between August and October 2020 were were more than six times the number in the same period last year.
Figures show that in the first term of the school year, there were 19 requests made to the local authority for pupils to be taught at home.
By comparison, in the same period last year just three requests were made.
The figures provided by the local authority also show that requests increased in number in each month during the first term of the school year.
In August this year, less than three requests for home schooling were submitted to Perth and Kinross Council.
However, this rose to seven the following month, before increasing again in October – with 12 requests for home schooling submitted to the council.
According to Perth and Kinross Council, visits will be made on a regular basis to monitor the education provision to pupils learning at home.
Figures show that the region of Fife – when compared to the council areas across Tayside – had a higher number of home schooling requests in both 2019 and 2020.
In the period between August and October 2019, a total of 29 requests were made to Fife Council for pupils to learn at home.
However – just as in Tayside – this number increased during the same period this year, with 37 submissions made to the local authority for children to be home schooled.
Information on home learning published online by Fife Council outlines that all contact between the council and home educating families are dealt with as “fairly and consistently as possible”.