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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 18:44 GMT
Sharp increase in home education
The number of children withdrawn from school to be educated at home has increased by 39% in one year.

Figures from the Scottish Executive showed that a total of 580 pupils were known to have been taken out of school by their parents in 2005/06.

A further 130 youngsters learning at home, had never been to school.

The Scottish Executive said parents were becoming more aware of education options, particularly since statutory guidance was introduced in 2002.

School closures

Alison Preuss, of the Schoolhouse Home Education Association, said she was not surprised by the rise in home educators.

"Schoolhouse tends to get enquiries from parents having problems with their children at school," she said.

"Bullying is the biggest issue along with special needs, and rural school closures.

"There is a systemic failure in that schools don't seem to be catering for individual children anymore."

Ms Preuss said the statutory guidance ensured that parents were not "fobbed off" when they approached councils for information about home education.

She said information was also more readily available and there was a growing network of home educators across the country.

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