Number of home-schooled pupils in Flanders doubles in five years

Figures from Flemish Education minister Ben Weyts revealed that the number of pupils being home-schooled in Flanders has more than doubled in the last five years. The number of primary school-aged pupils has almost tripled.

In Belgium, education is compulsory, but attending school is not. Instead of sending their child to a recognised school, some parents organise home schooling. They report this through the Home Education Desk. In 2017-2018, 1,082 pupils had individual home tuition. Five years later, this number has risen to 2,548, a 135 per cent increase

The number of checks by education inspectorates for home education more than doubled from 301 in the 2020-2021 school year to 739 in 2021-2022. The number of positive evaluations remains the same.

Weyts says this is still a very small number, about 0.2 per cent of pupils. "Parents have the constitutional right to organise home education, but children tend to get the best education from driven teachers in the classroom," he said. "I think some parents also underestimate what teachers do. Not only pedagogically, but also socially, schools take precedence over home education."

MP Loes Vandromme, who requested the figures, would like to see more data on the profiles of pupils following home education and called on Weyts to investigate. This could "teach us a lot about the gaps or pain points in our current education system".


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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