MORE parents in Oxfordshire are opting to home-school their young children.

According to home-schooling college Wolsey Hall Oxford, the number of primary-aged children being home-schooled in the county has increased from 193 in 2013 to 322 in 2018.

Nationally, the figure has seen a 146 per cent rise in those five years, according to Freedom of Information requests submitted by the organisation.

Lee Wilcock, principal at Wolsey Hall Oxford, said: "The rise in home schooling is often attributed to secondary schools off-rolling pupils, but with primary aged children, this is not going to be the case.

"It can be assumed that there is a general greater interest in home education for primary age."

ALSO READ: Council report about home-schooling surge

Off-rolling is defined by Ofsted as the practice of removing a pupil from a school roll without a formal, permanent exclusion, or by encouraging a parent to remove their child from the school roll, when the removal is primarily in the interests of the school rather than in the best interests of the pupil.

Mr Wilcock said parents cite many reasons for wanting to home school, including class sizes and a lack of spaces at their preferred school.

He added: "For others it can be seen as a lifeline, allowing their child to learn in a way that suits them.

"The greater flexibility of when and how a child may learn, including the option to slow or increase the pace of learning to fit their needs, frequently reaps rewards both in academic achievement but also the self-esteem and confidence of the child."

ALSO READ: Mum says she felt ‘forced’ to home-school her daughter

Wolsey Hall, which offers online home schooling programmes, has expanded its primary-age courses as a result of the rise.

Last year, Oxfordshire County Council produced a report into the increase in home-schooled children.

It found that frustration with the system, and lack of special school places, were key contributing factors, but added: "The reasons for home educating are often multiple and complex."

Across all ages, there were 460 pupils in Oxfordshire being home-schooled in 2016, compared to 557 in 2017.