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Pupil enrolments at online school soaring for September as BBC reports home schooling rises by 75%

An online school, which educates pupils at home, has more than doubled in size ahead of the new academic year as Covid-anxiety levels grow.

Online independent senior school, Minerva’s Virtual Academy, has reported a significant rise in the number of pupils switching from traditional schools to home-based education as infection rates in the UK and parent anxiety around the health of children continues to rise. The school itself, which educates children virtually at home, has more than doubled in size in the last couple of months alone and is set to triple its pupil roll by September 2021. The rise in parents looking to home school comes alongside new research* from the BBC that the number of children registering for home education in the UK has risen by 75 per cent in the first eight months of the current school year. It is clear that parents are concerned about the impact that the pandemic has had, and could still have, on the continuity of their children’s education.

Headmaster at Minerva’s Virtual Academy, Mr Hugh Viney, confirmed that the increase of parents looking to home educate has been particularly high in the last two months as infection rates continue to increase on a daily basis, he commented: “We have seen record numbers of new pupil enrolments over the last two months alone and the admissions team continue to receive high levels of enquiries from parents looking to switch schools in September. The latest research from the BBC correlates with the significant demand we are currently seeing, and we are hearing lots of accounts of children struggling since they returned to school in March.”

Home schooling has highlighted a number of differing perspectives around how learning is delivered today, and it has also brought to light the significance of online education for our children’s future and the relevance of a more personalised learning experience.

Mr Viney continued: "Learning in the comfort of your own home and with a high degree of flexibility and autonomy over your daily timetable can help to foster self-reliance and confidence. Children learned to work at their own pace during lockdown, without the constraints of a rigid timetable and although many children found this period difficult, many also thrived in a variety of ways with more time and space.”

The Department of Education says it supports home-educating parents and plans to launch a registration system.

About Minerva’s Virtual Academy

Minerva’s Virtual Academy is an affordable, online independent school, for pupils aged 12 to 18 years. With its outstanding virtual learning platform, specialist teaching community and commitment to pastoral care, the Academy combines the best of private education with 21st Century home schooling. With a spirit of community at its core, pupils attend live, interactive lessons with specialist subject teachers, in a virtual classroom environment where they are encouraged to apply their learning and work collaboratively with peers. The school also delivers weekly assemblies online, a range of extra-curricular activities, wellbeing sessions and one to one mentoring, as well as optional in-person meet ups and whole school events. Fostering the development of self-study skills, pupils are empowered to work at their own pace and schedule, nurturing a culture of resilience and self-reliance, while equipping them to succeed and flourish in an increasingly global and technologically driven world.

For more information, visit

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