Ministry of Education figures show a spike in applications from parents wanting to home-school their children.

Group of homeschooling children with parent teacher studying indoors, coronavirus concept.File image. Photo: 123RF


The figures show the ministry usually received more than 100 applications a month before the pandemic and fewer than 200 a month for most of last year and this year.

But in October it received about 500 applications and in November more than 800.

The ministry said by 8 December it had received 3225 applications this year with 2194 approved, 71 declined, and 900 pending a decision.

The ministry said there were 8552 in home-schooling at the start of December, up from 7749 at the middle of the year and about 1300 more than in the middle of last year.

Auckland Home Educators supports home-schooling in the Auckland region and its director, Adrian Koit, said the increase was quite massive.

The long lockdown in Auckland schools might have encouraged more people in that area to switch to home-schooling, he said.

“I think this long period of lockdown has certainly spurred a number of families to possibly apply for home-schooling.”

Koit said it was also possible that some parents chose to home-school after the government started to roll out vaccinations for over 12-year-olds at the start of September.

Some parents might not have been happy that their children could be vaccinated without their consent, though they were not necessarily opposed to the Covid-19 vaccination, he said.