‘More parents make obscure religion the reason for home schooling’

Parents who want to home school their children in the Netherlands are increasingly likely to claim in court they are members of an obscure religious group and no existing school meets their needs, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

The public prosecution department has raised the alarm about the rise in such excuses, the Telegraaf says. In 2001, the courts allowed 94 parents to home school their children but by 2012 this had risen to 429.

Home schooling is not allowed in the Netherlands apart from in cases in which parents claim religious or philosophy of life convictions make it impossible to find a school they can accept. The juvenile courts have to have the final say in exempting children from traditional schools.

The public prosecution department’s research institute says children who are taught at home risk becoming isolated from society and may be educationally disadvantaged.

The education ministry is currently working on proposals to stop home education altogether.

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