THE number of children who are being home schooled in the county has shot up by 148 per cent.

Council figures show that 163 of the 712 Worcestershire children currently being taught at home have special educational needs.

There were only 287 children being home schooled across the county in 2014.

Lindsey Cherry, of Haines Avenue, Worcester, who home educated her autistic son, Joshua, said the experience almost resulted in her having a nervous breakdown.

She said: “It’s not surprising that the figure has gone up. I think it’s increased because the area has grown so much, there’s so many more houses and the schools haven’t grown at the same rate.

“I think the demand is so great they can’t keep up with special needs because it’s so time consuming.

“They have 30 children in a class, if one is acting up what’s the teacher supposed to do?

“I can see how it happens but it’s not right."

Mrs Cherry took her son out of Lyppard Grange Primary School.

She thinks the number of home schooled children is higher than the official figure, because many youngsters are not registered with the council.

She also believes there are more than 168 youngsters with special needs being taught at home, due to how difficult it is to secure a diagnosis.

The 47-year-old mum taught her son, now aged 13, at home after removing him from school.

After three months, Joshua joined a new school for around an hour a day, while his mum continued teaching him at home.

He was eventually diagnosed with autism, aged nine, after a six-year battle to secure a diagnosis, and now has an education, health and care plan - enabling him to study at a special needs school.

Marcus Hart, county cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We’re committed to ensuring children across the county have access to a good quality education which meets their individual needs and circumstances. We, as the local authority have a duty to identify children who are residing in its area who may not be in receipt of a suitable education. It is important that we continue to thoroughly explore all reasons why children transfer from mainstream schools into home schooling, or between schools and incorporate these into our actions going forward.”

A Channel 4 documentary aired last Monday revealed a spike in the number of kids dropping out of mainstream schools.

READ MORE: A local mum fears her boy will join the growing number of home schooled children due a lack of special educational needs funding.

Lyppard Grange Primary School was unavailable for comment.