EAST Sussex has one of the highest rates of home schooling in the UK, new figures show.

Statistics obtained from a Freedom of Information request by the BBC revealed almost 1.5 per cent of school-aged children in East Sussex receive a home education.

The county is behind only Ceredigion in Wales and the Isle of Wight.

Parents say lack of school choice and lack of knowledge in accommodating pupils with special needs have driven them to take alternative education routes.

Sarah Allan, 32, of Hastings, manages a home schooling company, More4Kidz, which runs classes for children across the county.

She started her business shortly after withdrawing her seven-year-old son Noah from school because it lacked provision to meet his special needs.

Ms Allan said: “Noah was diagnosed with autism when he was small. He also has visual and hearing problems.

“Before I started the company, I worked as a nanny but I was sacked from my job when my son was diagnosed with hearing loss in 2014.

“After not being able to find any suitable support I began the journey of starting More4Kidz.

“We lived in Kent before moving to Hastings.

“Noah started school in Kent in 2015 but he couldn’t cope with the environment there.

“It takes Noah a little longer to learn new things and unfortunately the teachers didn’t consider that. He went from happy and content to so sad and insular.

“He became a totally different child, sometimes he lashed out at me at home.

“I had to get Noah out and he was home schooled in May 2016. He has a tutor twice a week and now he’s such a clever, happy, caring young lad who has overcome so much.

“A lot of schools operate the same way, sometimes they focus too much on results but they forget about other children who have special needs.

“Every child should be looked after and be given the best education.”

The number of home-schooled children has risen by 40 per cent in the past three years. They make up 0.5 per cent of the school population in England and Wales.