Nearly 300 children in Swindon are being educated at home - and that figure is growing all the time.

A report to Swindon Borough Council's children's health, care and education overview and scrutiny committee says there are currently 284 youngsters registered with the educational welfare service as being electively educated at home.

That's an increase on the 239 children registered at the end of the last academic year in July. The report adds that it is not compulsory for parents who are home-schooling their children to register with the welfare service, so it's possible there are more children being educated at home than those known to the council.

Councillors will also learn the the absence rate at Swindon's primary schools is consistently better than the national average.

In 2016/17 there was an absence rate of 3.9 per cent in the town's primary school, a shade lower than the 4 per cent national rate. Persistent absence (being off school more than one day in 10) is at 7.5 per cent against a national average of 8.3 per cent.

At secondary schools, however, the persistent absence rate is 15 per cent higher than the national rate of 13.5 per cent.