THE county needs more funding and power to make sure home schooled children are safe and properly educated, it has been claimed.

An Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board revealed a 21 per cent increase in children being educated at home - taking the total to more than 450.

It warned that Oxfordshire County Council does not have the powers to assess the quality of education youngsters were getting at home which increases the to vulnerable children.

Liberal Democrat councillor Emily Smith has urged the council to write to Government for more funding and powers.

She has put forward a motion, which will be voted on by full council next week.

She said: "Many children being electively home educated thrive academically and socially in this setting, but others do not.

"This Council offers some information and support to families and children who are educated at home but contact with us is voluntary and take up is inconsistent.

"Professionals have limited opportunities to identify those children who are not receiving a satisfactory education and for safeguarding concerns to be identified.

"Parents can refuse access to the home and the child, which poses a safeguarding risk, especially in the case of vulnerable children."

Full council takes place next Tuesday at 10.30am at County Hall.