Government advice on education and Covid-19 needs to be simplified to help schools tackle the “fake news” driving a rise in home education, the chief inspector of schools has said.

Schools watchdog Ofsted has released the findings of research looking at how schools are doing since they re-opened, SchoolsWeek reports.

It found that schools are working hard to help children catch up following lockdown, but the spread of misinformation was causing “frustrations” among leaders.

More than a third of schools visited by Ofsted reported a rise in pupils being home-educated because of concerns over the pandemic.

Chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman said: “Successfully rebutting these myths, which spread so easily, is hard.

“Like Japanese knotweed, myths have persistent roots – so a consolidation and simplification of government advice for schools would help bring clarity for teachers and parents alike as we head towards the winter.”

Spielman added that some parents will have made a “positive choice” to home educate after enjoying it over the summer, but many leaders believe parents are concerned about the safety of their children.