A father who insists on teaching his nine-year-old daughter at home has ignored an Education Department demand to send her back to school after the New Year break. A spokeswoman for the department said, however, that no warning would be issued yet because officials were still holding talks with Leung Chi-kwong, who has been teaching his daughter, Dearing, at home since February last year. Mr Leung lodged a complaint against the department's order with the Office of the Ombudsman in December, but the Ombudsman has refused to discuss individual cases. Mr Leung could not be reached for comment yesterday. 'We're still discussing with Dearing's parents and are trying to meet their needs,' the spokeswoman said. Mr Leung has claimed that Dearing was bullied at Sham Shui Natives Association School in Tai Po and that she was unable to perform well because of the school's teaching methods. He said she had since made tremendous academic strides and had reached the level of Secondary One through home-education. He taught her geometry and algebra, ancient Chinese and English. Home-education is banned under the Education Ordinance and parents may face prosecution if they fail to send children aged between six and 15 to school. During the last school year, there were 250 dropouts among primary school pupils and 1,100 among junior secondary, with two warnings served in one case. However, the department has made an exception for 11 primary schoolchildren enrolled in long-distance courses offered by Britain and the United States. No warnings have been issued regarding these children, who are local and expatriate pupils. Some of the children have been doing home-education programmes for up to three years. In addition, about 20 expatriate families are following different overseas home-schooling curriculums - without the department's knowledge. Tik Chi-yuen, chairman of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation, said: 'Mr Leung may have some prejudice against the local education system. But he should understand that his daughter is not being taught in the best way. I hope education officials and social workers can convince him [to send her to school].'