Home Education & Home school in the UK

IWS Home school in the UK

Home education, also known as home schooling uk, is an increasingly popular choice for parents in the UK. With the flexibility to tailor education to a child’s unique needs and the ability to create a nurturing learning environment, more families are choosing to home educate their children. This article provides a comprehensive guide to homeschooling, explaining its benefits, legal requirements, and practical advice for parents considering this educational path.

What is Home Education?

Home education, often referred to as homeschooling, is when parents choose to educate their children at home rather than sending them to a traditional school. This approach can be tailored to fit the child’s learning style and pace, making it a popular choice for many families.

Personalised Learning

Home education allows parents to create a personalised learning plan that caters to their child’s strengths and interests. This method can be particularly beneficial for children who find the traditional school setting challenging.


One of the main advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. Parents can design a timetable that suits their family’s lifestyle, providing opportunities for travel, extracurricular activities, and in-depth exploration of subjects.

How to Home School Your Child: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deciding to home school your child is a significant commitment, but with careful planning and support, it can be a rewarding experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

Research and Plan on related content

Begin by researching home education thoroughly. Understand the legal requirements, the resources available, and how to create a curriculum that will ensure your child receives a full-time education.

Notify Local Authorities

In the UK, if your child is already attending school, you must inform the school in writing about your decision to home educate. The school must then notify the local council. If your child has never attended school, there is no need to inform local authorities, but doing so can help you access support.

Create a Learning Environment

Set up a dedicated learning space at home. Ensure it is well-equipped with the necessary resources such as books, educational materials, and access to online learning tools.

Why Choose Home Education Over Traditional Schooling?

Many parents choose home education for various reasons, from dissatisfaction with the school system to the desire for a more tailored educational experience.

Customised Learning

Home schooling allows for a customised education that can cater to the child’s abilities and interests. Parents can focus on areas where the child excels and provide extra support where needed.

Avoiding School-Related Issues

Some children may face challenges in a traditional school setting, such as bullying or anxiety. Home education can provide a safe and supportive environment for these children to thrive.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Homeschooling in the UK?

Understanding the legal requirements for home education is crucial for parents considering this option.

The Education Act 1996

The Education Act 1996 requires parents to ensure their child receives a suitable education at home. This means the education must be efficient, full-time, and suitable to the child’s age, ability, and aptitude.

Local Authorities’ Role

Local authorities have a duty to ensure that home-educated children are receiving a suitable education. They may make informal enquiries to check the education being provided, but parents are not legally required to follow the National Curriculum.

How to Ensure a Suitable Education at Home

Providing a suitable education at home involves careful planning and resource management.

Curriculum Planning

While there is no legal requirement to follow the National Curriculum, many home educators find it useful as a guideline. It ensures that the child receives a broad and balanced education.


Regular assessments can help monitor your child’s progress and ensure they are meeting educational milestones. This can be done through informal methods such as quizzes, projects, and discussions.

Can Home Educated Children Take GCSEs?

Yes, home educated children can take GCSEs. Here’s how you can facilitate this process to educate your child

Registering for Exams

Parents need to register their child as a private candidate at an exam centre. It’s important to check the entry deadlines and ensure all necessary arrangements are made well in advance.


There are many resources available to help home educated children prepare for GCSEs, including textbooks, online courses, and tutoring services.

How to Home Educate a Child with Special Educational Needs

Home education can be particularly beneficial for children with special educational needs (SEN).

Tailored Support

Home education allows parents to provide tailored support and adapt the learning environment to meet their child’s specific needs. This can include one-on-one instruction and specialised learning materials.

Accessing Resources

Parents can access a range of resources to support their child’s education, including SEN support groups, online resources, and professional advice.

What Support is Available for Home Educators?

There is a wealth of support available for home educators in the UK.

Local Groups

Many local groups provide support for home educators, offering resources, advice, and social opportunities for children and parents alike.

Online Communities

Online communities and forums are a great way to connect with other home educators, share resources, and seek advice.

What Role Do Local Authorities Play in Elective Home Education?

Local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that children receiving home education are receiving a suitable education.

Informal Enquiries

Local authorities may make informal enquiries to check on the education being provided. Parents are not required to follow the National Curriculum but must provide a suitable education.

Support Services

Many local authorities offer support services to home educators, including advice, resources, and access to local groups and networks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homeschooling

Do I Need to Be a Qualified Teacher to Home Educate My Child ?

No, parents do not need to be qualified teachers to home educate their child. However, they should be committed to providing a full-time and efficient education.

How Do I Ensure My Child Receives a Full-Time Home-schooling?

A full-time education does not have to follow the traditional school hours. Parents can design a flexible timetable that ensures their child covers all necessary subjects and educational milestones.

Can Home Educated Children Return to School?

Yes, home educated children can return to school at any time. Parents can contact their local school or council to arrange this transition.

Summary of Key Points

  • Home education provides a flexible and personalised learning experience.
  • Parents must ensure their child receives a suitable education at home.
  • Local authorities may make informal enquiries to check on the education being provided.
  • Home educated children can take GCSEs and other qualifications.
  • Support is available from local groups, online communities, and local authorities.

Considering home education? Explore the benefits and make an informed decision about your child’s educational future.

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