Can you home school in the UK? | your right as a parent

Can you home school in the UK? | your right as a parent

Is Home Education legal in the UK (England and Wales)?

Most parents living in the UK have the right to take full responsibility for their child’s education.

There are two exceptions where you would need to seek permission in order to home school.

1. If your child is subject to a school attendance order which is issued when the local authority is unsatisfied with the education being provided at home.

2. If your child has special needs and already attends a special school you will need to be granted permission by your Local Authority to home educate.

Any refusal by the LA must give valid and specific reasons and can be challenged in court if deemed unfair.

Can I homeschool uk

What do I need to do to start home schooling my child?

If your children have never been in school then you don’t need to inform anyone of your intention to home school.

However, if your child is already registered at school you will need to send a brief letter stating that you wish for their name to be removed from the register. You can find an example deregistration letter here.

You’re under no obligation to justify your decision or detail how you will go about educating your child.


How does home education work in the UK?

Home education looks different from one family to another because there is no need to follow the curriculum that is set by government. 

Approaches range from “unschooling”,  project-based learning to lessons structured around the National Curriculum.

The law states that “Parents of every child of compulsory school age [must] cause him or her to receive efficient full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude.”

You can find out what home education looks like for us here.


Can I home school if my ex-partner objects?

A person named on the child’s birth certificate has parental responsibility for the named child.

Having parental responsibility means that either parent can send in a de-registration letter without actually needing the other parent’s consent.

However, it also means that the other parent can choose take the parent to court if they disagree with the decision to home school.

Court cases are likely to be expensive and stressful so it’s probably best to avoid them if possible by discussing your wishes with the ex-partner before to de-registering your child from school.


Do I need qualifications to home school my child?

You don’t need any specific qualifications to home school your child.

I’m was a teacher but have chosen not to teach to the curriculum as I believe that learning should be far more organic.

Take some time to figure out what suits you and your children.

Read this post to find out about amazing homeschooling resources and if you’re interested to know what your child would be learning in a school in England or Wales then the National Curriculum will provide an overview:

The Curriculum in Wales:

Curriculum for Wales


National Curriculum for England:

National Curriculum


The law regarding home education

Home Education in England an Wales

What the law says…

In England Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 says:  ‘The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable

a) to his age ability and aptitude, and

b) any special educational needs he may have, either by attendance at a school or otherwise.’

“Otherwise” refers to a parents right to choose to home educate.

Home Education specific to Wales

In Wales the basic law regarding Education remains the same as in England (see above 1996 Education Act).

However, things are slightly different in Wales due to Education being a devolved power.

There are also likely to be more differences between home educating in England and Wales as new guidance comes into force.

You can read more here:

England  Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities in England.

Wales  EHE Guidance for Local Authorities

I hope this post “Can you home school in UK?” has helped to answer your questions.

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