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Regulations On The Home Schooling Of Your Child

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 14 Sep 2020 | comments*Discuss
Law Parents Regulations Home Education

There are around 50,000-80,000 home educated children in the UK. Home education can be highly fulfilling for children and can lead to children achieving better than average qualifications. Having been home educated does not prevent a young person from going on to university and having fulfilling careers. Indeed in the US, where home education is more commonplace, many universities and employers seek out home educated young people in their recruitment efforts.

There are a number of reasons why a parent might want to educate their child at home. Some parents opt to home-school because of lifestyle or family reasons, while others do so because of negative school experiences like Bullying, Expulsion, difficulty getting a child into the school of choice, or some problem specific to an individual school.


The main question raised about home education relates to socialisation. With so many home-educated young people in the UK there are now many local support groups all over the UK. These groups often hold regular meetings and are frequently networked with each other through the internet. Home-educated students rarely find socialisation to be an issue.

The law

Under Section 7 of the 1996 education act, parents are responsible for ensuring that their children receive an education suitable to their age ability and aptitude, as well as any special needs he or she may have. The following home-schooling rules apply in England and Wales:

  • You do not need the permission of an LEA to home educate a child (unless the child attends a special needs school)
  • You do not have to hold any particular qualifications to home educate your child
  • There are no predetermined hours or times that you must tutor your child at home
  • You do not have to conform to the National Curriculum
  • You can home educate a child with special needs
  • Home educated children are not required to undertake examinations or SATs

Your Local Education Authority

When considering home education it is wise to consider all of your options carefully and discuss the idea with your child. If you have specific issues with the school, you should consider discussing these with the school and possibly with the Local Children's Services (LEA).

If your child is currently in school, you are required to inform your child's head teacher in writing before you withdraw your child. The head teacher will then inform the (LEA) and remove your child from the school's register. There is no legal requirement for you to allow the local authority access to either your home or child.

The Education Welfare Service (EWS) will almost certainly make contact with you to ensure that you are meeting your duty to provide an education to your child. However, you should be allowed some short period to settle in to your new routine before having to supply detailed information on your provision.

If they are unhappy about your provision, they will write to you to explain their concerns and ask for further information. In rare cases, if the local authority remains unsatisfied with your provision, they can issue a School Attendance Order which requires you to either provide further evidence of education or enrol your child at a school named in the order within 15 days. Such an order can be challenged in court. In all the actions they take the Local Authority must act in the best interests of the child.

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Hi I've a special guardianship order with full parental responsibility for a 14yr old and would like to home school her due to bullying in school is this possible and what do I need to do?
Linnie - 14-Sep-20 @ 12:51 PM
Hi there my son has a disability, he officially left school this year, he only had to attend once a week when he was there it was alternative provision school, now he’s 16 nearly 16 we’ve decided collage is going to be to much for him, and decided to home school him until he is 18, do I have to contact any one about this or just go online and complete the free courses with him ? Many thanks
Sj - 8-Sep-20 @ 4:37 PM
These rules seem to suggest that if a child’s parents decide on home schooling before said child’s fifth birthday, there are no rules whatsoever that the parents need to comply with... Our neighbours, who don’t work, have two children, both school age, neither has ever gone to school, and their “home schooling regime” consists solely of play time, all day, every day. They don’t have lessons or learning periods of any kind and are decidedly behind the level they should be considering their age, both in terms of social skills and knowledge. They do not have any special needs. Surely this is neglect on the parents’ part? Surely this can’t be legal!
Portia - 2-Sep-20 @ 12:27 PM
Am I allowed to assist in home educating my grandson as my Enlish degree could benefit his learning ? Also,which subjects are compulsory at secondary school level.
Minerva - 24-Aug-20 @ 10:38 PM
Hi ..i have recently de registered via email and letter about a week ago to the school in regards to starting Home School.The school have not replied and im hearing in differant home school groups some schools choose to ignore the de reg lettersHow do i legally go forward iff their is no reply.Thankyou
Lucy - 20-Aug-20 @ 2:13 AM
Hi. My child is 4 due to start reception, registered at a school. I want to homeschool for many different reasons but I have a social worker on CP plan. They were talking about stepping me down in October until they heard about my decision. Making it clear its my choice but implying if I choose to HE we probably won't step down.. First reason being socialising I explained I'm part of many groups where I can meet up and do educational days out etc. So then it popped in if my child isn't at school they won't be able to see her as much so they can't do their job basically so now I'm thinking what the hell do you think goes on at home.. They've been involved for 14 months now we've been through alot losing our baby for the second time and alot of stuff has happened but not once have I ever put my child in any situation where they're at risk harm or neglected in any way shape or form. I went through it all as a child I would never ever let my children feel anything like I did. It's really frustrated me and now I don't know what to do. I feel like my rights have been stripped and I don't have a choice but I'm really uncomfortable with her going in September it's not something I want and I'm her mum surely it's my choice whether I have SS involved or not.
K - 14-Aug-20 @ 8:02 PM
Hi I am seeking some advice as I separated from my child's father when was newborn duento domestic abuse.After a long court battle in gained contact. My child and myself want tohome educate permanently from September but he is disagreeing and has dismissed the idea and said Inam not allowed to make a decision without him agreeing. I raised this with him in the hope he would listen about the best interests and needs of my child but he hasnt. Is there any advice I could be given please? As home education is the best route but another court battle is not.
L - 29-Jul-20 @ 7:48 PM
In reply to Hik, if your child is not registered at a school or registered to start in September you do not need to let anyone know that you plan to home ed. However, if a school has them registered to start in September you need to write to the head teacher to let them know your child will be home educated.
B - 21-Jul-20 @ 8:10 AM
Hi there I am looking for an advise in regards to home schooling my child, my daughter is turning 5 in August. I have not register her in school yet. Due to this corona virus issue I don’t feel safe for her to attend school, how should I go about it. Do I need to inform my council authorities now.
Hik - 23-Jun-20 @ 4:08 PM
This is a long one and ive a lot of Qs..... Mare 92. I have the same question as you regarding my exhusband. Also where do you get resources to home educate? Do you make an outline plan for the "year"? Do you have certain goals you set to achieve each week/term? How many of you home ed an 8 year old... Y3 currently going to y4? How do i find groups with similar age children.... My 8 year old really wants to be home educated and it's something i wanted to do from day 1 due to my boy being my miracle child and being born at 27 weeks.... However i worked full time and he went to a private nursery until he was 4 and he started reception. My son is following a similar path to me at school whereas hes very bright... He has very few friends and was quite miserable before school shut 12 weeks ago. Hes thriving in the home environment and is a lot cleverer than school was telling me he was on last parents evening. I feel school spends no time getting to know him as an individual and they teach him in the wrong style for his learning style. hes quite a quiet boy and he listens and analyses behaviour same as i do (nlp family) . He gets overshadowed by the loud ones or the ones who need more attention a lot. The people he levetates towards have little clicks and he gets pushed out a lot and I think that home ed is our way forward.... Another part of my dilemma is.... My daughter is 4 and due to start reception September this year. Shes been to various settings, i.e. Private nursery, and has been in preschool since she was 2 at one school and started her current school when she turned 3. She desperately wants to go to "normal school" as she calls it as she doesn't understand what school truly is and also she doesnt understand that what we've been doing since march isnt what home ed would usually be like.. Any advice??
Lou-Bea - 13-Jun-20 @ 3:25 AM
Hi do you have ways that I can convince my ex that our child would be better taught at home than beginning school? I myself was until I was 12 and I believe I very much gained more from that. Jess
Mare92 - 6-May-20 @ 9:35 PM
My son has been Home Schooled by his mother since he was eligible for school so he has never attended a regular primary school. He is now nearly nine years old and yet his level of education especially in Mathematics is equivalent to about a six year old. His physical writing abilities are deplorable for a child of his age. Overall he is years behind with his level of education for a child of his age. I have mentioned this to his mother on several separate occasions yet she is either ignoring my genuine concerns or replying saying she is doing a good job of which I can clearly see that he is failing. Just to point out myself and his mother are not together. What can I do or who should I contact in order to get him independenly assessed?
Musicman66 - 24-Apr-20 @ 9:26 PM
So I know my usernames weird but I have a question... what if a parent isn't homeschooling a child?
SiriLol - 24-Mar-20 @ 1:11 PM
Hi. I’m in year 8 and I have a lot of time off due to migraines that I was diagnosed with around the age of 3. My migraines cause me to not be able to attend school due to the environment and my anxiety because of it. I was wondering if I was to talk to my mum to become home schooled as I miss out on a lot of education that is needed at my age. I have missed a lot of school since a young age and feel it would be best If I was home schooled so I would no longer miss out on my education as it is important to me. Would it be the best thing to do for my future and to become educated enough to get a good job or to go to university when I get older. I feel like it would do me good as I would be more educated as I would not have to worry to go into the environment of school with my anxiety which causes me more migraines and to miss out on more school.
Libs - 9-Mar-20 @ 9:43 PM
My son has dyspraxia and I feel the school is not up to speed or equipped to deal with this there is nothing in place for him apart from a shared 1-1
Mummyn - 23-Feb-20 @ 12:03 PM
My son is really stressed out at school he started to get migraines he's had lot time off school due to being poorly so we both sat down and had talk about homeschooling and we are going to give it to
Brad - 20-Feb-20 @ 10:19 PM
my child is deperate to be homeschooled however we don’t have enough money to pay for a tutor and i work a full time job, is she allowed to do online homeschooling if i regularly check her progress and what she’s doing?
Cx - 11-Feb-20 @ 11:06 PM
Reply to ‘don’ It’s perfectly legal for you to home school your 4 year old. Children are not legally required to attend school until they are 5 years old and even then you can opt for home schooling. However, bear in mind that if you decide not to send your 4 year old to school now and then enrol them later on, they will enter their age appropriate year. This can mean your child not only starting a new school but also entering an already established peer and friendship group. Hope this helps.
Kernow - 7-Feb-20 @ 7:03 PM
My daughter is picked on something awful and she's unhappy now. Can I home school her for the rest of year 6 until she goes to high school? It's what she wants.
Cmum - 7-Feb-20 @ 2:12 PM
Hi i was just wondering if it is.illegal.to homeschool my 4 year old in the.uk
don - 7-Feb-20 @ 8:51 AM
Hi im in year 7 and i like scjooolbsjdbdjbdjsb
Cadi - 24-Jan-20 @ 5:21 PM
Hi ...my daughter is in year 8..and through out her school life she as never had many friends not because she's not liked but because she's just felt happy in a small circle..she's been under mental health for a few personal reasons...this past 3 months she's been bullied school have talked to the other children (these was her closest friends) there parents have been informed and still they have not left her alone she's is very unhappy and I have to walk her to school every day due to her being alone. She suffers anxiety and worries alot. She's had plenty of time of due to this and feel it will just never end. I don't really want to send he to another school as I'm scared she just won't settle or it will happen again and I don't drive so she won't be on the door step if anything happens. Im thinking of home education for her...but have no idea where to start? Or if I'm doing the right thing.
Clairegomez83 - 14-Jan-20 @ 10:57 AM
We son was picked on my 2 boys in year 8 and in year 9 they have both started on him again. He doesnt want to go to certain lessons they are in but the school has said he has to, causing my son and myself alit of stress. I've had to phone the police and report him as missing as he diesnt want to go back to school tomorrow after the xmas break. How do I go about home schooling?. Where would I get the work from, someone he knows gets home schooled online, could my son, I have so many questions and not sure what to do
Caz - 6-Jan-20 @ 1:18 AM
Hi I’m in year 7 and everyday I go to school I have a panic attack and anxiety and while I’m in class I get a panic attack but I never get it at home my anxiety and panic attacks distract me from doing work and if I was homeschooled would not get distracted by panic attacks and anxiety and I never ever get noticed by a teacher would homeschooling be the best for me
Keira_jamesxx - 30-Dec-19 @ 7:41 PM
My son is home schooled by me and he is an inspiration. He's 14 years old and writhed his own songs and composes the music also has made some videos to his creations. Home school team have approved this work and praised his work. Am very proud as he suffers with anxiety and works on his feelings through his music. Hope my comment help people. Encourage the children at their strengths. They will succeed.
Maggie - 30-Nov-19 @ 5:09 AM
I live in Chester and I go to a grammar school in the Wirral (Calday Grange Grammar School). So I have be at the bus stop at 7:40am and I get back from school at 5:00pm. So I don't have much free time at all. I haven't started being homeschooled yet but I am deeply considering it. All my life during sgecondary school so far (I am in year 8 right now) I have disliked the school system, at first it was mainly just because of homework but later I realised that the school system is terrible in many more ways. Being homeschooled seems like a really good idea for me as I'll get much more free time and I'll only learn the subjects that I think will actually benefit me and probably in a much better environment tan a stuffy classroom.
TheBronzeCannon - 21-Nov-19 @ 9:52 PM
Hi I'm in year 8, in year 7 I had trouble going to school I hated being there and my attendence was really bad, I hate being at school even more now in year 8 and my attendence is a lot worse, I will have to convince my mum to let me try homeschooling and I know that my dad won't mind as long as I am in a better place to learn, I think I have anxiety about going to school it is very busy and when you need help on your work the teachers don't realise that your there half the time and at my school we only have an hour to do all the work but when it's hard and then 45 minutes into the lesson you start to get the work that will take around 45 minutes to complete you either rush or not do it either way you still don't get enough time where as at home you can spend more time on it or ask your mum. Is homeschooling a good idea??
Elena__ - 6-Nov-19 @ 11:47 PM
I have 2 children who I have always home educated,18yo daughter who is now my carer,and 16yo boy. I have just had an unpleasant telephone call from LEA I think,telling me she has to put a 'code' against my sons name which will stop child benefit. He is just carrying on doing his own thing,he has not decided on a career path yet,and I am happy with what he I'd doing. HELP!!
Darla - 31-Oct-19 @ 5:08 PM
We have family in Australia and want to make regular trips there Is it legal to home school a child who is 5 years old now during these trips but who will attend a school in the UK for the rest of the year
Di - 14-Oct-19 @ 4:32 PM
@Angelsmummy I have a 4 year old she will be 5 in December. I’ve decided to home educate. Your child doesn’t legally have to start school until the term after her 5th birthday
Anderson - 9-Oct-19 @ 7:55 PM
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