Educating at Home

Deciding to Home Educate

Home Education Mother and Child

Most parents think long and hard about taking the step to educate at home and it is worth considering the issues below before a final decision is made:

  • Educating a child outside the school system will require a major commitment of parents’ time
  • It may be difficult for one person to provide a broad education, or the range of subjects a child wishes to learn about
  • Attending school is often about more than just schoolwork.  Many of the lessons learned are about how to get on with other people and developing other skills
  • There is no financial assistance for home educators so, some expense will be incurred for families, including  any exam entries.  However, as an “information rich society”, there is a vast amount of educational information available for free.  Regular use of the library means that parents do not have to buy lots of books, and information can be accessed by using the internet at home and at the library
  • Disagreements with a school may be addressed and solved and parents are therefore encouraged to contact the Headteacher or the Local Authority first as it is not advisable to take a child out of school simply because there has been an issue with a school relating to bullying, attendance, or behaviour
  • If a home educated child wishes to return to school at some point, progress to post-16 education/training or take public exams, parents will need to think about how to make this an easy step for their child
  • The Local Authority employs a Monitoring Officer for Elective Home Education who is available to provide advice to parents considering home education if requested and is happy to talk through the home education process

The type of educational activity provided can be varied and flexible. Home educating parents are not required to:

  • Teach the National Curriculum;
  • Provide a broad and balanced education;
  • Have a timetable;
  • Have premises equipped to any particular standard;
  • Set hours during which education will take place;
  • Have any specific qualifications;
  • Make detailed plans in advance;
  • Observe school hours, days or terms;
  • Give formal lessons;
  • Mark work done by their child;
  • Formally assess progress or set development objectives;
  • Reproduce school type peer group socialisation;
  • Match school-based, age-specific academic standards.

Parents should be aware however, that certain characteristics of education at home are expected: 

  • That parents or other significant carers are consistently involved
  • The child’s needs, attitudes and aspirations are recognised
  • There are opportunities for the child to be stimulated by their learning experiences
  • There are opportunities for appropriate interaction with other children and adults
  • There is access to resources and materials – such as paper and pens, books and libraries, arts and crafts materials, physical activity, and ICT