“Can I homeschool in the UK?”
You may be considering homeschooling your child in the UK (or home educating, as it is also known). Many people considering home education for their family may have concerns about whether it is legal, supported or frowned upon, as well as what resources and help are available for homeschooling UK families.
I have put together a blog post on the most frequently asked questions about UK homeschooling for you to read after this post, as well as the popular 100+ brilliant homeschooling resources (many of which are FREE!) and 10 things to consider before you commit to homeschooling your child. We have many more UK homeschooling blog posts here.
I have homeschooled my three children since birth- they have never been to nursery or school, instead experiencing a range of other social and academic groups and activities. Since joining the UK homeschooling community I have enjoyed helping other parents learn about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to homeschooling, and one of the questions I am often asked is, “Can I homeschool in the UK?”
The answer is that the vast majority of people can homeschool their children. Homeschooling in the UK is perfectly legal unless your child is subject to a school attendance order (if you’re not sure if this applies to you, it means you are fine.
A school attendance order is only served if a legal process has been undertaken and a judge has decided that a parent is unfit to home educate- this is only in extreme circumstances).
The only other time a parent may not home educate is if their child is at a school for children with special needs and you have not been given permission to remove them. Those are the two circumstances in which you would need to seek special permission to home educate your child.
For most parents whose children attend school, or who have preschool aged children, homeschooling is 100% legal. In fact it is the default position for UK children as school is an opt-in service that you choose to use when applying for a child’s school place.
If your child is not thriving at school, if they are being bullied, if they do not enjoy school or simply if you think that school is not the right place for them, you may wish to homeschool.
The deregistration process is very simple- it takes less than one day to deregister your child from school and it costs nothing. You do not have to attend an interview or meeting, submit any information or engage with a school or local authority in any way in order to deregister your child from a mainstream school (for more information see my quick and easy guide to UK homeschooling law).
You do not need any qualifications to homeschool your child and you also do not need to follow the national curriculum (or any curriculum at all).
For more information on curriculum options and homeschooling styles, see my post on the 6 most popular homeschooling styles.
You may also be interested in our post outlining a typical day in our homeschooling life. I also have information on ‘unschooling‘ for those of you who are interested in home education without a curriculum; this may particularly suit children who do not enjoy the school structure.
For all of my homeschooling blog posts please check out my homeschooling blog post library. All of the information is free and if you have any questions please comment below and I will do my best to help!
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