Barefoot Bliss

Is Home Education Legal in the UK?

Some questions many home educators will be asked by their family, friends and complete strangers in the shops include; Is Home Education Legal? Are you allowed to take your kids out of school? Who checks up on you? In this post I will deal with the question; Is Home Education Legal in the UK? Please check what the laws are where you live as different countries and even different states within the USA have their own policies and guidelines on Elective Home Education.

Quick Key Points:

  • Yes, Home Education is legal in the UK
  • Home Education is in fact the default legal requirement with school being an opt-in service
  • You must deregister you child if they have been registered at a school before you start home educating otherwise the child will be considered a truant
  • Deregistration is effective immediately upon informing the educational institution where the child is registered
  • You do not need permission to Home Educate your child/children
  • You do not have to follow the National Curriculum or any other Curriculum
  • You do not have to be a qualified teacher to home educate your child/children
  • Your child does not have to sit SATs or any national exams such as GCSEs, A-Levels, etc
  • You will not receive any financial assistance from the government when you choose to Home Educate, however some local authorities may provide support and resources

Yes, home education is legal in the UK and you do not need to seek anyone’s permission to start home educating your child/children.  Parents who choose to educate their children at home are required by law to ensure that their children receive a suitable education, but they do not have to send them to school to receive this, and they do not need permission from the government to keep them at home. This right is enshrined in Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, which states that “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 regular attendance at school or otherwise.”

This statement then brings up the questions then of what constitutes a suitable education? Please tell me in the comments below what you think a suitable education should include.