Planning for home educating

As a parent of a child of compulsory school age (aged 5 to 16 years), you must make sure your child receives a suitable full-time education, that is suitable for their age, ability and aptitude, and takes into consideration any special educational needs.

Here are some things to think about for you and your child before you start elective home education.

  • Are you able to provide an education that ensures your child’s educational needs are met?
  • Your child should be receiving a suitable education as soon as they become home educated, are you prepared for this?
  • Is your home suitable for teaching and learning? Is there enough space? Is it quiet enough?
  • Do you have the time to commit to your child’s education? The government expects full-time education to occupy a significant proportion of a child’s life.
  • Will you be able to ensure that your child’s social development needs are met and that they will not be isolated?
  • Will you be able to rely on any support from family or friends? What would happen if you are not available to provide suitable full-time education for a short or long period?
  • You will be accepting full responsibility for educating your child at home and this includes financial responsibility. The local authority does not provide tutors, educational materials, a curriculum, support for examinations, or financial assistance for children who are home educated.  Have you considered the financial implications?
  • What does your child think about being educated at home full time?
  • Have you considered the nature of the education you will provide every day and how you will do it?
  • Although you don’t have to follow the national curriculum, doing so may be helpful if your child wishes to go to school, college, university, or some other training at a later stage, or if they wish to sit public examinations. Have you considered the long term plan and how these aspirations may be met?
  • Be aware that if you change your mind there may not be a place at the school of your choice.
  • If you want your child to have work experience, be aware that the employer must register the child’s work and child employment regulations apply to children who are electively home educated.
  • Apprenticeships are not available for compulsory school age children.

If you still want to think about home educating, see our Frequently Asked Questions for more guidance.