Schools, education and childcare Educating your child at home

What you need to know

Educating your child

Most people choose to send their children to school to be educated, but it is both legal and acceptable to educate your child at home. Home educators don't need to have any formal teaching qualifications.

It is up to the educator what to teach. You can teach your child what interests them, when you like and how you like. You do not need a timetable nor do you need to follow the national curriculum - but you may if you wish to. It is important that your child's needs are met in relation to their age, ability and aptitude.
The local authority may make contact with you to establish whether the education you are providing is suitable.

Learning social skills largely depends on individuals and how well they network and provide opportunities for their children to develop socially. Some families choose to meet regularly with other home-educated children for museum visits, theatre visits, sports and other activities.

Educating a child with special needs

Some families choose to educate their children if they have special needs. This involves meeting the specific needs of the child. For more information visit the Department for Education website: www.education.gov.uk

Exams

If your child wants to take exams, it is possible to study for GCSEs and other courses at further education colleges. Evening or daytime courses may offer flexible learning packages. It is also possible to work for exams at home. You will have to go to an exam centre to sit papers and you will also have to pay the costs involved. The main advantage here is that you can choose the board whose external syllabus most suits your child.

Next steps

If you are interested in home educating your child, please contact us. Further information for parents considering educating their child at home is available from websites including the Department for Education www.education.gov.uk, Education Otherwise www.education-otherwise.org and The Home Education Advisory Service www.heas.org.uk

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