Home Education UK: What You Need To Know

January 29, 2019 8 Comments
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Are you thinking about home educating your children? Have you got lots of questions about home education in the UK? If so carry on reading for how to start homeschooling in the UK.

Home Education Law: The Basics

We have been home educating now for about 8 months and although it is becoming more and more popular in the UK, there are so many people that don’t understand how it works.

You can teach your child at home, either full or part-time. This is called homeschooling. You can get help with home education from your local council. … As a parent, you must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5 but you don’t have to follow the national curriculum.

https://www.gov.uk/home-education

The Reasons for Home Education

There are so many different reasons why people chose the home education route. For us, it was because Freddie wasn’t being pushed enough at school. You can read all of our reasons for why homeschool.

I am from a very traditional education background, and if I am honest I didn’t even consider home education as an option. I went to university to study accountancy and had worked as a Finance Director. I gave up work to become a full-time mum when Freddie turned 18 months old. Freddie had been to full-time nursery before I gave up work, and then went to preschool and then school. I didn’t know any different.

A friend of mine had taken her children out of school to home educate, and something clicked. This made absolutely perfect sense. Why hadn’t I even considered it? So I did a bit of homework and realised very quickly that this was the best option for my son.

Within about a week of homeschooling, he changed. He was much happier (I didn’t even realise that he wasn’t happy), and he wanted to learn. We are fairly structured with our homeschool day and still pretty much follow the 9-3, but I know that is not for everyone. But this works for Freddie.

Why Parents Choose Home Education For Their Children?

I have done some research from other homeschool parents to see why they home educate. What amazed me the most was less than 1% of the people asked homeschooled their child because they had been excluded from mainstream school. This was definitely my perception prior to actually getting an education myself on homeschooling.

I asked over 1,000 parents why they home educate and these are the shocking answers:

Reasons for Homeschooling Table. Why parents opt fr home education UK #homeschooling
10 most popular reasons parents opt for homeschooling #homeschooling #homeeducation #education #learningathome

I had to keep some of the smaller options here as they were shocking. 10 people stated that their reason for home education was they had worked in the school system and didn’t want their children going through it! But the main reason by far was children with ASD were not being supported by the school system. Some of the “other reasons” included:

  • Safeguarding
  • Didn’t like who their children were becoming
  • Initially temporary but saw immediate benefits
  • Military Family so always on the move
  • Developed social phobia
  • Family time – Dads schedule is opposite to school schedule
  • Wanted healthy discipline not peer pressure
  • The parents missed their children
  • Personal rights and freedoms for children

Home Education in England

If your child has never gone to school, then you don’t need to apply for a school place. If like us and your child was in the school system, you must write a letter to the Head of the school telling them that you are deregistering your child and for them to remove your child from the register. It is the Head’s responsibility to inform the Local Authority.

You do not need to give any notice to the school. As soon as you have deregistered your child you are fully responsible for their full-time education.

If your child is under an EHC plan then I believe the rules are slightly different. But, I have no experience in this field and it would be wrong of me to give any advice. However, I believe that you have to contact the Local Authority before deregistering them from the school named on the plan.

If you live in Scotland, I believe the laws are slightly different to above.

Home Education Curriculum

You do not have to follow the UK National Curriculum. This at first was the biggest surprise for me. Actually, we still do, as Freddie has decided he wants to go to university, so it makes sense for us to follow it. However, you don’t have to.

There are a number of different methods you could follow:

Your children do not have to do GCSE’s if they don’t want either. If they do want to do them though you will have to find a local centre that accepts external candidates and there is a fee for taking them.

There Is NO Financial Support for Home Education UK

As you have opted out of the state provided education, there is no financial support. Again this might be different if your child is under an EHC plan, but I am unsure.

How Much Does Homeschooling Cost?

Personally homeschooling is saving us money, however, I know people who spend a lot more than they did while their children were in the school system.

For us, Freddie already attended after “school” activities such as Rugby, swimming and theatre school (on a Saturday afternoon). So this wasn’t an additional expense. There are so many free online resources that it really can be a very cheap option.

Are you thinking about home education UK? All you need to know #homeschool #homeeducationuk

Is Home Education Hard?

The easy answer to that is yes. It is normally 24 / 7.

Learning happens all of the time, not just at a desk. Playing board games is educational check out our favourite educational board games.

Playing with Alexa can be educational, reading books, drawing, cooking, learning life skills. The list is endless. So from the minute your child wakes up to the minute they go to bed, they are learning. Whether it be in the traditional sense or not.

Generally, and how we work is, Freddie is now with me 24/7. Although I don’t go to rugby with him anymore and his Dad does this, mainly so he can have a break from me!

This can be hard work especially if you are used to having them at school for 6 hours a day. It is so rewarding, but I am not going to tell you it is easy, because it is not. If you need some tips on homeschooling check out my recent post.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Homeschool?

As a parent, you do not need to have any qualifications to teach your children. Now as Freddie is still at primary school age (he is 9 years old) I find teaching him incredibly easy. There are so many free homeschool resources to help for all ages that you can use.

Once you hit GCSE’s there are so many home education tutors out there if you need them, or even paid for online subscriptions. But this is only if you need them. It is certainly not a requirement.

Do you home educate your children in the UK? Please let me know in the comments I would love to hear why you have chosen this option.

Homeschooling UK The Basics. What you need to do before you start home education UK
#homeschooling #homeeducation #ukeducation
Is it legal to homeschool in the UK?

Absolutely – As long as you ensure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5.

How do I start home educating in the UK?

If your child has never gone to school, then you don’t need to apply for a school place. If your child was in the school system, you must write a letter to the Head of the school telling them that you are deregistering your child and for them to remove your child from the register. It is the Head’s responsibility to inform the Local Authority.

Do you have to follow the National Curriculum when you homeschool?

No, you do not have to follow the UK National Curriculum.

Is there financial support for homeschooling?

As you have opted out of the state provided education, there is no financial support.

Is Home Education Hard?

The easy answer to that is yes. It is normally 24 / 7.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Homeschool?

As a parent, you do not need to have any qualifications to teach your children.

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Home Education UK What you need to know
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Home Education UK What you need to know
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The reasons people opt for homeschooling. The basics of home education in the UK
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Freddies Mummy UK
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freddiesmummyuk

I am Clare, a homeschooling mum in the UK to my gorgeous 9 year old son, Freddie. We also live with my bearded husband Stuart.

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8 Comments

  • northernbird84 January 30, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Absolutely fantastic informative post. I love the idea of homeschooling. #KCACOLS

  • Virtually All Sorts (@AllSortsHere) January 30, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    You know, the biggest respect to any parent who home schools. It’s definitely not for us and when I read home schooling blog posts, I always wonder how our 9yo would cope socially in the big wide world as she grows up. School isn’t only about learning, it’s about social development too. I know that our daughter wouldn’t be focussed enough to learn at home and would get fed up with me too! #kcacols

  • RainbowsR2Beautiful (@rainbowsaretoo) January 31, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Not surprised by the ASD – school unsupportive reason. I know lots who’ve followed this path. Such an informative post! #kcacols

    • RainbowsR2Beautiful (@rainbowsaretoo) January 31, 2019 at 11:53 am

      And back from #kidsandkreativity

  • A Moment with Franca February 2, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Very interesting post! I didn’t know much about the topic and it was very informative. Well done for doing this! You are doing great! I don’t think I would be good at it though. I don’t have enough patience lol. Thanks for sharing this with us, #kcacols x

  • Typical Mummy February 2, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve always found the idea of homeschooling intriguing so have found this post really interesting. #KCACOLS

  • Emma Stanley November 6, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I have just started doing this with my 9 yr old son an my 6 yr old son both had a terrible time at school my 6 yr old frm the start hes got reali bad anxiety and low self esteem the school never met his needs. When he had a out burst they would put his in the clockroom an lock him in he had been mentally scarred by this. He got permanently excluded in july for his behaviour an because of what they had done he would go to his new school. My 9 yr old has been taken out as a result of bullying he wasnt afraid of them but every time he retaliated he would get caught not them it has always been same too boys it was so bad he was coming home sayin i wanna dye im dead an been so angry, we had a meeting with the head at start of this yr an also spoke to her several times about it after that but nothing got better. The staff would just say keep away from them. Horrible school. This week has been hard an its not even over yet but its been amazing learning my kids.

    • freddiesmummyuk November 7, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      I am so sorry you have had to go through this. School should be a safe place for kids to learn and make friends. Have you joined FB groups? There are lots of people in a similar situation to you, who would definitely be willing to help. Home schooling is hard, really hard. But keep going it gets easier, and just try and enjoy spending time together as a family and smiling again. They are only young, so you have plenty of time. You’ve got this 🙂

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