Homeschooling is a widely accepted form of education in the UK, and it is rapidly growing in popularity. It is completely legal to homeschool your child, either full or part time, and you don't need to be a teacher or have educational qualifications to do so. You are not required to follow the national curriculum and your child does not have to take tests such as the SAT, GCSE, or A Levels. The rules for homeschooling vary between local councils, so parents should find out the procedures of their local authority before starting homeschooling.
Under UK homeschooling law, all children must start receiving full-time education before the age of five. The Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) and the Library of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament provide useful information on the rules and regulations of homeschooling in the UK. The Department of Education has also prepared a departmental guide to help local authorities understand their role in relation to education. If you're thinking about homeschooling or finding a homeschooling tutor for your child, it's a good idea to contact your LEA to design a plan that ensures your child receives the best possible homeschooling education that is in line with UK homeschooling law.
The Time4Learning homeschooling support website has free lesson plans and homework journals that you can print to help you and the children keep track of your work. There are official guidelines for elective homeschooling, which set the limits of government interaction with legal students who study at home. Similarly, children who learn at home are not required to take tests such as the SAT, GCSE, or A-levels. While there is no legal obligation to inspect families or guardians studying at home (unlike schools, which have regular Ofsted inspections), many local boards do supervise students who learn at home to ensure that parents comply with homeschooling law. Homeschooling can be done in your garden, in a forest, through an online school, in your home classroom, or anywhere else.
In August, Wolsey Hall Oxford, a leading homeschool provider, revealed that it had been forced to suspend all GCSE applications due to overwhelming demand. If you are considering homeschooling your child in the UK, it is important to understand the requirements and regulations that apply. By researching these regulations and understanding what is expected of you as a parent or guardian, you can ensure that your child receives an adequate and efficient full-time education.