Homeschooling Requirements UK 2024: All You Need to Know

Homeschooling Requirements UK 2024

There are many different reasons why parents in UK would think of homeschooling their child. Reasons could be discontent with the current educational system, lack of control over school schedules and holidays, bullying, special needs in education or health, or a temporary intervention.

Effective homeschooling cannot be improvised for any reason. Making sure your child gets the best education possible requires thoughtful planning.

In the UK, there has been a notable rise in the number of homeschooled students in recent years.

There were approximately 57,800 homeschooled students in 2018, according to a poll conducted by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, and 86,000, according to the government school census conducted in 2024.

This guide discusses the new aspects of homeschooling and the requirements you need to know. It will help you understand how to homeschool and what you need.

Parents who want to teach their kids at home and curious people who want to learn more, prepare to learn about “Homeschooling Requirements UK 2024: All You Need to Know.”

Reasons for Homeschooling in the UK

  • Personalized Learning: One size does not fit all in education. Homeschooling allows parents to tailor the curriculum to their child’s learning style, pace, and interests, ensuring a more effective and engaging learning experience.
  • Flexibility: Homeschooling offers unparalleled flexibility in terms of scheduling. Families can adapt their routines to accommodate travel, family commitments, and other real-life experiences, providing a well-rounded education beyond the classroom.
  • Quality of Education: Parents who homeschool have direct control over the content and quality of education their children receive. They can focus on in-depth exploration of subjects, foster critical thinking, and emphasize real-world application.
  • Customized Values and Beliefs: Homeschooling enables parents to instill their values, ethics, and beliefs into their child’s education. This can lead to a stronger sense of identity and a deeper connection to cultural or religious heritage.
  • Safe and Nurturing Environment: For some families, concerns about bullying, peer pressure, or safety in traditional schools drive them towards homeschooling. In a home environment, children can learn and grow in a more secure and supportive setting.
  • Special Needs and Learning Differences: Homeschooling can be an effective option for children with special needs or learning differences. Parents can provide tailored support and accommodations to help their children succeed academically and emotionally.
  • Challenging Traditional Norms: Homeschooling challenges the conventional norms of education, promoting innovative teaching methods, experiential learning, and a focus on holistic development.
  • Parent-Child Bond: Homeschooling strengthens the bond between parents and children, fostering open communication and a deep understanding of each other’s strengths and challenges.

See also: Do You Have to Do GCSEs if You Are Home Schooled?

Homeschooling Requirements- Regulations in the UK

UK homeschooling regulations are governed by guidelines and legal requirements that ensure children receive a suitable and appropriate education outside of traditional school settings. The general homeschooling regulations in the UK are as follows-

1. Registering as a Homeschooling Parent

Parents are not required to register in England, Scotland, and Wales if they choose to homeschool their child. However, informing the school authorities of your decision is considered good practice if you decide to withdraw your child from a public school.

2. Providing a Suitable Education

The Education Act 1996 in England and Wales and the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 require parents to ensure that their child receives a suitable education, whether in school or otherwise.

This education must be appropriate to the child’s age, ability, aptitude, and special educational needs.

3. Curriculum and Learning Standards

While homeschooling parents in the UK do not have to follow a specific curriculum, the education provided should cover a broad range of subjects and learning areas.

The curriculum should be well-rounded and comparable to what a child of the same age would receive in school.

See also: What Happens if Your Teenage Child Refuses to Go to School in the UK?

4. Assessment and Reporting

Homeschooling parents are not required to follow a standardized testing or assessment system.

However, some local authorities may request periodic updates on the child’s progress and educational activities. In Scotland, there is a more structured system of monitoring and assessment.

5. Local Authority Involvement

Local authorities can make informal inquiries about a homeschooled child’s education to ensure that the child is receiving a suitable education. While you do not need permission to homeschool, authorities must step in if they have concerns about a child’s education.

6. Special Educational Needs (SEN)

If your child has special educational needs, you can still homeschool. However, addressing those needs and providing appropriate support within the homeschooling environment is essential.

7. Child Employment and Attendance Orders

Children of compulsory school age (typically 5 to 16) must receive full-time education through school attendance or homeschooling. If the local authority believes a child is not receiving suitable education, they have the power to issue a “School Attendance Order” to require the child to attend school.

8. Unregistered Schools

Be aware that there is a distinction between homeschooling and unregistered schools. Unregistered schools are establishments that are operating as schools but are not registered or inspected. The government takes a strong stance against unregistered schools and may take legal action against them.

Remember, homeschooling regulations can vary between the different countries within the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), so it’s essential to research and understand the specific regulations that apply to your location.

Additionally, staying in touch with local authorities and educational organizations can provide the most up-to-date information and guidance on homeschooling laws in your area.

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Homeschooling Curriculum in the UK

1. Core Subjects

A well-rounded curriculum typically includes core subjects such as English, mathematics, science, and, where applicable, Welsh in Wales. These subjects form the foundation of a child’s education and are essential for their academic and personal development.

2. Additional Subjects

In addition to core subjects, consider including various other issues, such as history, geography, art, music, physical education, and foreign languages. The aim is to provide a balanced education that fosters a child’s intellectual, creative, and physical growth.

3. Key Stages and Ages

Familiarize yourself with the key stages and ages at which specific topics and skills are typically introduced in traditional schools. This can help you align your homeschooling curriculum with age-appropriate expectations.

4. Curriculum Resources

There is a wealth of educational resources available for homeschooling families. These include textbooks, online courses, educational apps, libraries, museums, and community programs. Choose resources that align with your child’s learning style and your educational goals.

5. Local Authority Guidelines

While no nationally prescribed curriculum exists, some local authorities may provide guidelines or suggestions for homeschooling. Check with your local authority to see if they offer resources or recommendations for creating a homeschooling curriculum.

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6. Real-Life Learning

Take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling to incorporate real-life learning experiences. Field trips, museum visits, science experiments, gardening, cooking, and community service can all contribute to a well-rounded education.

7. Individualized Learning

One of the advantages of homeschooling is the ability to tailor the curriculum to your child’s interests, strengths, and learning pace. Pay attention to your child’s passions and incorporate opportunities for in-depth exploration.

8. Assessment and Progress

 While formal testing is not required for homeschooling in the UK, periodic assessments or self-evaluations can help you track your child’s progress and identify areas needing additional focus.

9. Socialization and Extracurricular Activities

Remember to include opportunities for socialization and extracurricular activities. Joining local homeschooling groups, sports teams, art classes, and community clubs can help your child develop social skills and pursue their interests.

10. Long-Term Goals

Consider your long-term educational goals for your child. Whether it’s preparing for standardized exams, pursuing higher education, or developing specific skills, your homeschooling curriculum should align with these goals.

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Pros and Cons of Homeschooling in the UK

Like any other country, homeschooling in the UK comes with its advantages and challenges.


  • Personalized Learning: Homeschooling allows for a customized and flexible approach to education. Parents can tailor the curriculum to match their child’s learning style, pace, and interests, fostering a deeper understanding of subjects.
  • Individual Attention: Homeschooled children often receive more one-on-one attention from their parents or tutors, leading to quicker mastery of topics and a higher level of engagement.
  • Flexible Schedule: Homeschooling offers the flexibility to create a schedule that works for the family’s lifestyle. This flexibility allows for travel, family outings, and other real-world experiences to be integrated into the learning process.
  • Freedom in Curriculum: Parents can choose the curriculum, teaching materials, and learning resources that align with their child’s needs and interests. This can lead to a more holistic and well-rounded education.
  • Strong Parent-Child Bond: Homeschooling can strengthen the bond between parents and children, fostering open communication and a deeper understanding of each other.
  • Safe and Nurturing Environment: Homeschooling provides a safe and supportive environment that protects children from potential bullying, peer pressure, and negative social influences.
  • Flexible Learning Pace: Homeschooled children can progress at their own pace. Gifted children can move ahead quickly, while those who need more time to grasp concepts can take the time they need.
  • Cultural and Religious Values: Homeschooling allows parents to incorporate their cultural, religious, or ethical values directly into their child’s education.

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  • Lack of Socialization: Critics argue that homeschooling may limit opportunities for children to interact with peers and develop critical social skills, which may, in turn, affect their social and personal development.
  • Limited Exposure to Diversity: Homeschooled children may have less exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences often encountered in traditional school settings.
  • Time and Commitment: Homeschooling requires a significant time commitment from parents, who must dedicate time to research, lesson planning, teaching, and assessing their child’s progress.
  • Financial Costs: Homeschooling may require purchasing curriculum materials, books, and educational resources and potentially enrolling in extracurricular activities, which can incur costs.
  • Parental Expertise: Only some parents feel equipped to teach every subject or may need more expertise in certain areas, leading to potential gaps in the child’s education.
  • Regulatory Challenges: Navigating homeschooling regulations and interactions with local authorities can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Limited Specialized Support: Homeschooled children with special needs may have less access to specialized support services than public schools.
  • Standardized Testing and Assessment: Some critics argue that homeschooling may lack standardized testing and assessment, which could impact a child’s ability to transition to higher education or the workforce.

See also: Do You Have to Pay for College at 16 in UK?

Free Resources for Homeschooling in the UK

  • National Geographic Kids: Provides educational articles, videos, games, and quizzes on topics ranging from science and geography to history and culture.
  • Khan Academy: Offers free video lessons and practice exercises in subjects like mathematics, science, economics, and more.
  • Twinkl: Provides many printable resources, worksheets, and teaching materials for different subjects and age groups.
  • Oxford Owl: Offers free e-books, reading activities, and educational games for children aged 3 to 11.
  • Phonics Play: Focuses on phonics and early reading skills with interactive games and resources for young learners.
  • DK Find Out: Features engaging articles, quizzes, and interactive activities on various subjects, including science, history, and geography.
  • Project Gutenberg: Offers a vast collection of free e-books, including classic literature, historical texts, and reference materials.
  • Coursera: Provides free online courses from universities and institutions worldwide on various subjects.
  • NASA’s STEM Engagement: Offers educational resources, videos, and activities related to space, science, and technology.
  • British Museum: Provides virtual tours, interactive exhibits, and educational resources related to history, culture, and art.
  • Tate Kids: Offers art-related activities, games, and resources inspired by artworks from the Tate galleries.
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB): Provides educational materials and activities related to nature, wildlife, and conservation.
  • STEM Learning: Offers free science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) resources, lesson plans, and activities.
  • Go Noodle: Provides fun movement and mindfulness videos that can be incorporated into your homeschool routine.

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How To Start Home Education in the UK?- Step-by-Step Guide

Starting home education in the UK involves several steps to ensure a smooth transition from traditional schooling to homeschooling. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you-

Step 1: Research and Understand the Regulations

Before you begin homeschooling, it’s crucial to understand the homeschooling regulations specific to your country within the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland).

Research the legal requirements and guidelines for homeschooling in your area. Each country has its own rules, and local authorities may also have specific needs.

Step 2: Notify the School or Local Authority (if required)

In some areas, you may need to notify your child’s current school or the local authority about your decision to homeschool.

This is typically considered good practice, even if it’s not a legal requirement. Informing the school ensures that your child’s name is removed from the register and that the local authority knows your intention to homeschool.

Step 3: Develop a Curriculum Plan

Plan the curriculum you intend to follow for your child’s homeschooling. While there is no nationally prescribed curriculum, your plan should cover a range of subjects and learning areas, ensuring a well-rounded education.

Consider your child’s interests, learning style, and any educational goals you have set. To support your curriculum, you can use textbooks, online resources, educational apps, and community programs.

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Step 4: Gather Educational Resources

Collect the necessary educational resources, including textbooks, workbooks, online courses, educational websites, and materials for hands-on learning. Utilize free and paid resources to create a comprehensive curriculum that aligns with your child’s learning needs.

Step 5: Set Up a Learning Environment

Create a designated learning space in your home where your child can focus on their studies. This could be a dedicated room or an area with all the required materials and resources. A comfortable and organized learning environment contributes to practical homeschooling.

Step 6: Implement the Curriculum

Start teaching according to your planned curriculum. Establish a daily or weekly routine that includes time for each subject, breaks, and other activities. Be prepared to adapt the schedule based on your child’s progress and interests.

Step 7: Document and Assess Progress

Keep records of your child’s learning progress, including work samples, assessments, and other relevant documentation. Some local authorities may request periodic updates on your child’s educational development.

Step 8: Engage in Socialization and Extracurricular Activities

Plan opportunities for socialization and extracurricular activities. Join local homeschooling groups, sports teams, art classes, or other community programs to ensure your child has a well-rounded social experience.

Step 9: Stay Informed and Adapt

Stay informed about changes in homeschooling regulations and educational resources. Continuously evaluate your homeschooling approach and make adjustments as needed to ensure your child’s academic needs are met.

Step 10: Engage with Support Networks

Connect with other homeschooling families, online forums, and local support groups. Networking with other homeschoolers can provide valuable insights, advice, and a sense of community.

Remember that each family’s homeschooling journey is unique, with no one-size-fits-all approach. By carefully considering these steps and tailoring them to your family’s circumstances, you can embark on a rewarding homeschooling experience for your child. Always consult local authorities and educational organizations for the most up-to-date information and guidance.

See also: What Happens When You Don’t Go To School in the UK?


With the freedom to tailor curricula, embrace real-world experiences, and nurture a well-rounded education, homeschooling presents an exciting path toward holistic growth.

However, navigating this path with knowledge, awareness of regulations, and a commitment to adaptability is essential.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is homeschooling legal in the UK?

Yes, homeschooling is legal in the UK. However, each country within the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) has homeschooling regulations that parents must adhere to.

Do I need to follow a specific curriculum when homeschooling?

While no nationally prescribed curriculum exists, parents are expected to provide a suitable and well-rounded education. You have the flexibility to design a curriculum that aligns with your child’s needs, interests, and educational goals.

How do I notify the local authorities about homeschooling?

In some areas, you may need to notify your child’s current school or local authority about your decision to homeschool. Check the regulations in your region for specific notification procedures.

What resources can I use for homeschooling?

Numerous free and paid educational resources are available, including online platforms like BBC Bitesize and Khan Academy and educational websites offering printable worksheets and lesson plans.

Will my homeschooled child miss out on socialization?

No, homeschooled children have various opportunities for socialization through local homeschooling groups, community activities, sports teams, and extracurricular programs. These experiences help develop social skills and interactions.



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