Here in the UK, you have the option to teach your child at home on a full or part-time basis. There are some reasons why you may want to do this such as lifestyle or family reasons or negative school experiences like bullying. There is absolutely nothing wrong with educating your child at home, as long as they receive a full-time education from the age of five.
Many home-schooled children achieve better than average qualifications and still go into further education and fulfilling job roles. While you’re not required to follow the national curriculum, it is important to make sure you follow the government legislation for home schooling.
The law on home schooling
Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act makes it parents’ responsibility to ensure:
“that their children receive an education suitable for their age, ability and attitude, as well as any special needs he or she may have.”
Who to inform
If you plan on taking your child out of school and teaching them at home, you will need to inform the school’s head teacher in writing. You have the right to ask the school to continue teaching your child on a part-time basis but the school doesn’t have to oblige.
If you’re taking your child out of a special school, you’ll also need to inform the council, who may need to give you permission to do so.
A frequent question parents ask is — “Do I need any specific qualifications to educate my child at home?” You will be pleased to hear that under government legislation, it is not a requirement for a parent to have to fold formal educational qualifications to home school a child.
If however there are certain areas of education that you feel you have less knowledge or experience with, there is always the option to hire a personal tutor. They will be able to visit your home and help you educate your child on a regular basis.
What to teach
What you teach your child is entirely up to you. As we mentioned before, you are not required to follow the national curriculum and government legislation does not prescribe particular subjects you should teach. It is, therefore, best to think about what skills your child will need in life and what they are interested in learning.
Parents setting up a home school environment will find a wealth of material online. There are many home education websites that will help you create a learning schedule and even supply you with resources and coursework.
Schooling hours and exams
Home-schooled children do not have to be educated during certain hours or times. You can effectively choose when they work and for how long. Children educated in the home setting do not need to take SATs or other examinations.
Your local council may or may not want to check on your child’s education. Every so often they may make an informal enquiry to make sure that a home educated child is receiving a suitable education. In circumstances where children are not receiving a satisfactory education at home, they may serve a school attendance order. Remember your local council is there to help you provide a good home education to your child and can provide you with resources.
It’s likely that your local authority Education Welfare Service will also be in touch at some point to ensure you are providing a satisfactory education for your child. The EWS usually give parents and children time to settle into their routines before requiring them to provide information about their set up and how they plan to approach education.
Although there is no legislation on how home educated children should socialise, it is something you may want to consider. Use the Internet to find other local parents that home school their children or groups in the local area that your child can join. Organising regular trips to local attractions can prove to be very educational for your child while also giving them the opportunity to socialise with other home educated children.
As it currently stands, there isn’t any financial support for parents wishing to home-school their children. However, you may find that your local council grants you access to local teacher resources and may help you secure discounted access to locally run facilities like sports centres and museums. It all depends on what resources are available in your local area.
How we can help…
Here at Bright Young Things we firmly believe that a positive educational future is all about choice. We therefore fully support parents that choose to home school their children and can even provide assistance in the form of our highly educated personal tutors. Need a little extra support with your home schooling set up? Give us a call on 0207 723 0506 for more information.