Home Education: An Outline

I am thinking about educating my child at home. What do I need to know?

Home education is a key aspect of parental choice, and is an equally valid choice along with the option to send a child to school.

Any parent can choose to educate their child at home. Parents are not required to have any qualifications or training in order to deliver home education.

Parents choose home education for many different reasons. For some it might be a short-term option for a specific reason – for others it is a choice that continues throughout a child’s compulsory education age.

If you wish to discuss home education or meet with local home-educating families, contact norscothe@hotmail.co.uk

National organisations can provide further information about home education:

The Scottish Government has produced guidance on home education. Ask us for a copy of this or see www.scotland.gov.uk

How must I educate my child?

You must provide an efficient education that is suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child. Within this framework, you have considerable flexibility. Some parents choose to follow a school-type curriculum. Some prefer a very informal child-led approach. Many choose a combination of formal and less formal provision. You can choose the approach that best suits your child.

Suggested characteristics of an efficient and suitable education:

  • Consistent involvement of parents or other significant carers
  • Presence of a philosophy or ethos (not necessarily a recognised philosophy), with parents showing commitment, enthusiasm, and recognition of the child’s needs, attitudes and aspirations
  • Opportunities to support the child’s literacies and numerical skills
  • The opportunity for the child to be stimulated by their learning experiences
  • Involvement in a broad spectrum of activities appropriate to the child’s stage of development
  • Access to appropriate resources and materials
  • The opportunity for an appropriate level of physical activity
  • The opportunity to interact with other children and adults

(based on Scottish Government guidance)

My child is about to reach compulsory education age and has not yet attended school.  What do I need to do if I want to educate him/her at home?

You don’t need to do anything except continue to provide education for your child. You do not need permission. However, if you contact us (the education authority) we will be happy to offer our advice and support.

What if my child has already attended nursery at a primary school?

The situation is exactly the same. You do not need permission, but you are welcome to contact us if you wish to do so.

My child has been attending our local school but I now wish to educate him/her at home. What do I need to do?

If your child attends a local authority school you must obtain consent from us to withdraw your child from school. This straightforward procedure is explained in ‘Home Education: Withdrawing your child from school’.

Contact Us

Education and Social Care
Council Office
High Street
IV30 1BX

01343 563374


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