Parents taking responsibility for their children’s education.
Is it Legal?
Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 applies to England and Wales: Compulsory education:
7: Duty of parents to secure education of children of compulsory school age
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
a: to his age, ability and aptitude, and
b: to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
Why Home Educate?
With just as many ways of going about it!
Rest assured that someone has gone before you and left a trail to follow.
The most common being:
*to get away from the national curriculum and incessant unnecessary testing
*to spend more family time together
What about socialisation?
Home Educators often remark about the benefits of their children having the opportunity to spend time with people from all walks of life and differing age groups which actually reflects real life rather than spending all day with an enforced peer group.
It can take time and effort to get out there and find community but it is unlikely your children will be isolated if families help their kids get involved in their neighbourhood and in groups and clubs.
Parents often do have to take an active role in facilitating this especially when the children are younger or if they live in more rural areas but it can be said that modern technology has also made it far easier for kids to connect even across great distances.
So what should I teach?
There is no requirement to follow the National Curriculum.
Some families will take an unstructured approach and educate autonomously (or follow a child-led approach to learning), other families may like to follow curriculum or adopt an eclectic approach by putting together their own “curriculum” from Unit Studies, internet resources, workshops, books and games.
Each family may follow different educational philosophies like the Charlotte Mason Method, Montessori, a “school-at-home” approach, Unschooling or a Classical education.
You are free to explore what works best for your own family and that is the beauty of home-education.
So what do I do now?
There is no requirement for you to inform the local authority. In England & Wales you must formally deregister your child if they have attended school or are registered with a place. Then the school must delete your child from the register; in most circumstances, you do not need permission to HE.
More helpful information found here.
Is it possible to do exams from home?
You can sit exams like the IGCSES, some GCSEs and A Levels as an external/private candidate at an exam centre.
You can find more detailed and helpful information here.
Being home-educated has shaped my life in a way I am constantly grateful for – and I will never stop thanking my mother for dragging me out of school at the age of eight, however dramatic that sounds. Being home-educated has definitely been the best choice when it comes to my personal journey of education. It has not only allowed me to cultivate a love for learning by allowing me to explore the extent of my abilities at my own pace, but has given me the confidence, motivation and opportunity to pursue my passions relentlessly.
As a home-educator I always face the inevitable question – “How do you have friends?”. Well, being a part of a home educating community, such as the one at Tadley, has certainly helped me answer that one! Tadley has become a merry band of home-edders for me, a rag-tag school for non-schoolers! Tadley is amazing – because it truly is a community. Personally, it is an extension of a world I have grown to thrive in and love: I’ve met my best friends here, I’ve overcome my fear of science and maths with a fabulous teacher who feeds us cookies at regular intervals and I’ve been able to take a GCSE which would have otherwise been impossible to do outside of a school.
Being home educated means learning in a way that is suited to me as an individual, but it in no way does it mean being restricted to a community of me, myself and mum.