Homeschooling Laws in England

Many families are benefiting from decisions to homeschool their children. They want to instill positive values while allowing their children to work at their own pace. Every country is different on what is required. Many leave it up to local government to make the laws for their areas. England’s laws regarding homeschooling makes it easy for families to pursue the education of their own children.

Responsibility

In England, the Education Act of 1944 changed the way kids were educated. It opened the door for home educating, allowing parents the freedom to choose how their children received an education. It made clear, however, that it was the sole responsibility of the parent to provide an education. It states, “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 education needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.” It’s the last word, otherwise, that makes it acceptable to home educate in England.

Requirements

A parent is not required to notify authorities that they intend to teach their own children unless the child was already attending a government school. If the child was previously in school, the parent only has to notify the school official in writing that the child will be withdrawn and educated at home. If the child is five years of age and has never been in school, the parent doesn’t have to notify anyone. They are free to begin teaching as they see fit. Parents are not required to teach the National Curriculum, although many choose to do so.

Parents are not required to receive approval to home educate. England recognizes that parents have been educating their own children from the day the were born and therefore, do not need a degree to teach them. There is nothing stated in the national law that annual visits are mandatory. However, some school officials prefer to make visits to families to ensure they are teaching the children. This curiosity can be satisfied by providing a written statement in regards to the child’s education.

Parents don’t have to follow set schedules or hours of instruction. They are free to decide what they teach, how often and when. They can use any curriculum they desire, or they can make their own. The responsibility to educate the children falls on the parents, and they are trusted to do their jobs.