Home Education & the Law

It is parents, not the state, who are legally responsible for ensuring that their children are educated according to age, aptitude and ability during their compulsory education years.

Parents may choose either to send their children to school or to provide education by other means (Scotland) or cause them to receive education otherwise than at school (England, Wales and N Ireland).

Home education is equal to schooling in the eyes of the law throughout the UK, although it should be noted that the primary legislation differs between the four nations and parents should ensure they are properly informed of the applicable legislation and guidance.

Links to government home education guidelines (England) and statutory guidance (Scotland):

Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities in England

Scottish Home Education Guidance for Local Authorities

Please also visit our Home Education Law & Policy forums and/or the Scottish Home Education Forum for further information.