[Back to Map] ICHER: Regulations

United Kingdom


Education in England is compulsory, but parents are given the choice of how they want their child to be educated as long as it is full-time and appropriate for his or her age, ability, aptitude, and educational needs ("education otherwise"). Home education does not need to be reported by parents (unless parents withdraw their child from a state-sponsored school, in which case they must notify local education authorities), but investigations may be carried out by local authorities if there is evidence that a child is not receiving a suitable education. If problems persist, the child may be required to attend school.

Reference: Blok, H. & Karsten, S. (2011). Inspection of home education in European countries. European Journal of Education, 46(1), 144-145.


Education in Scotland is compulsory up until approximately the age of 16 and it is the parent’s responsibility to provide children with an education. This can be fulfilled through attending school or through homeschooling. It is the responsibility of authorities to ensure that children receive an adequate education that aims to develop each child’s personality, talents, and mental and physical abilities to the fullest potential. Consent to homeschool is only necessary if the student has already been attending public school and is being withdrawn. It is preferred, but not required, for parents to notify local authorities that they are homeschooling if consent is not required. If the child is being withdrawn from school, parents must describe their plan for providing a suitable education. Parents are not required to state their reason for requesting to withdraw their child from school.

Homeschooled children are not required to take any specific exams. If they wish to take certain exams, they may have access through local schools and authorities. Parents should research the exams their child wishes to take and whether or not they will have access to arrangements for the exam.

Although it is recommended for local authorities to maintain yearly contact with homeschooling families, they are not required to monitor homeschooling and do not have the right to access children or their homes without an invitation from parents. They are, however, required to intervene if it is suspected that parents are not providing a suitable education. Authorities are not required to provide homeschooling families with resources, but may choose to offer support including access to resources from learning centers, examination centers, and schools.

Reference: The Scottish Government. (2007). Home education guidance. Retrieved from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/207380/0055026.pdf

Please Note: Since homeschooling regulations change periodically and legal interpretations may vary, these data should be verified with legal counsel as well.