Home education

There are many reasons why you might feel that Home Education is right for you. You might think you don’t fit in at school and this is affecting your learning. Or you could be dealing with bullies and want to start afresh by working from home.

If you are disabled or have learning difficulties you could benefit from the one-to-one supervision your parent or carer can offer you.

Whatever the reason, if the problems you face at school can’t get resolved then Home Education could be your better option. For some young people, being taught alone at home means you can work at your own pace and get the individual attention you need to learn effectively.

Getting started

If your parents or carers decide that Home Education is for you, there is a lot of support and education material available.

Online sites such as Education Otherwise or the Home Education Advisory Service can offer the advice, materials and learning packages to get you started.

You will also be able to make contact with other home educators via internet support lists.

You can check out what other resources are available, including educational text books, general interest books, CD-ROMs and online educational resources such as the Learning section of the BBC website.

Do I still need to sit exams?

No, you don’t have to take exams. Education is compulsory but examinations are not.

However, some home educated young people who want to sit exams are able to make arrangements with the exam boards to take exams as external private candidates.

There are also correspondence courses you can investigate such as National Extension College (NEC) courses.

Otherwise you can get information from the examination boards (or from other home educating families) about the nearest exam centre that accepts external candidates taking your subjects.


You will also have to find someone to validate your coursework.

You will find more information about this from Home Education websites and support groups, which you can find online via an internet search engine such as Google.

Increasingly, home educated young people are exploring the option of non-standard entry to college at 16 based on an interview, portfolio of work, literacy and numeracy assessment.

Alternatively, you could go to college at Level 1 Foundation Studies or at Level 2 for GCSEs, or equivalent, once you reach the age of 16.


Funding for under 16s is at the discretion of the local authority who will generally not have a budget for non-school provision. Once you are 16 your funding options are different.

Under the September Guarantee, a place in learning is available for everyone over 16. This might be for full-time education, an Apprenticeship, programme-led Apprenticeship or Entry to Employment (e2e).

Things to consider

If you are having problems at school it is important to try and address these before you decide to go ahead with Home Education.

Talk to someone you can trust – a parent, carer, a tutor or a close friend; someone who will take your concerns seriously and who will try to help you.

The problems may not always go away even if you are studying from home. And, if the problems do get resolved, you may start to enjoy being at school again.

Is Home Education legal?

Yes. Legally parents and carers are allowed to educate their children at home instead of school.

Under UK law it is education that is compulsory, not schooling.

Remember, if you are having problems at school it is important to tell a parent, carer or tutor straight away.

Sometimes the problem can be resolved and you can start to enjoy school again.

Who can help?

Ask your parent, carer or tutor for help if you are having any problems at school.

Education Otherwise can provide you and your parents or carers with information, resources and support if you are interested in replacing learning at school with learning at home. The Helpline number for Education Otherwise is 0845 478 6345.

For more information on Home Education you can also visit:

Home Education Advisory Service

Home Education UK


To find out more about online learning visit the learning section of the BBC website.

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