Home Education in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Please note Home Education is different between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Follow this link to a website to clarify the details in your specific nation.

Within the England and Wales it is education that is compulsory, not schooling. 

Section 7 of The Education Act 1996 states that it is the:

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.

Home Education relates to the "or otherwise" elements of this legal definition. 

Please follow this link to access the DfE EHE Home Education Guidance for both Parents and LAs. It is important that you educate yourself on your legal obligations, your rights and the duty and remit of LAs. Please refer to EducationalFreedom.org.uk for clarification as to what these mean in practise.  

After generations of schooling and education have become seemingly synonymous, however they are not. State education uses schooling as a way to educate. Schooling is where education is via formal teaching, by an expert, of set content, to be delivered in a set way, in a set order, at a set time, to a set standard and with set progression for all children. Home Education frees you from this one, narrow method to educate and opens up a myriad of other ways. 

Within Home Education you are NOT required to replicate school at home. You are not required to create lessons, have a timetable, follow National Curriculum, follow any curriculum, set and mark work. 

Within Home Education you have the freedom to create a learning experience and path that perfectly meets the individual needs of your child. After generations of only experiencing schooling as the means to educate this can leave people feeling perplexed as to what education, without a schooling lens, can look like - I certainly was when I started in 2015. However, there is a myriad resources, experience and knowledge out there. Here at Connect and Respect we are focused on Self Directed Education (SDE) or Unschooling as it's commonly referred to when under the auspices of Home Education. 

Home Education Websites:

There are a number of great websites where you can get an enormous amount of information, advice and ideas when embarking on Home Education. It is vital that you know your rights and legal obligations as they relate to your nation.

EducationalFreedom.org.uk is an excellent website for all things Home Education. It comprehensively covers legalities, rights, obligations, processes (including deregistration and Local Authority enquiries) and ideas on where to start. Also have a Facebook page and group, and have a presence on Instagram and Pinterest.

Other useful websites include: 

www.educationotherwise.org                  www.home-education.org.uk

Home Education Facebook groups:

There are huge numbers of Home Education groups nationally and locally. The a few of the large national groups are below. A quick Facebook search using “home education” and “your local area” will bring back lists of local groups.

Home Education Facebook group:


Home Schooling Facebook group:



UK Unschooling Network Facebook group: (for those people considering or utilising Unschooling as an educational philosophy)



Home Educating special needs and disabilities (UK) Facebook group:  (for people Home Educating children with Special Needs and/or Disabilities)