How to Start Homeschooling UK: All You Need To Know

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Are you thinking about home education for your children? Have you got lots of questions about home education in the UK? If so carry on reading for how to start homeschooling UK.

I am going to try and break down everything for you from start to finish. But if you are thinking of home education in the UK, it is absolutely possible and more and more parents are choosing this option for their children.

Home Education UK

Everything you need to know about home education in the UK.

Home Education Laws

We have been home educating now for about 8 months and although it is becoming more and more popular in the UK, there are so many people that don’t understand how it works.

You can teach your child at home, either full or part-time. This is called homeschooling. You can get help with home education from your local council. … As a parent, you must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5 but you don’t have to follow the national curriculum.

Home Education UK

The Reasons for Home Education

There are so many different reasons to homeschool. For us, it was because our son wasn’t being pushed enough at school.

I am from a very traditional education background, and if I am honest I didn’t even consider home education as an option. I went to university to study accountancy and worked as a Finance Director. Eventually, I gave up work to become a full-time mum when my son turned 18 months old. He had been to a full-time nursery before I gave up work, and then went to preschool and then school. I didn’t know any different.

A friend of mine had taken her children out of school to home educate, and something clicked. This made absolutely perfect sense. Why hadn’t I even considered it? So I did a bit of homework and realised very quickly that this was the best option for my son.

Within about a week of homeschooling, he changed. He was much happier (I didn’t even realise that he wasn’t happy), and he wanted to learn. We are fairly structured with our homeschool day and still pretty much follow the 9-3, but I know that is not for everyone. But this works for us.

Why Do Parents Choose Home Education For Their Children?

I have done some research from other homeschool parents to see why they home educate. What amazed me the most was less than 1% of the people asked to homeschool their child because they had been excluded from mainstream school. This was definitely my perception prior to actually getting an education myself on homeschooling.

I asked over 1,000 parents why they home educate and these are the shocking answers:

Reasons for Homeschooling Table. Why parents opt for home education in the UK #homeschooling

I had to keep some of the smaller options here as they were shocking. 10 people stated that their reason for home education was they had worked in the school system and didn’t want their children going through it! But the main reason by far was children with ASD were not being supported by the school system. Some of the “other reasons” included:

  • Safeguarding
  • Didn’t like who their children were becoming
  • Initially temporary but saw immediate benefits
  • Military Family so always on the move
  • Developed social phobia
  • Family time – Dad’s schedule is opposite to the school schedule
  • Wanted healthy discipline not peer pressure
  • The parents missed their children
  • Personal rights and freedoms for children
10 most popular reasons people opt for homeschooling

How To Start Home Education in the UK?

If your child has never gone to school, then you don’t need to apply for a school place. If like us and your child was in the school system, you must write a letter to the Head of the school telling them that you are deregistering your child and for them to remove your child from the register. It is the Head’s responsibility to inform the Local Authority.

You do not need to give any notice to the school. As soon as you have deregistered your child you are fully responsible for their full-time education.

If your child is under an EHC plan then I believe the rules are slightly different. But, I have no experience in this field and it would be wrong of me to give any advice. However, I believe that you have to contact the Local Authority before deregistering them from the school named on the plan.

If you live in Scotland, I believe the laws are slightly different from those above.

**There may be affiliate links in this post. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.**

Home Education UK Curriculum

You do not have to follow the UK National Curriculum. This at first was the biggest surprise for me. Actually, we still do, as my son has decided he wants to go to university, so it makes sense for us to follow it. However, you don’t have to.

Methods of Homeschooling

You can choose whatever homeschooling style you want to home educate your children. Actually, we probably do a mix of all of them.

  • Charlotte Mason
  • Religious Studies
  • Worldschooling
  • Unschooling
  • Project-Based

Your children do not have to do GCSE’s if they don’t want to either. If they do want to do them though you will have to find a local center that accepts external candidates and there is a fee for taking them.

I have listed over 90 best homeschooling programs UK for you to use (more than half of them are free).

How Much Does Homeschooling Cost?

Personally, homeschooling is saving us money, however, I know people who spend a lot more than they did while their children were in the school system.

For us, our son already attended after “school” activities such as Rugby, swimming, and theatre school (on a Saturday afternoon). So this wasn’t an additional expense. There are so many free homeschooling resources that it really can be a very cheap option.

How to start homeschooling UK

Homeschool Funding

As you have opted out of the state-provided education, there is NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Again this might be different if your child is under an EHC plan, but I am unsure.

Is Homeschooling Hard?

The easy answer to that is yes. It is normally 24 / 7.

Learning happens all of the time, not just at a desk. Playing board games is educational check out our favourite educational board games.

Playing with Alexa can be educational, reading books, drawing, cooking, and learning life skills. The list is endless. So from the minute your child wakes up to the minute they go to bed, they are learning. Whether it be in the traditional sense or not.

Generally, and how we work is, he is now with me 24/7. Although I don’t go to rugby with him anymore and his Dad does this, mainly so he can have a break from me!

This can be hard work especially if you are used to having them at school for 6 hours a day. It is so rewarding, but I am not going to tell you it is easy, because it is not. If you need some tips on homeschooling check out my recent post.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Homeschool Your Child?

As a parent, you do not need to have any qualifications to teach your children. Now as my son is still at primary school age (he is 9 years old) I find teaching him incredibly easy.

Once you hit GCSE’s there are so many home education tutors out there if you need them, or even paid for online subscriptions. We really like MyTutor (check out MyTutor review.) But this is only if you need them. It is certainly not a requirement.

Do you home educate your children in the UK? Please let me know in the comments I would love to hear why you have chosen this option.

Is it legal to homeschool in the UK?

Absolutely – As long as you ensure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5.

How do I start home education in the UK?

If your child has never gone to school, then you don’t need to apply for a school place. If your child was in the school system, you must write a letter to the Head of the school telling them that you are deregistering your child and for them to remove your child from the register. It is the Head’s responsibility to inform the Local Authority.

Do you have to follow the National Curriculum when you homeschool?

No, you do not have to follow the UK National Curriculum.

Is there financial support for homeschooling?

As you have opted out of the state provided education, there is no financial support.

Is Home Education Hard?

The easy answer to that is yes. It is normally 24 / 7.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Home Educate your child?

As a parent, you do not need to have any qualifications to teach your children.

Last Updated on 23 January 2023 by homeschoolof1


  1. I never intended to home school and only began as we’d be relocating a few months after my daughter began school. Now neither of us can imagine her going to a formal school. Teaching her to read, write, about nature, to cook, etc., etc. has been both a chore and the most rewarding privilege. You’re correct that it is hard and it’s not a choice for everyone but for us it’s created a relationship that I never imagined was possible.

    As for those previous comments regarding the patience required I can assure you I have the sweet temperament of an alley cat in a rainstorm. There are moments that I am overwhelmed and that I question my decision. I’ve had to leave the room and scream into a pillow out of frustration. For me this experience is teaching me to be a better person. I know it’s made me a more compassionate parent.

    The most surprising downside has been some of the more negative reactions we’ve encountered. I try not to be offended that anyone would think they know better how to raise my daughter than I but I’ve begun to understand that occasionally this is prompted by the incorrect assumption that my choice is a commentary on the choices of others.

    Clare, your blog has been an absolute lifesaver. I was a bit floundering on where to start and, luckily, I stumbled upon your site at the very beginning. Truly, it has proven invaluable. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us!

  2. I have just started doing this with my 9 yr old son an my 6 yr old son both had a terrible time at school my 6 yr old frm the start hes got reali bad anxiety and low self esteem the school never met his needs. When he had a out burst they would put his in the clockroom an lock him in he had been mentally scarred by this. He got permanently excluded in july for his behaviour an because of what they had done he would go to his new school. My 9 yr old has been taken out as a result of bullying he wasnt afraid of them but every time he retaliated he would get caught not them it has always been same too boys it was so bad he was coming home sayin i wanna dye im dead an been so angry, we had a meeting with the head at start of this yr an also spoke to her several times about it after that but nothing got better. The staff would just say keep away from them. Horrible school. This week has been hard an its not even over yet but its been amazing learning my kids.

    1. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. School should be a safe place for kids to learn and make friends. Have you joined FB groups? There are lots of people in a similar situation to you, who would definitely be willing to help. Home schooling is hard, really hard. But keep going it gets easier, and just try and enjoy spending time together as a family and smiling again. They are only young, so you have plenty of time. You’ve got this 🙂

    2. Wow, I can’t believe that happened to you and your children. I think everyone should feel safe to decide the future of their children, and especially parents can love their children the most, so they can provide them with the best care. School directors are evil when they bully children and parents, how can they do that?? I mean they forgot the whole purpose of the system was to help each children get education. I mean they don’t go to prison! They should go to a place where they can feel safe and learn something, so develop themselves. I am very angry when I read stories like yours.

  3. Very interesting post! I didn’t know much about the topic and it was very informative. Well done for doing this! You are doing great! I don’t think I would be good at it though. I don’t have enough patience lol.

  4. Not surprised by the ASD – school unsupportive reason. I know lots who’ve followed this path. Such an informative post!

  5. You know, the biggest respect to any parent who home schools. It’s definitely not for us and when I read home schooling blog posts, I always wonder how our 9yo would cope socially in the big wide world as she grows up. School isn’t only about learning, it’s about social development too. I know that our daughter wouldn’t be focussed enough to learn at home and would get fed up with me too!

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