Home education

Parents are legally responsible for providing education for their child.

Most parents send their child to school but it is permissible to educate your child at home.

Legal requirements

Child enrolled at a state school

Parents of a child attending a state school must seek the local authority's consent before withdrawing their child from that school. The local authority must not unreasonably withhold consent.

Child not enrolled at a state school

If your child has never attended a state school, there is no need to get consent from the authority to educate your child at home. However, local authorities may still get involved if they believe home education is not suitable for the age, ability and aptitude of the child.

Consent is also not needed in the following situations:

  • The child has never attended a public school in that authority's area.
  • The child is being withdrawn from an independent school.
  • The child has finished primary education in one school but has not started secondary education in another.
  • The school that the child has been attending has closed.

Guidance for parents and local authorities

The Scottish Government has produced Home Education Guidance to help parents who are considering home education. The aim of this guidance is to promote and develop positive relationships between local authorities and home educating parents and carers.

Related links

Schoolhouse Home Education Association - Information and support for parents and carers in Scotland who seek to take personal responsibility for the education of their children.

Home Education Advisory Service (HEAS) - Link to the website of the Home Education Advisory Service.