Home education guidance

Guidance for parents and local authorities on home education.

A review of this guidance is scheduled to take place shortly. The current guidance should continue to be used by local councils and parents until it is replaced following the guidance review.

1. Introduction

Every child has a right to an education, and it is the duty of the parent of every school age child to provide that education, either by sending the child to school, or by other means.

Home education is a key aspect of parental choice, and is an equally valid choice alongside the option to send a child to school. However, it is a choice which only a minority of parents make. Each individual enquiry about home education, request to withdraw a child from school, or contact between a local authority and a home educating family should be dealt with as fairly, consistently, timeously and accurately as possible.

This guidance is issued under Section 14 of the Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. Act 2000 and must be read in conjunction with that Act and the Education (Scotland) Act 1980. Relevant legislation is set out in section 2.

This guidance applies to home education provided by parents, not to education being provided outwith school by local authorities.

The purpose of this guidance is to set out the legislative position, provide advice on the roles and responsibilities of local authorities and parents in relation to children who are home educated, and to encourage local authorities and home educating parents to work together to develop trust, mutual respect and a positive relationship that functions in the best educational interests of the child.

Guidance was first published in 2004. This revised guidance has been developed following consultation with interested parties.

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