Learning at Home

Not all of Oxfordshire’s young people go to school – some are educated at home
home education

All children between the ages of five and 16 have to be in education, and between 16-18 in education, employment, or training. Not all children receive their education at school. Some parents or carers choose to teach their children at home. This is called Elective Home Education.

Those who decide to teach their children at home should provide an education which is suitable for your age and ability. If you have any particular special educational needs, your parents need to take this into account when planning your lessons and other activities.

Children who are home educated should receive as much high-quality education as those who attend school. A normal school year is 22 to 25 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year. A home curriculum should give you just as much learning, but there are no rules about timetables. How learning is delivered is entirely up to your parents.

Crucial: Some children and parents decide after doing home education for a while that they would like to go back to school or start school. Find out more about School Admissions and how to apply for a school place in Oxfordshire.

What kind of education will I get at home?

What you learn is up to your parents. Unlike children who attend school, a child in Elective Home Education does not have to follow the National Curriculum.

You can still take examinations, and are strongly encouraged to do so, as most employers will want you to have GCSEs when applying for jobs. Your parents will need to make the arrangements for this.

There are local and national support groups which provide parents who are providing home education and children who are being home educated with support, resources and opportunities to socialise and make new friends.

Some of the groups which can support your parents to provide home education are:

You can find more organisations that can provide support for home educators on the Oxfordshire County Council website.

Did you know? Some Further Education Colleges have study places for young people aged 14-16 who are educated at home.  You may be able to study GCSEs and more while being mainly educated at home. Contact your local FE College for more information.

Do I get any support from school or the local authority?

If you are being home educated, your parents have responsibility for your education. Your school has no more responsibility for you after your parents have told them that you are being home educated. They have to do this by sending a letter to the Head.

If the County Council is informed that a child is being educated at home (if you have been taken out of a state school, this will happen automatically) they will offer to visit the family to offer support and make sure that the child is receiving an education as part of their duty of care to all young people. Parents or carers can refuse this support. There is no legal obligation for a local authority to visit a home educated child.

Instant Expert: Find out all about being educated at home from Oxfordshire County Council.

If the parents want it, the Local Authority can give parents advice and support by phone, email and home visits from Elective Home Education Link Workers. This team links with colleges which can provide courses for 14-16 year old home educated young people, with the health service to arrange drop in immunization sessions for home educators and make sure up-to-date health information is passed on to EHE families, and with the Education, Employment and Training team to make sure you receive information about learning choices, apprenticeships and other opportunities for young people. They can also refer you to other services if you or your parents need more support. 

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