Learning at Home

Most of Oxfordshire’s children and young people go to school or college – but some are educated at home
home education

All children between the ages of five and 16 have to be in education. Between 16-18 you should be 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.

Instant Expert: Read all about home education in Oxfordshire, including what support is available for parents. 

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 encouraged to do so. Most employers will want you to have qualifications like GCSEs when applying for jobs. 

Your parents will need to arrange this (including paying any fees for examinations) as they are in change of your education.

Crucial: Oxfordshire County Council's Elective Home Education Team works with colleges to run courses for 14-16 year old home-educated young people. Oxford Health support home education children and young people to get health services normally provided at school, such as immunization.

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

You can find more about support for home educators on the Oxfordshire County Council website.

Did you know? Further Education Colleges have study places for young people aged 14-16 who are educated at home. 

School Health Nurse Services

Children being educated at home can access the School Health Nurse Service. You can call 07769 235 149 or email SHN.Oxfordshire@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk to ask for confidential support around any health issue. 

Crucial: You can also get support by text. Children who in home education can contact the Chat Health Service. Parents who are home educating can talk to the NHS Parent Line.


Young people under 19 who are being educated at home can access contraception services. You can ask directly, or with help from your parent/carer. 

You can get all kinds of sexual health support directly, including:

  • All forms of contraception, condoms, Chlamydia Testing & Treatment, Pregnancy testing & Emergency Hormonal Contraception.

Email SHN.Oxfordshire@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk or phone or text 07769 235 149 or contact ChatHealth Service on 07312 263084.

You can contact the service directly, or an adult can make contact on your behalf.

Crucial: Health Services, including Sexual Health services and Emergency Contraception are also available from your GP (Doctor) and via the Safety C-Card.

Questions and answers

Here are some of the questions young people have asked about home education:

I have a problem with bullying, will home education help?

Your school has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for learning. If you are being bullied at school, raise it with your teacher or other staff at school. They will take action to stop the bullying.

Will home education help if I have anxiety which stops me going to school or college?

You can get support to manage anxiety from your GP, School Health Nurse and other health services. Managing anxiety is easier when you have a regular routine and school can support this.

I need to look after someone at home, or keep them company, is home education the answer?

Your school will have support in place for Young Carers. Talk to a teacher or someone else at your school. You have a right to education, and this should not be disrupted by providing care to others.  

Find out more


Posted by Angela
Posted ago

When would a child born in August 2007 normally sit their GCSE exams at school.

Thanks for your enquiry Angela.

In many cases a child born in 2007 would be in their first year of GCSE study for the school year of 2021-22 and they would be taking GCSEs the following year (2022-23) and then moving into post-16 education.

But there can be a lot of individual variation, for many different reasons. Any enquiries relating to individuals must  be directed to the school, college or learning provider.

Posted by Amanda
Posted ago

If you choose to home educate and their are many valid reasons you might do this.
There are lots of home education groups to attend from sports and music to art, socials and tutors. These groups are made up of parents who are also home educating. To join them go on Facebook and look up Home Education Oxfordshire.

Thanks Amanda, it's great to hear about all the groups available. Oxme links to Home Education Oxfordshire on Facebook in the "groups which can support your parents to provide home education" section above.

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