Home Education - A Parent's Choice
The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 states that it is the duty of the parent or guardian of every child of school age to provide efficient education for them suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, either by them attending a public school regularly or 'by other means'.
Home education is one such 'other means'. If parents are providing a home education experience for their child or children it should be suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of their child or children. It should also take account of any additional support needs that the child may have.
Providing Home Education for your child(ren) can be a very rewarding experience for both parents and children. Many parents have now had an opportunity to provide education at home during the Covid-19 school closure periods and have found that both they and their child(ren) have enjoyed and benefited from the experience. Providing home education on a permanent basis is a significant commitment as it means removing the child(ren) from the school system and taking full responsibility for the child(ren)'s education. If you are considering providing home education for your children, you might find it helpful to discuss your plan with others who know your child's learning needs. This might be the Headteacher at your child's school or other parents who already home educate. Alternatively, you can request an informal discussion with a member of the Perth and Kinross Council service who are responsible for home education by contacting HomeEduction@pkc.gov.uk.
Providing an efficient and suitable education
Parents do not have to give a reason for choosing home education when requesting to withdraw their child from school. Any reason given will have no bearing on whether consent is given. The Local Authority is only interested in how the parents intend to meet their child(ren)'s learning and wellbeing needs.
International law gives all children a right to education. This right is enshrined in Scots law in Sections 1 and 2 of the Standards in Scotland's Schools etc Act 2000 and qualified by Section 30 (2) of the Education Scotland Act 1980.
The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 also states all parents need to enable their child(ren) to receive an efficient and suitable education. If you are requesting to remove your child from the school role to provide home education, you will be asked to share your plans on how you will provide an efficient and suitable education for your child. You can share your plan in writing or verbally. The Local Authority may seek more information from you if your plan is not felt to be efficient and suitable.
In addition to finding out about your home education plan, the Local Authority has a responsibility to gather information from our own records and those of other services and agencies to identify if there is any reason to refuse consent. Consent may not be able to be granted in some situations, such as where a child is subject to a supervision requirement or referred to social work or the police for child protection reasons.
Any information or gap in information that may lead to a delay in reaching a decision on a proposal to provide home education will be discussed with the parent in the first instance.
Whilst your request is being considered, your child (ren) should maintain attendance at school.