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Glasgow City Council

Home Education

Get in touch with Isabel Kerr or Leisa McCracken

  • Phone 0141 287 2000

Parents/carers are within their rights to make a request to home educate their child rather have them taught at one of the local authority schools.

Who is entitled to home educate their child?

Any parent/guardian can choose to do this as long as they provide an efficient education that is suitable for the age, ability and aptitude of the child.
If your child currently attends a GCC education establishment, parents/carers have a responsibility to inform the education authority that they wish to withdraw their child from school in order to home educate and to request the authority's consent to do so.

Who needs consent?

Under Section 35 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, parents of a child who has been attending a public school must seek the local authority's consent before withdrawing their child from that school.

Consent is not needed in the following situations:

  • The child has never attended a public school.
  • 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  • The child is being withdrawn from an independent school.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 the child has been attending has closed.

What kind of education do parents/carers need to provide?

Parents/carers who choose to home educate their child do not have to follow the traditional school curriculum and do not have to use a fixed timetable that keeps to school hours and terms. They need to demonstrate that they are providing an education that is suitable for the child, with appropriate variety, resources and the opportunity to interact with other children and adults.

It is the parent/carer's responsibility to provide an efficient and suitable education for their child and meet any costs in doing so.

What about formal qualifications?

Scottish Government notes that there is no legal requirement for children to sit a particular set of examinations. If parents want a child to take a particular qualification, they should investigate thoroughly whether, and how easily, their child is able to access examination and assessment arrangements. The internal assessment component of many qualifications such as Scottish National and Higher Qualifications, GCSEs and A Levels can restrict the certification of external candidates. These are not, however, the only types of qualification available and parents may wish to investigate alternative options which may be better suited to home education.

Parents/carers home educating their child can make arrangements for their children to sit formal exams (for example, through their local college).
Parents/carers are responsible for any costs associated with this.

What happens next?

If you wish to request to withdraw your child from GCC Education to home educate your child, the initial step is to send a letter or email noting this request to the Home Education Team, Education Services, 40 John Street, Glasgow G1 1JL or via the email link on this web page.  A member of the Home Education Team will contact you to progress your request to withdraw your child from GCC Education.

Parents/carers are asked to submit initial proposals as to how they intend to provide an efficient and suitable education for their child.  Parents/carers can choose whether to submit a written outline of their proposed education provision or request a meeting.  Parents/carers will receive a letter informing them whether the request is granted or whether further information will be required.

If consent is granted, the child's name will be removed from the school roll. From this time the parents/carers are responsible for providing their child with an efficient and suitable education.   We will seek at all stages to allow a child opportunity to express their views where they wish to do so. The child should be given the opportunity to attend the meeting if one is arranged, or otherwise to express their views, but this should not be seen as compulsory.

If consent is not granted, the Council must be clear about why the request has been refused. The parents/carers will be given the opportunity to address the grounds on which it has been refused and resubmit their request if they wish.

What level of contact is there between Glasgow City Council and home educating families?

Scottish Government recommend that authorities should ordinarily make contact with those families they know to be home educating in their area on an annual basis. This annual contact is not a statutory requirement. The primary purpose of the contact should be for the authority to satisfy themselves that suitable and efficient education is being provided. If there are concerns, more frequent contact may be requested. 

Parents/carers can chose to provide an update regarding home education provision through a meeting, at a mutually agreed location, or through other means, e.g. the submission of written, recorded or electronic material. The child's views are also sought.

In situations where concerns have been identified and the parent/carer has subsequently failed to improve matters, the Council can make an attendance order. This allows the parent/carer up to 14 days to provide the Council with information to satisfy them about the quality of education on offer. If this is not done, the child will be expected to return to school.

What if the child has additional support needs?

A parent's/carer's right to home educate their child is not changed if their child has additional support needs. However, it is reasonable for the Council to ask parents/carers how they plan to cater for their child's needs at home.

Glasgow City Council has no obligation to provide financial or other support for children with additional support needs who are home educated.

Home Education Privacy Statement

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