The History of Homeschooling in the UK


  1. What is homeschooling?
  2. Homeschooling facts from around the world
  3. Is homeschooling a thing in the UK?
  4. When did homeschooling begin in the UK?
  5. How has homeschooling changed between the 1970s and today
  6. Information on homeschooling: what you should know


The pandemic led to a tidal wave of homeschooling. The history of homeschooling in the UK doesn’t start there though. We’re going to share some interesting facts about homeschooling and look at its origins. If you’re thinking about homeschooling on a more permanent basis we’ll tell you how to get started.lernen-mit-medien

What is homeschooling?


Homeschooling is also known as home education or “elective home education” (EHE). The definition of homeschooling is parents educating their children at home, rather than sending them to a traditional school. 📚


Homeschooling facts from around the world


Homeschooling rules vary from country to country and sometimes between certain regions or states. Even when it is legal it’s not always seen as socially acceptable, especially if the history of homeschooling doesn’t go back that far. 

Here are some interesting statistics and facts about homeschooling in different countries:

  • Homeschooling is on the rise with a growth rate of 2-8% each year
  • Homeschooled children receive 15-30% higher marks on tests than students attending public school
  • In the US there are 2.5 million kids being homeschooled 


Is homeschooling a thing in the UK?


The UK is a nation that embraces and supports homeschooling. It has never been illegal to homeschool in the UK, unlike many other countries. In fact, the UK has the 2nd highest number of children being homeschooled: over 100,000. 🇬🇧

While sending kids to a traditional public or private school is still more popular by far, there has been a dramatic rise in home education since 2015. 😷 This became even more pronounced due to the Covid-19 pandemic

It’s likely that you’re one of the millions of parents who had to (or chose to) homeschool during this period. With schools opening then closing like a merry-go-round many of you probably didn’t have a choice. At the beginning of 2021, it was estimated that 90% of British parents were homeschooling. 


When did homeschooling begin in the UK?


The history of homeschooling in the UK begins with the country’s elite. In the past, the royal family were always home educated. 👑 This has only changed recently with various royals attending traditional schools. 

Despite this rich and long history, homeschooling didn’t really take off in the UK until the late 1970s/1980s. In 1978, a support organisation, Education Otherwise, was formed in Swindon by a group of parents. The rising popularity in the UK was partly due to the influence of the US home education movement which had already started to grow. 


How has homeschooling changed between the 1970s and today?


The 1970s really kick-started the mass movement for homeschooling. In the 1980s the number grew even higher, however, the number of kids being home educated was still low compared to traditional education. 

The 1990s brought with it the internet revolution when more homes had access, and this changed everything. 🌐 The movement gained more attention in the media and it allowed parents who were homeschooling to communicate more freely.

As the internet and technology became more prevalent in households, it became easier for parents to homeschool their children. Having access to information at their fingertips meant a wealth of free resources. 

As we mentioned earlier, Covid-19 propelled homeschooling numbers into the stratosphere. However, most kids have returned to school now. 

If you had to homeschool your child, how did you feel about it? ❤️ Perhaps you really enjoyed the experience and your child benefited from it and you want to know more about the rules for homeschooling permanently. Let’s look at homeschooling as an option in the UK and what you need to do.


Information on homeschooling: what you should know


Any parent can homeschool their child in the UK according to the law. 👍 You don’t need to be a qualified teacher or follow the national curriculum either. But there are some rules you would need to follow.  

All children must start to receive full-time education from 5 years of age. If your child has been offered a place at school but hasn’t started you need to remove their name from the register. If your child is currently in a traditional education institution, you must inform the school you intend to homeschool them. 

If you have started teaching your child at home or you are considering making the shift, read our homeschooling education tips. It provides great ideas on how you could structure your day, and motivate your child. ✨

We know how challenging homeschooling can feel but it’s also very rewarding and can positively impact your child’s learning level. You can provide love and learning at the same time.

If there are any subjects or specific topics you can’t remember from school, or can’t explain to your child, or don’t enjoy teaching, you can always outsource that part and get additional support. No one can be expected to be a genius at all subjects or want to relive those we didn’t quite jell with. 🙃

At GoStudent we have excellent tutors who are all experts in their field. They’re fun, passionate and can help you out whenever suits you. Why not book a free trial class for your child and see just how powerful and motivating a private online tutor can be? 🥰

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