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Home education and flexi schooling

You have a right to home educate your child rather than sending them to school.

Home education

Home education is where a parent or carer chooses to become the main educator of their children. They take the legal responsibility for deciding what their children will learn and how. In most cases, this is without direct support from schools or a local council.

Home education is the official term for this type of education in the home. We use this rather than 'home schooling' or 'teaching at home'.

Choosing to home educate

If your child already goes to a council school, you must ask for the local council's consent to withdraw them from the school. The council will expect you to explain how you plan to give your child a suitable education.

In some cases, consent to withdraw from the school roll is not required. Cases include if your child has never gone to a council school or if your child goes to an independent school. However, the local council is likely to contact you to find out if your child is getting a suitable education.

Find a full list of when you can home educate without consent from the local council on

Support for children and young people with additional support needs

The local council does not have a legal responsibility to provide additional support when you educate your child at home.

You can still ask your local council to find out both:

  • if your child has additional support needs
  • what level of support they might need

You can also ask the local council to do this for you if you are a:

  • child aged between 12 and 15
  • young person aged 16 or over

The local council does not have to carry out the request or provide any additional support.

Some councils may do so at their discretion.

You can find out more about home education and additional support needs on Enquire.

Home education guidance

Scottish Ministers encourage local councils and parents to work together to develop:

  • trust
  • mutual respect
  • a positive relationship that functions in the best educational interests of the child

The home education guidance on sets out, in relation to home-educated children, the roles and responsibilities of both:

  • local councils
  • parents

Education Scotland also has further home education guidance. This includes links and information on independent support networks, such as:

Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeenshire CouncilAngus CouncilArgyll and Bute CouncilClackmannanshire CouncilComhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Dumfries and Galloway CouncilDundee City CouncilEast Ayrshire CouncilEast Dunbartonshire CouncilEast Lothian CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilEdinburgh CouncilFalkirk CouncilFife CouncilGlasgow City CouncilThe Highland CouncilInverclyde CouncilMidlothian CouncilMoray CouncilNorth Ayrshire CouncilNorth Lanarkshire CouncilOrkney Islands CouncilPerth & Kinross CouncilRenfrewshire CouncilScottish Borders CouncilSouth Ayrshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire CouncilShetland CouncilStirling CouncilWest Dunbartonshire CouncilWest Lothian Council

If you have any questions about home education, you can contact us on

Flexi schooling

Some parents may wish to home educate, but arrange for their child to attend school on a part-time basis. This is flexi schooling. To do this, you may need the local council's consent.

The local council should consider each request on its own merit. Each local council and school gets to decide if they can support the request or not.

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