Home education

You don't need any qualifications or training to educate your child at home.

You must consider whether you can provide

  • an education that is suitable – this does not need to follow the traditional school curriculum and does not need a fixed timetable
  • appropriate resources
  • opportunities to interact with other adults and children.

It is your responsibility to meet all costs associated with your child’s education. 

Read about home education on the Scottish Government website.

Consent to withdraw your child from school

The City of Edinburgh Council supports both home education and flexi schooling.

If your child has been going to a City of Edinburgh Council school, then following Scottish Government guidance, you are required to obtain our consent before withdrawing your child from school. Your child should continue to attend school whilst your paperwork is processed.

Consent is not needed if the 

  • child has never attended a public school
  • child has never attended a public school in that authority’s area
  • child is being withdrawn from an independent school
  • child has finished primary education in one school but has not started secondary education in another
  • school the child has been attending has closed.

If you wish to educate your child at home, then after you submit your letter seeking consent to withdraw, along with an outline of educational provision, then you will be contacted to discuss your plans, before a decision is made. We will also seek to give the child the opportunity to share their views.

If consent is granted, the child's name will be removed from the school roll. From this time the parents / guardians are responsible for providing their child with an efficient and suitable education. 

If you wish to apply to flexi school your child, then this will also need to be discussed with the child’s school, before submitting the application. All City of Edinburgh Council schools are eligible for a flexi schooling applications.

Formal qualifications

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 / guardians educating their children at home can make arrangements for their children to sit formal exams (for example, through their local college). 

Email education.enquiries@edinburgh.gov.uk to enquire about this and an officer will contact you to discuss home educating your child full time or as part of a flexi schooling arrangement.

It is our expectation that parents assume full responsibility for the education of their children on the days agreed. Any changes to the agreed flex-school timetable, once agreed, must be renegotiated with the Headteacher in advance. Ad hoc changes will not be permitted.

Download our home education policy - PDF

Useful websites