Home education

Apply to home educate your child

Educate your child at home

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

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

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 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  • The child is being withdrawn from an independent school.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

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.

If you wish to apply for full home education, then after you submit your application, you will be contacted to further discuss the application, 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.  Parents/carers are responsible for any costs associated with this.

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). Parents/carers are responsible for any costs associated with this.

Email Arran Finlay, Senior Education Officer, at [email protected] to discuss educating your child at home full time or as part of a flexi schooling arrangement.  

Download our home education policy - PDF

Useful websites