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Education at home

In line with the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (Section 3) every parent or guardian is required to provide their child with efficient education suitable to their:

  • age
  • ability
  • aptitude

If you choose to educate your child at home, it is conditional on these factors. Any special educational needs should also be taken into account.

What you have to provide

You have to demonstrate that you are providing an education:

  • suitable for your child
  • with appropriate variety and resources
  • that allows access to other children

However, you do not have to:

It is your responsibility to provide the curriculum and resources and to meet any associated costs.

What you need to do

First, you should notify us (Head of Service, Education) of your intention to educate your child at home by emailing us at educationresources@north-ayrshire.gov.uk.

Your email should detail:

  • your child’s information
  • any additional support needs
  • a formal education plan which details the characteristics of an efficient and suitable education

 The plan should show evidence of how you will:

  • deliver education at home
  • prepare your child for life within the wider community
  • enable them to achieve their full potential

Your child should continue to attend school until we provide consent for home education.

What happens next?

An Education Officer will review the information provided and then either:

If consent is granted

If consent is granted, the child’s name will be removed from the school roll. From this time, you are responsible for providing your child with an efficient and suitable education.

We will seek at all stages to allow a child to have the opportunity to express their views and to take account of and record these.

Education Officers will make contact with the family on at least an annual basis. They will:

  • review progress
  • offer advice if requested

If there are concerns about the education being provided, more frequent contact may be requested.

You can choose whether to provide a written update or have a meeting. The child's views are also sought and taken into account. Education Officers must satisfy themselves that a suitable education is being provided for the child with appropriate variety, resources and access to other children.

If consent is not granted

If consent is not granted, we must be clear about why the request has been refused.

You will be given the opportunity to:

  • address the grounds on which it has been refused
  • resubmit your request if you wish


There is no legal requirement for young people to take a particular set of qualifications.

You can still make arrangements for your children to sit formal exams - for example, through their local college. You are responsible for any costs associated with this.

Additional support needs

Your right to educate your child at home is unchanged if your child has additional support needs. However, it is reasonable for us to ask you how you plan to cater for your child’s additional support needs at home.

We have no obligation to provide financial or other support for children with additional support needs who are educated at home. We are, however, happy to offer guidance as requested.

Contact Communities Directorate




01294 324726