Organisations and Events

Across the UK, including in Scotland and Northern Ireland, local groups of home educating parents run regular meets, events, trips, picnics and camps. At the national level there are organisations and charities such as Education Otherwise and the Schoolhouse Home Education Association advising on matters related to home education.

There are other meets such as the annual HESFES event and Wild! Gathering where home educators gather for a combination of education, co-operation and entertainment.

The situation in Scotland is slightly different in that if a child is already in school the parent needs to get permission from the local authority to deregister the child, which permission should be granted fairly quickly. No such permission is needed if the child has never attended school. Home education in Scotland is governed by the Scottish Government's Statutory Guidance.

Northern Ireland
Elective Home Education is legal in Northern Ireland under Section 45 of the Education and Libraries Northern Ireland Order 1986 SI 1986/594 which models English legislation in requiring the education of children of school age "by regular attendance at school or otherwise." There are approximately 500-1000 home educated children in Northern Ireland, but exact numbers are difficult to determine due to the lack of registration. Currently there is no legal requirement for parents to register their children with the Education Board, but a consultation by the Department of Education that started in April 2014 has proposed mandatory registration, home visits, inspection of premises & approval of curriculum. This draft policy by the Department of Education has alarmed home educators by requiring what the law does not, therefore creating the potential for confusion. The consultation is due to end on 27 June 2014. The largest Home Education group in Northern Ireland, HEDNI is actively involved in opposing this change in policy.