Home Education in the United Kingdom

Home education in the UK is often termed "elective home education" (EHE) to signify the independent nature of practice from state provisions such as education for children with ill-health provided by the local authority in the family home. EHE is a collective term used in the UK to describe education provided other than through the schooling system. Parents have a duty to ensure their children are educated but the education legislation in England and Wales does not differentiate between school attendance or education otherwise than at school. Scots education legislation on the other hand differentiates between public (state) school provision and education "by other means", which includes both private schooling and home education. The numbers of families retaining direct responsibility for the education of their children has steadily increased since the late 1970s following the formation of support groups such as Education Otherwise and Schoolhouse. Home education may involve an informal style of education described as unschooling, informal learning, natural or autonomous learning. Others prefer to retain a structured school at home approach sometimes referred to as homeschooling (a term more popular in the US) although the terms are often interchanged.