Scottish advice is not our speciality, but we are always happy to help
Support for Scotland
Educational Freedom’s primary focus is on Home Education in England, we have collated some basic information here, but for further information about dealing with the Local Authority Scotland please contact
Communication with the Local Authorities in Scotland
The LA should, during the WITHDRAWAL process send you a copy of its ‘information/guidelines for parents’ this should be based on the statutory guidance issued by the Scottish Government in January 2007. It is important to be aware of this guidance and what it means, it ensures that you know your rights and that you know whether the LA information is accurate and up to date.
Once the LA receive your letter asking for consent to withdraw your child from school, the LA should send an acknowledgement. They should then consider quickly whether or not there are any reasons for consent to be withheld. Consent should be granted quickly as long as no evidence exists to support the withholding of consent, and you have submitted information about the educational provision.
The council should inform you, in writing, in full, if they refuse or will be delaying its consent. If your proposed educational provision is deemed unacceptable the LA should give you the chance to amend your plans.
Your child MUST continue to attend school until consent has been received IN WRITING.
LAs will often suggest a home visit or meeting to discuss your intention to Home Educate and to ask if you have considered the implications of Home Education, they will want to see that you are committed and thought this through. You are legally not obliged to meet them, you can choose to provide information in a different form, e.g. a written report. The authority may also ask you for your reasons for wishing to Home Educate and your qualifications, you are not obliged to answer these questions.
LA officers could ask inappropriate things like: if you have any plans to send your child back to school in the future, what exam plans you have, they may ask about socialisation assuming your child will be isolated, also questions about where the child will ‘work’ etc could be asked. The LA may assume school at home will be recreated, this is not a legal requirement of Home Education. So to avoid these kind of questions we recommend keeping things in writing with the LA.
(1)In the exercise and performance of their powers and duties under this Act, the Secretary of State and education authorities shall have regard to the general principle that, so far as is compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.Education (Scotland) Act 1980
Pupils to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.
(1)Where a child of school age who has attended a public school on one or more occasions fails without reasonable excuse to attend regularly at the said school, then, unless the education authority have consented to the withdrawal of the child from the school (which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld), his parent shall be guilty of an offence against this section.Education (Scotland) Act 1980
Failure by parent to secure regular attendance by his child at a public school.
[F124(1)]It shall be the duty of the parent of every child of school age to provide efficient education for him suitable to his age, ability and aptitude either by causing him to attend a public school regularly or by other means.Education (Scotland) Act 1980
Duty of parents to provide education for their children.
(1)Where a child of school age has not attended a public school in the area in which his parent is residing, or has attended such a school and has been withdrawn therefrom with the consent of, or excluded by, the education authority, then, if the authority are not satisfied that the parent is providing efficient education for him suitable to his age, ability and aptitude, it shall be the duty of the authority to serve a notice on the parent requiring him within such time as may be specified in the notice (not being less than seven or more than fourteen days from the service thereof) either –
(a)to appear (with or without the child) before the authority and give such information as the authority may require regarding the means, if any, he has adopted for providing education, or
(b)in the option of the parent, to give such information to the authority in writing.
(2)If a parent on whom a notice has been served in pursuance of subsection (1) above fails to satisfy the authority that he is providing efficient education for the child suitable to his age, ability and aptitude or that there is reasonable excuse for his failure to do so, the authority shall make an attendance order in respect of the child in accordance with the provisions of section 38 of this Act.Education (Scotland) Act 1980
Power of education authority where not satisfied that parent is providing efficient education for his child