Every child has a right to an education, and it is the duty of the parent of every school age child and young person to provide that education, either by sending them to school, or by other means such as Home Education.
The Education Service seeks to support home educators to promote the wellbeing and education of children and young people through positive relationships that develop trust, mutual understanding and respect.
East Dunbartonshire Council policy is based upon the Scottish Government's Home Education Guidance (2007) and the following key principles:
- Home education is a key aspect of parental choice, and parents may choose to home educate for a range of different reasons
- Home education is equal in law to sending children to school
- Home education is a right, conditional upon the parents providing an education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child
- The views of the child or young person should be taken into account, where possible, in matters relating to their education
- East Dunbartonshire Council promotes a positive relationship between the local authority and home educators
The Education Service seeks to ensure each enquiry about home education, is dealt with fairly, consistently, timeously and accurately as possible.
For more information in relation to Home Education please contact 0300 123 4510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
email should be addressed to Jackie Swan, (Quality Improvement Manager Additional Support Needs and Children's Services)
Please put Home Education Enquiry in the title bar of your email.
For more information about external agencies and supports please scroll to the bottom of this page.
On this page you will find information on:
- Home Education - Frequently Asked Questions
- What are my child's rights?
- Home Education Updates
- Home Education Services
- Other Useful Links
Who is entitled to home educate their child?
Any parent can choose to home educate so long as they provide an efficient and suitable education that is suitable to the age, aptitude and ability of the child or young person.
How does a parent/ carer withdraw a child from school to Home Educate?
Parents/ carers should write a letter to request consent to withdraw their child from school in order to home educate. This letter should be addressed to Jackie Swan, (Quality Improvement Manager Additional Support Needs and Children's Services). This letter should include your child’s name, date of birth and current school.
On receipt of a request or enquiry, Lissie Faulks, Inclusion Support Officer will contact the family to discuss the next steps.
Once the process is complete parents or carers will receive a letter informing them whether the request is granted or whether further information is required.
If the request is granted the child’s name will be removed from the school roll.
What information do parents need to provide?
Parents/carers should provide an education proposal.
They need to demonstrate that they are providing an education that is suitable for the child. This proposal should include an indication of resources that will be used.
Parents/ carers can choose to submit a written outline of provision, alternatively a meeting can be offered to parents to discuss their proposals.
The format of this discussion is flexible. Meetings can be arranged via telephone, at a mutually agreed venue, or via digital technology.
East Dunbartonshire Council will seek opportunities to invite the child to express their views during this process.
How do East Dunbartonshire Council use your information?
On receipt of a request the Inclusion Support Officer, responsible for Home Education, will check whether there is any evidence indicating that there may be good reason to refuse consent, for example where there are child protection procedures or where the child is the subject of a supervision requirement.
All information is stored in accordance with our GDPR policy.
What support is provided to Home Educating families?
The Inclusion Support Officer can be contacted for advice and support at any time. They can provide advice and signpost additional resources.
It is the parent/ carer’s responsibility to provide the resources and to meet any costs associated with this.
How does East Dunbartonshire Council stay in touch with Home Educating Families?
An Inclusion Support Officer will make contact with the family on an annual basis. The purpose of this contact is for the Authority to satisfy them selves that suitable and efficient education is being provided.
Occasionally East Dunbartonshire Council receives information that is relevant to share with home education families. This information will be posted on this webpage.
If there are any concerns about the educational provision, more frequent contact may be requested.
Parents can choose whether to provide a written update, to have a meeting, or to provide information via an alternative means.
What about formal qualifications?
There is no legal requirement for young people to take particular qualifications.
Parents/ carers that home educate can make arrangements for their child to sit formal qualifications, (for example through a local college, or online providers). Parents / carers are responsible for any costs of formal qualifications.
What about my child’s future destination?
Once you child approaches school leaving age the Inclusion Support Officer will provide details for Skills Development Service [opens in a new window] (SDS) during annual contact.
If consent is given we can signpost other supports and services that can help your child to make decisions about their future.
Would I be eligible for Education Maintenance Allowance? (EMA)
As pupils reach 16, families will be contacted to inform them that their name will be removed from the list of home educated pupils. This letter will sign post other services, such as EMA and SDS Scotland,.
In most cases pupils will be removed from home education records when they reach compulsory school leaving age of 16. Young people aged between 16-19 who are following a home education programme may be eligible for Education Maintenance Allowance.
A home education record will remain for pupils claiming Education Maintenance Allowance.
Would I be eligible for Scottish Child Payment?
Scottish Child Payment (SCP) is a weekly payment of £25, paid every 4 weeks, that you can get for every child you look after. These payments provide financial support direct to eligible families and carers to help towards the costs of supporting their child.
The eligibility criteria for this payment is not connected with that of the Free School Meals initiative, and home educators are encouraged to apply if they think they may qualify. In order to qualify for SCP, you must be in receipt of a qualifying reserved benefit, such as Universal Credit or Child Tax Credits. Further information regarding eligibility requirements [opens in a new window].
What is East Dunbartonshire's Policy on Flexible Schooling?
East Dunbartonshire Council consider requests for Flexi Schooling arrangements, (where the child is home schooled for part of the week), on an individual basis. A similar procedure is followed to full time Home Education requests. Ultimately, it is a decision for the local authority and school as to whether they are able to support such an arrangement. When a Flexi School request is received, a meeting will be held with the school, family and Education Officer responsible for Home Education to discuss feasibility and practical arrangements of the request.
What if a child or young person has additional support needs?
A parent/ carer can educate their child at home if their child has additional support needs.
The council may ask parents/carers how they plan to meet their child’s needs.
In some cases, we offer continued support or guidance from the Educational Psychology Service.
For further guidance on Additional Support Needs and Home Education, visit the Enquire website [opens in a new window].
How can I get involved?
Within East Dunbartonshire Home Educating parents are invited to be part of our local parent group. The purpose of this group is to gather views and develop supports to home educating families.
If you are interested in joining this group please email Jackie Swan, (Quality Improvement Manager Additional Support Needs and Children's Services), or Lissie Faulks, Inclusion Support Officer email@example.com
Please include the words Home Education in the title bar of your email.
All children and young people over the age of 12 have the right to have their views sought about potential changes to their education. We will invite your child to share their views during this process. We will consider your request in line with United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child [opens in a new window].
If your child has additional support needs there are services available to support them.
My Rights, My Say [opens in a new window] supports children aged 12-15 with additional support needs to exercise their rights to be involved in decisions about their support in school.
Reach [opens in a new window] is a service that helps young people to understand their rights, to feel supported, included, listened to and involved in decisions at school.
- Annual Contact
Annual Home Education update letters will be sent to all home educating families the week beginning 29 May 2023. You are invited to submit your updated proposal in any form that you choose.
- Home education guidance consultation: Analysis report is available on the Scottish Government website [opens in a new window]
Scottish Government published responses to the home education consultation on the Citizen Space page for the consultation [opens in a new window]. Responses are published where consent was given.
Health Service Support
Can a Home Educated pupil access routine vaccinations?
The childhood immunisation team have clinics that can provide vaccinations to home educated children.
To make an appointment for 5-12 year old children for their flu vaccination, or a child between the ages of 12-17yrs old with a pre-existing health issue parents/carers should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please state the child or young person’s name, DOB, CHI (if available) and reason for needing appointment within the email.
Can a Home Educated pupil access free sanitary products?
Free sanitary products [opens in a new window] are being made available throughout East Dunbartonshire.
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 has been put in place to provide free access to period products for anyone in Scotland who might need them. The 'Pickupmyperiod' App advises where you can collect free period products. The links are below:-
- View the App Store for Apple [opens in a new window]
- View Google Play Store for Android [opens in a new window]
Access to Local Health Services
The East Dunbartonshire Asset map provides information about resources and organisations which the people of East Dunbartonshire can use to support their health and wellbeing, both physical and mental.
Speech and Language Therapy Support
If you have queries or concerns regarding a child or young person's speech, language or communication then contact the advice and support helpline which can be found on the NHS website [opens in a new window].
Specialist Children Services (SCS) Community Occupational Therapy Team have an advice line where parents/carers, can seek advice and support for children and young people who are having difficulty joining in with the activities that they need and want to do every day.
An Occupational Therapist is available to answer your questions between 9.30 am and 12 noon on Tuesday's and Friday's. The advice line number is 0141 531 6536.
Occupational therapy information can be accessed on the NHS website [opens in a new window].
For online safety information, visit the Barnardo's Online Safety Hub [opens in a new window].
Mental Health Supports
Around 1 in 8 children will experience emotional or behavioural issues growing up. Here are some links, resources and services which are aimed at supporting parents and carers deal with emotional or behavioural issues and tips to support discussions on specific topics may impact on children’s mental health.
- Children's mental health - Every Mind Matters - NHS [opens in a new window]
- Home - Sleep Scotland [opens in a new window]
- Gateway to good sleep - Sleep Scotland [opens in a new window]
East Dunbartonshire Council has a universal offer of counselling support to young people.
Home Educating families are able to self-refer by completing the ED Community Service Referral Form for Lifelink and emailing it to: info@Lifelink.org.uk.
[All links below open up in a new window]