Support and Resources for Home-Educating Families

Support and Resources for Home-Educating Families

Home-education, also known as elective home education (EHE), is an increasingly popular choice for many families across the UK. This alternative to traditional schooling allows parents to tailor education to the individual needs, pace, and interests of their child. However, it also places the onus of educational responsibility squarely on the shoulders of parents. In this detailed blog post, we explore the funding, support, and resources available to home-educating families in the UK, as well as the roles and responsibilities laid out by local authorities to assist these families.

Understanding Home Education in the UK

The Legal Framework

In the UK, parents are legally responsible for ensuring their children receive a full-time education suitable to their age, ability, and aptitude. According to the Education Act 1996, education is compulsory, but school attendance is not. This distinction allows for home education as a legitimate option. However, while parents have the freedom to choose the educational route for their children, they are also expected to bear the full financial cost, including expenses associated with examinations.

The Role of Local Authorities

Local authorities in England do not have formal powers to monitor the provision of home education strictly but do have responsibilities towards these children, particularly in identifying those not receiving a suitable education. While they cannot impose a curriculum, local authorities are advised to make contact with home-educating families at least annually to enquire about the educational provision.

Supportive Duties

Local authorities are encouraged to support home-educating families, especially when assistance is requested. This could involve:

  • Providing advice and resources to parents on effective home education practices.
  • Offering templates or guidance for educational plans.
  • Facilitating connections with local educational resources like libraries, museums, and online platforms.

Financial Aspects and Resources

While the government does not typically provide funding directly to home-educating families, some local authorities might offer discretionary support such as:

  • Access to local schools for certain lessons or extracurricular activities.
  • Subsidies for educational materials or activities.

Moreover, parents might be eligible for community grants or private funding opportunities designed to support educational activities.

Tables of Resources

Key Resources Provided by Local Authorities

Resource Type Details
Educational Materials Access to loan resources like textbooks and science equipment.
Online Platforms Subscriptions to educational websites or platforms.
Extracurricular Activities Information on local sports, music, and art classes.
Assessment Support Guidance on preparing for GCSEs or A-levels as external candidates.

Contact Points for Support

Organisation Contact Information Type of Support Offered
Local Education Office [Your Local Authority Website] Advisory services, resource access.
Home Education UK Home Education UK Website Networking, legal advice, educational resources.
Educational Charities List of Educational Charities Grants, material support, workshops.

Future Developments

The government has proposed changes, such as the establishment of a register for children not in school to better support home-educating families and ensure children receive a suitable education. This register would help local authorities provide targeted support and identify families who might benefit from additional resources or guidance.

Funding Support at Cambridge Home School Online

At Cambridge Home School Online, we recognise that financing your child’s education is not always straightforward. Exceptionally talented children may not find their needs met by traditional schooling, necessitating a specialised educational approach like ours. To address this, we offer financial support through scholarships and bursaries, aiming to make our unique educational offerings accessible to deserving students.


Our scholarships are discretionary awards targeted at pupils who demonstrate truly exceptional abilities, potentially at a world-class level. These scholarships are not means-tested, though we encourage families who are able to afford the full tuition to consider leaving these limited awards for those in greater need. Prospective applicants should contact the school to explain their qualifications for a scholarship, highlighting why they believe they are an outstanding candidate. The deadline for scholarship applications is 30th November each year, for entry in the following academic year.


For families facing financial constraints, Cambridge Home School Online offers means-tested bursaries which can cover up to 50% of the school fees. These are available to a limited number of families who meet all of the following stringent criteria:

  1. Household Income and Property Ownership: The combined household income is below £50,000 per annum (£35,000 for a single parent) consistently over the last three years, with property ownership valued under £300,000 or living in rented accommodation.
  2. Fee Payment Capability: Families must be able to pay the remaining balance of the school fees either from savings or through a low-interest loan for which they have a good credit rating.
  3. Pupil Ability: The applying pupil must either be an exceptionally high achiever in maths and English (grade 8/9) or possess an outstanding talent in areas such as music, art, entrepreneurship, or sports.
  4. Character and Commitment: Pupils must be hardworking, kind, and ambitious with clear career goals. They should consistently meet coursework and homework deadlines, barring exceptional circumstances.
  5. Educational Stability: A commitment to remain at the school for a minimum of three years is required to provide a stable educational environment.
  6. Promotional Support: Families must agree to support the school’s promotional activities by sharing their positive experiences on various platforms, including the school website and social media.

Please note that bursaries do not cover fees for the Primary Prep School.

Application and Conditions

Both scholarships and bursaries are limited in availability and awarded at the school’s discretion. There is no automatic entitlement, and only the strongest applications will be successful. Accepting a scholarship or bursary includes a contractual agreement to maintain or improve the pupil’s academic performance and adherence to the school’s values. Should there be any significant change in a family’s financial circumstances, or if the pupil no longer meets the foundational criteria for support, adjustments to the financial aid provided will be made accordingly.

These funding options are designed to ensure that financial barriers do not prevent the most capable and deserving students from benefiting from the high-quality education that Cambridge Home School Online offers.

Reference: Home education in England


What is home education and how is it recognised in the UK?

Home education, also referred to as elective home education (EHE), is a legal alternative to traditional schooling in the UK. It allows parents to provide education that is tailored to their child’s individual needs, pace, and interests. Under the Education Act 1996, whilst school attendance isn’t compulsory, receiving education is. Parents are legally responsible for ensuring their child receives a full-time education suitable for their age, ability, and aptitude.

What are the responsibilities of local authorities towards home-educating families?

Local authorities in England have a duty to identify children who are not receiving a suitable education. They do not have the power to enforce a specific curriculum but are expected to make annual contact with home-educating families to discuss the educational provision. Local authorities are also encouraged to support these families by providing resources and advice on effective home education practices.

Can local authorities provide financial support to home-educating families?

While the government does not provide direct funding for home education, some local authorities may offer discretionary support. This can include access to educational resources like textbooks and science equipment, as well as subsidies for extracurricular activities and guidance on preparing for examinations such as GCSEs and A-levels.

What are the criteria for receiving a bursary at Cambridge Home School Online?

Cambridge Home School Online offers means-tested bursaries that can cover up to 50% of school fees for families who meet specific criteria. These include a household income below a certain threshold, the ability to pay the remaining fee balance, and the pupil’s exceptional abilities in academic or extracurricular areas. The family must also commit to remaining at the school for a minimum of three years and participate in the school’s promotional activities.

How can one apply for a scholarship at Cambridge Home School Online?

Scholarships at Cambridge Home School Online are discretionary and aimed at pupils who demonstrate exceptional, potentially world-class abilities. These scholarships are not means-tested. Families interested in applying should contact the school by 30th November, detailing why they believe their child qualifies for a scholarship, focusing on the child’s outstanding capabilities and needs.