I WAS deeply concerned to read about the “Kelty mum” who felt blackmailed by Fife Council over sending her children back to school.

It appears she was badly misinformed by the council as to her options for home educating her children.

Parents do not have to “submit a home learning plan for the year” if they wish to home educate their children. The Scottish Government has statutory guidance which sets out home educating parents’ responsibilities and the processes they must follow if they wish to withdraw their child from school.

An Outline of Provision is required, which need not be detailed, requires no timetable, does not need to adhere to the curriculum, need not have any element of ‘teaching’ or ‘schooling’, and which can be tailored for the individual child and be reflective of the family’s personal circumstances.

Not all parents require consent to withdraw, and those that do not are not required to send any form of documentation to the council. Parents wishing to know more can access the guidance at https://www.gov.scot/publications/home-education-guidance/

It should be noted that the term ‘home schooling’ has no legal basis and is actively discouraged within education circles in Scotland. The correct term is home education, which better describes the wide range of approaches taken by parents who have chosen not to send their children to school, as is their right.

If parents wish to keep their children out of school temporarily due to health concerns relating to the Covid-19 emergency, they can do so under the ‘reasonable excuse’ provisions.

The Scottish Home Education Forum recently surveyed members who have joined since the school closures, and found that only 9.8% intended to send their children back to school. Many parents have found that, free of schooling and unhindered by the anxiety that many children experience at school, their children have flourished, been happier and learned far more.

Anyone who wishes to know more can contact Home Education Scotland, the forum or its sister facebook group, Home Education Support Scotland. There, they will be able to receive better and more accurate advice than this Kelty mum appears to have received from Fife Council.


Deputy Convenor,

Home Education Scotland.