Every child has a right to an education, and it is the duty of the parent of every school age child to provide that education, either by sending the child to school, or by other means.

Home education is a key aspect of parental choice and is an equally valid choice alongside the option to send a child to school. However, it is a choice which only a minority of parents make.

Under Section 35 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, parents of a child who has been attending a public school must seek the local authority's consent before withdrawing their child from that school, and the authority must not unreasonably withhold consent.

It should be noted that while consent is needed for withdrawal from school, consent is not needed to home educate in itself.

Consent is not needed in the following situations:

  • The child has never attended a public school
  • The child has never attended a public school in that authority's area
  • The child is being withdrawn from an independent school
  • The child has finished primary education in one school but has not started secondary education in another
  • The school the child has been attending has closed

Although there is no statutory duty upon parents to inform Falkirk Council that you are home educating if you do not require consent, we would prefer home educators in Falkirk, or moving into Falkirk, to contact us so that we can provide support and advice, if required.

If you wish to withdraw your child from a school they are already attending, please write to:

Jenny McNeill - ASN Adviser
Falkirk Council Children's Services
Sealock House
2 Inchyra Road

When writing to us you should include:

  • how you will provide an efficient and suitable education for your child
  • when home education is proposed to start
  • what the child's views on home education are

On receipt of your request, we will use the information provided, along with information in our own Children's Services' records, to allow us to carry out the appropriate checks, in line with section 3.3 of the Scottish Government Home Education Guidance.

We aim to make a decision on most requests within 30 working days (excluding school holidays). Your child must attend school until we send you a letter with consent to withdraw.

We have no legal responsibility to provide parents with access to educational resources and activities if they are home educating.

If you are a parent and are thinking about home education, you may find it helpful to discuss your plans with us. Please contact 01324 506600 or homeeducation@falkirk.gov.uk where you will be put in touch with ASN Adviser, Jenny McNeill.

Scottish Home Education Organisations

Scottish Home Education Forum
Home Education Scotland

Other useful contacts

Disclosure Scotland
PO Box 250
G51 1YU
Learning and Teaching Scotland [1]
The Optima
58 Robertson Street
G2 8DU
Scottish Government Education Directorate
Education Options Team
Victoria Quay
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) [2]
The Optima
58 Robertson Street
G2 8DU
Dyslexia Scotland
2nd floor - East Suite
Wallace House, 17 - 21 Maxwell Place
Scottish Autism
Hilton House, Alloa Business Park
Whins Road
FK10 3SA

[1] The national body in Scotland providing advice and support for all matters on the curriculum, and providing a wide range of online services and resources.

[2] The national body in Scotland responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment and certification of qualifications other than degrees.