Homeschooling international status and statistics
Homeschooling is legal in many countries. Countries with the most prevalent home education movements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some countries have highly regulated home education programs as an extension of the compulsory school system; others, such as Germany, have outlawed it entirely. In other countries, while not restricted by law, homeschooling is not socially acceptable or considered undesirable and is virtually non-existent.
- 1 Homeschooling status tables
- 2 Legality by country
- 2.1 Africa
- 2.2 Americas
- 2.3 Asia
- 2.4 Europe
- 2.4.1 Austria
- 2.4.2 Belgium
- 2.4.3 Croatia
- 2.4.4 Czech Republic
- 2.4.5 Denmark
- 2.4.6 Finland
- 2.4.7 France
- 2.4.8 Germany
- 2.4.9 Greece
- 2.4.10 Hungary
- 2.4.11 Iceland
- 2.4.12 Republic of Ireland
- 2.4.13 Italy
- 2.4.14 Netherlands
- 2.4.15 Norway
- 2.4.16 Poland
- 2.4.17 Portugal
- 2.4.18 Russia
- 2.4.19 Slovenia
- 2.4.20 Slovak Republic
- 2.4.21 Spain
- 2.4.22 Sweden
- 2.4.23 Switzerland
- 2.4.24 Ukraine
- 2.4.25 United Kingdom
- 2.5 Oceania
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Homeschooling status tables
|Sierra Leone||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||1|
|South Africa||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system.||Estimated between 30 000 and 100 000 children||1|
|Canada||Legal under regulating conditions (Alberta – regulation, British Columbia – registration, Manitoba – permit, Newfoundland – permit, New Brunswick – permit, Northwest Territories – regulation, Nova Scotia – regulation, Ontario – regulation, Prince Edward Island – regulation, Quebec – permit, Saskatchewan – permit, Yukon – regulation)||60,000+||1234|
|Greenland||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|United States||Legal under regulating conditions, varies by state.||Around 2.5 million||1|
Latin America and the Caribbean
|Belize||Expats have right to homeschool. Compulsory attendance is unclear for citizens.||Unknown|
|Brazil||Illegal, public or private education is mandatory without known exceptions.||800-2000 families||1 2 3|
|Colombia||Legal. Regulated by the Ministry of Education and the ICFES (Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education). The student would have to present a Public Validation Test and a State Test (Similar to SAT) if he/she wants to go to College.||N/A||1|
|Costa Rica||Unclear, unstated.||1|
|Cuba||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2 3|
|El Salvador||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*|
|Guatemala||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Unknown||1 2|
|Mexico||Legal as long as the student is registered, which can be a lengthy bureaucratic process. Compulsory attendance laws are unclear.||Unknown|
|Panama||Unclear, for it is neither legal nor illegal.|
|Peru||Legal. Prior registration with the Ministerio de Educación is required.|
|Suriname||Legal.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions||Virtually no homeschooling*|
|Armenia||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Azerbaijan||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Georgia||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|India||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system||0.5 to 2.71 million||1|
|Indonesia||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system.|
|Israel||Legal under regulating conditions||448 children as of 2013/14||חינוך ביתי בישראל|
|Kazakhstan||Not illegal, but not provided by law. Legal and provided for gifted and disabled students. Door to door checks conducted regularly. Legal for non-residents.||Many expat families homeschool.||1|
|South Korea||Prohibited by law, but law is unclear and the cause is supported by business leaders, therefore homeschoolers do not generally experience issues with authorities.||1|
|Taiwan||Legal since 2011|
|Thailand||Legal since 1992, but used to heavily restricted from the misunderstanding of the concerned Area Based Officers because they've worked only for the school in the different Rules&Regulations for a long time. Nowadays (B.E.2016), the Homeschooling Network of Thai Alternative Education Council Association (a Non-Profit Organization) is connecting together around the country to help the parents perform the registration following as National Education Laws and also working together with the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand to protect parents'Rights. Additionally, the online communication can promote the Rights of the parents to choose any suitable education for their children as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, : ICESCR said, especially for Homeschool Concept.|
|Turkey||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1|
|Albania||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Andorra||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Austria||Legal under restrictive conditions, homeschooling is allowed as long as the instruction is at least equal to that of the state school.||2100||1 2 3|
|Belarus||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Belgium||Legal under restrictive conditions, Homeschooling is a constitutional right in Belgium.||500||1 2 3|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Bulgaria||Illegal, public education is mandatory. Only children with special needs may be homeschooled under strict government control.||fewer than 100 families||1 2 3|
|Croatia||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Cyprus||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1|
|Czech Republic||Legal under restrictive conditions by law as alternative for primary school, legal under restrictive conditions by temporary experimental minister´s order as alternative for secondary school.||500 families||1 23 4|
|Denmark||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system.||Unknown||1|
|Estonia||Legal under control of school. Every homeschooled child must be supervised by an authorized school (can be a private school) and pass annual exams. Homeschooled children receive diploma from supervising school.||fewer than 100||1 2|
|Finland||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system. Written and oral examinations to check on progress are mandatory.||400–600||1 2 3 4|
|France||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system. Inspections are mandatory every year.||5 063||1|
|Germany||Illegal, public or approved private education is mandatory with the only exception being where continued school attendance would create undue hardship for an individual child.||400||123|
|Greece||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1|
|Hungary||Legal under restrictive conditions. Every homeschooled child must be supervised by an authorized school and pass annual exams. Homeschooled children received diplomas from supervising school.||7400 Children (2008)||1 2 3 4|
|Iceland||Legal only for holders of teaching certificates, in other cases public education is mandatory.||Unknown||1|
|Ireland||Legal, homeschooling is allowed by the constitution.||1100||1|
|Italy||Legal, homeschooling is allowed by the constitution.||Unknown||1 2 3|
|Latvia||Legal under control of school. Every homeschooled child must be supervised by an authorized school (can be a private school) and pass annual exams. Homeschooled children receive diploma from supervising school.||fewer than 100.||1 2|
|Liechtenstein||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Lithuania||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Luxembourg||Legal, for primary school age.||Unknown||1 2|
|Macedonia||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2|
|Malta||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1 2 3|
|Moldova||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1|
|Montenegro||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1|
|Netherlands||Illegal, public education is mandatory, with some exceptions.||Around 400 children exempt*||1|
|Poland||Legal under restrictive conditions. Every home schooled child must be supervised by an authorized school (can be a private school) and pass annual exams. Home schooled children received diplomas from supervising school.||Unknown||1 23|
|Portugal||Legal. Children living longer than 4 months in Portugal must attend school by law. Home education under Portuguese national curriculum only. Mandatory annual exams in Portuguese.||Unknown||1 2 3 4 5|
|Romania||Legal under restrictive conditions. Children with disabilities, special needs or whose condition does not allow them to be physically present in a school may be home-schooled, under the supervision of an accredited teacher.||Unknown||1 2 3 4 5|
|Russia||Legal since 1992, law sometimes ignored and not made legal.||Unknown||1 2|
|San Marino||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Virtually no homeschooling*||1|
|Serbia||Illegal, public education is mandatory without known exceptions.||Unknown||1|
|Slovakia||Legal, under restrictive conditions (only ill children, or ages 6-10).||Unknown (Virtually no homeschooling)||1 |
|Spain||Unknown, as Constitution recognises freedom of education, but national education law stipulates that compulsory education must be met through school attendance.||About 2,000 families||1 2 3|
|Sweden||Illegal, as of June 2010; supposedly allowed under special circumstances such as student health reasons or family travel, but virtually never approved.||200 families—half legally||1 2 3 2 4 5 6 7|
|Switzerland||Legal in about three quarters of the cantons, with many being restrictive to very restrictive.||200–500 children||1 2|
|Ukraine||Legal and expressly allowed for in Articles 59 and 60 of Ukraine’s Education Law.||100 families||1 2|
|United Kingdom||Legal as alternative to the mandatory state school system.||20,000–100,000||1 2|
|Vatican City||No indication for educational laws to exist were found.|
|Australia||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system.||15,000||1|
|New Zealand||Legal as alternative to the mandatory public school system.||6,500|
Legality by country
- Status: Legal
The freedom of homeschooling is however under threat in Kenya, because a new education law has been proposed that does not make any allowance for homeschooling.
- Status: Legal
During apartheid, home education was illegal in South Africa. The parents Andre and Bokkie Meintjies were jailed in 1994– (this was the year Mandela were elected as President of South Africa), and their children were placed in an orphanage, because they educated their children at home. However, a few years later, the Mandela government legalised home education with the publication of the South African School Act in 1996. Since it was legalised, homeschooling has the fastest growing education model in the country.
Homeschooling is legal according to South African national law, but individual provinces have the authority to set their own restrictions. The SA Schools Act requires parents to register their children for education at home. In practice however, most provincial departments do not have the administrative capability to register children for home education. Some of the larger provincial departments have limited administrative capabilities to register children for home education. Unfortunately the officials in those departments have a limited understanding of home education and the law on home education. Due to this, these officials often require parents to meet all sorts of requirements that are not stipulated by the law. As a result of this situation, more than 90% of homeschooling parents do not register with the department.
- Status: Legal
There is no law addressing homeschooling in Argentina. It is the parents' responsibility to make sure their child(ren) get an adequate education.
- Status: Illegal
Enrollment in schools in Brazil is mandatory for people aged 4–17. There is currently a proposal to evaluate Homeschooling in Brazil (Projeto de Lei 3179/12) and a previous proposal has already been rejected in 2008 (Projeto de Lei 3518/08).
A couple, a Brazilian mother and an American father, was investigated in 2010 by the municipal government of Serra Negra, São Paulo, for homeschooling their children. The local authorities were tipped off by an anonymous source because the couple's two daughters did not attend school. The Public Ministry expected to reach an agreement with the family to enlist the children in formal schools.
- Status: Legal
Approximately 1% to 2% of North American children are homeschooled, which includes about 60,000 in Canada. Back in 1995, Meighan estimated the total number of homeschoolers in Canada, to be 10,000 official and 20 000 unofficial. Karl M. Bunday estimated, in 1995, based on journalistic reports, that about 1 percent of school-age children were homeschooled. In April 2005, the total number of registered homeschool students in British Columbia was 3 068. In Manitoba, homeschoolers are required to register with Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth. The number of homeschoolers is noted at over 1500 in 2006; 0.5% of students enrolled in the public system.
- Status: Legal
|Percentage change since 1999|
In "The Condition of Education 2000–2009," the National Center for Education Statistics of the United States Department of Education reported that in 2007, the number of homeschooled students was about 1.5 million, an increase from 850,000 in 1999 and 1.1 million in 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007. The increase in the percentage of homeschooled students from 1999 to 2007 represents a 74 percent relative increase over the 8-year period and a 42 percent relative increase since 2003. The US Dept of Education estimates that 3.4 percent of children between ages 4 and 17 were homeschooled in 2012, which represents 1.77 million students. In 2007, the majority of homeschooled students received all of their education at home (84 percent), but some attended school up to 25 hours per week. Currently, many also participate in homeschool cooperatives as well as utilize the resources of private tutors and community college-based programs, which allow students to earn college credits before attending college.
People's Republic of China
- Status: Deemed illegal for citizens without approval, but no restrictions for foreign students.
Under China's education laws children are required to enroll in the school system from age seven and attend for nine years. No specific regulations exist for home-schooling, though it can be allowed subject to approval as a non-governmental organization. Despite its legal status, some parents in China opt for home-schooling for reasons including dissatisfaction with the country's test-oriented public schools and a desire to individualize the education of their children. There are no official figures for home-schooling, though one survey found that 18,000 children received home-schooling in the People's Republic of China, while an education policy researcher at Beijing Normal University estimated the portion of students receiving home-schooling at less than one percent. Officials are divided on addressing home-schooling, with many supporting its legalization and others supporting compelling students to return to the regular school system. Education experts generally support allowing home-schooling, but call for the creation of national standards.
- Status: Unclear
Although the official position in Hong Kong appears to be that attendance at school is compulsory and free for students aged six to fifteen, the actual situation is less clear. Parents who fail to send their children to school after a school attendance order has been issued can be jailed for 3 months and fined HK$10000. In 2000, a man named Leung Jigwong (梁志光) disagreed with Hong Kong's education policy and refused to send his 9-year-old daughter to school. Instead, he taught her Chinese, English, French, Mathematics and The Art of War at home. After 2.5 years of discussion, the Education Department finally served an "attendance order" on him and his child was forced to attend a standard school.
The Education Bureau (EDB) in Hong Kong will investigate cases of home education drawn to its attention but does not always issue a school attendance order. A number of families are known to be educating their children at home in Hong Kong with the permission of the Education Bureau. This suggests that the de facto situation in Hong Kong is somewhere between that of the UK and that of the PRC.[clarification needed]
- Status: Legal
In India, under Right to education, The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the Government has established an independent body to look after the system of Home Schooling. It is in fact, an open schooling system where students can learn anywhere and appear for examinations conducted by NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling). 0.5 million take admission every year. 2.71 million admission during last 5 years through Open Schooling of Indian Govt. (MHRD)
- Status: Legal
Homeschooling in Indonesia (Indonesian: Pendidikan Rumah) is regulated under National Education System 2003 under division of informal education. This enables the children of Homeschooling to attend an equal National Tests to obtain an "Equivalent Certificate". The homeschooling is recently becoming a trend in upper-middle to upper-class families with highly educated parents with capability to provide better tutoring or expatriate families living far away from International School. Since 2007 the Indonesia's National Education Department took efforts in providing Training for Homeschooling Tutors and Learning Media even though the existence of this community is still disputed by other Non Formal education operators. school.
- Status: unclear
The legal position is complex; as homeschooling is uncommon, local officials may claim it is illegal but this is not actually the case. Over 100,000 children refuse school, but the number of homeschoolers is much smaller, though it is increasing.
Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Status: Legal
- Status: Illegal
In the Republic of Turkey, all children are required to be registered in state or private school so as to be in compliance with the National Education Basic Law (No. 1739, 06-14-1973, Article 22). Distance education is also available through Turkey's national television channels. Through this particular option, students go to a particular test site and take examinations based on what they have studied. In Turkey, parents who fail to send their children to school are charged as criminals, which at times may result in their incarceration. Due to the above legal constraints, Turkish parents face a great deal of difficulty in pursuing homeschooling for their children.
- Status: Legal
Unlike in Germany, homeschooling is legal in Austria. However, every homeschooled child is required to take an exam per year, to ensure that he or she is being educated at an appropriate level. If the child fails the test, he or she must attend a school the following year.
- Status: Legal
Unlike in the Netherlands, homeschooling is legal in Belgium and is considered a constitutional right. Children have to be registered as home-educated. In the French Community of Belgium, they are tested at 8, 10, 12, and 14.
The tests are new and there is still a lot of confusion on the tests and the legal situation around them. In Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of the country, children need to be registered for exams before age 12. If the parents fail to do so, the child is required to attend school. Those who are registered need to pass specific exams at age 13 and 15. If they fail one of those exams two times the parents need to register their child in a certified school.
- Status: Illegal
Home education was legal in Croatia in 1874 when Croatian law stated that parents have a duty to educate their children either at home or by sending them to school. The child had to pass an exam in a public school at the end of every school year.
The primary education in Croatia is compulsory from the age of six to fifteen and it spans eight grades.
In September 2010 a religious organisation Hrvatska kršćanska koalicija (Croatian Christian Coalition) submitted a proposal to change the law so home education would become legal in Croatia. The civil organisation Obrazovanje na drugi način (Another Way of Education) joined in and is now working on its own proposal.
The proposed model is based on Slovenian and Montenegrin model of home education. The child is required to enroll into a local school (public or private) and pass an annual exam in certain subjects (mother tongue and math only in lower grades; with addition of foreign language in middle grades and more subjects in higher grades). If the child does not pass all the exams in two attempts, it is ordered to continue the education with regular school attendance. Every year the parents have to notify the school by the end of May that they will be educating their child at home.
Like in the case of Slovenia and Montenegro, the proposed model does not impose any limitation on who can home educate. The parents educating their children at home are not eligible to receive any kind of state help. The schools are free to choose whether they will allow special arrangements with children educated at home (flexi-schooling, the use of school resources, participation in field trips and other school activities, etc.). The Ministry of Education and schools are not required to provide any form of help to parents of children educated at home (teacher guides, worksheets, consultation, etc.).
The proposed model was chosen as it requires minimal change to the existing law and would be possible to implement within the current educational framework. The Croatian Constitution, in the Article 63 paragraph 1, states that parents have a duty to school their children. Similarly, in the Article 65 paragraph 1, it states that primary schooling is compulsory and free. It is deeply ingrained in Croatian culture that education cannot happen without schooling.
As of July 2011 there are three alternative primary schools in Croatia – one Montessori and two Steiner Waldorf schools. Alternative schools in Croatia are required to follow national curriculum (Article 26 paragraph 1, Article 30).
- Status: Legal
The Ministry of Education began an experiment on September 1, 1998 in which home education was made a legal alternative for students in the first five years of elementary school. In 2004 home education, referred to as Individual Education, was enshrined in the Education Act for children within that age group. On September 1, 2007 a new experiment began allowing the home education of children up to the 9th grade.
- Status: Legal
It follows from § 76 in the Danish constitution that homeschooling is legal.
- Status: Legal
In Finland homeschooling is legal but unusual (400–600 children), which is in contrast to Sweden, where homeschooling is more restricted. The parents are responsible for the child getting the compulsory education and the advancements are supervised by the home municipality. The parents have the same freedom to make up their own curriculum as the municipalities have regarding the school, only national guiding principles of the curriculum have to be followed.
Choosing homeschooling means that the municipality is not obliged to offer school books, health care at school, free lunches or other privileges prescribed by the law on primary education, but the ministry of education reminds they may be offered. The parents should be informed of the consequences of the choice and the arrangements should be discussed.
- Status: Legal
Home education is legal in France and requires the child to be registered with two authorities, the 'Inspection Académique' and the local town hall (Mairie). Children between the ages of 6 and 16 are subject to annual inspection.
Every other two years, the social welfare, mandated by the mayor, verifies the reasons the family home educates and controls that the training provided is consistent with the health of the child. Parents will also be subject to annual inspections if they are teaching children between the ages of 6 and 16. Two consecutive unsatisfactory outcomes of these inspections can mean the parents will have to send their children to a mainstream school.
While homeschooling parents are free to teach their children in any way they like, the children must master the seven key competencies of the common foundation of competence at the end of the legal obligation (age 16). The key competencies are:
- Written and spoken French
- Maths/basic sciences and technology
- At least one foreign language
- French, European and World history and geography & Art
- Computer science
- Social and civic competences
- Initiative and autonomy
Homeschooled children must also demonstrate that they can:
- Ask questions
- Make deductions from their own observations and documents
- Be able to reason
- Generate ideas, be creative and produce finished work
- Use computers
- Use resources sensibly
- Evaluate risks
- Status: Illegal
Homeschooling is illegal in Germany with rare exceptions. Mandatory school attendance has been in place since 1918. The requirement to attend school has been upheld, on challenge from parents, by the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. Parents violating the laws have primarily or most prominently been Christians seeking a more religious education than that offered by the schools. Sanctions against these parents have included fines of thousands of euros, successful legal actions to remove children from the parents' custody, and prison sentences. It has been estimated that 600 to 1,000 German children are homeschooled, despite its illegality. Meanwhile, homeschooling is legal in Austria and Switzerland.
In a legal case commenced in 2003 at the European Court of Human Rights, a homeschooling parent couple argued on behalf of their children that Germany's compulsory school attendance endangered their children's religious upbringing, promoted teaching inconsistent with their Christian faith–-especially the German State's mandates relating to sex education in the schools—and contravened the declaration in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union that "the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions".
In September 2006, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the German ban on homeschooling, stating "parents may not refuse... [compulsory schooling] on the basis of their convictions", and adding that the right to education "calls for regulation by the State". The European Court took the position that the plaintiffs were the children, not their parents, and declared "children are unable to foresee the consequences of their parents' decision for home education because of their young age.... Schools represent society, and it is in the children's interest to become part of that society. The parents' right to educate does not go as far as to deprive their children of that experience."
The European Court endorsed a "carefully reasoned" decision of the German court concerning "the general interest of society to avoid the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions and the importance of integrating minorities into society."
In January 2010, a United States immigration judge granted asylum to a German homeschooling family, apparently based on this ban on homeschooling. In April 2013, a decision by a U.S. appeals court overruled this and denied the petition for asylum, on the grounds that Germany's law applies to every resident, and does not single out any specific religious group for persecution. A petition of March 2013 for granting full and permanent legal status to the family received a White House reply in August 2013 without comment on the legal case. In March 2014, the Supreme Court declined to hear the family's appeal, but the Department of Homeland Security granted the family indefinite deferred action status, allowing them to remain in the United States. In February 2015, a bill was introduced that would allow up to 500 grants of asylum per fiscal year to families fleeing home school persecution.
An operation carried out by special agents in 2013 sparked the interest of global news outlets. The incident involved the Wunderlich Family of Darmstadt who, despite previous incidents, continued homeschooling. Special agents forcibly removed and seized four children from their home and ordered parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich to attend a court hearing. Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association condemned the operation, calling it "an outrageous act by a rogue nation."
The 12 Tribes is one religious group that insists on home schooling and has been in conflict with authorities. On September 5, 2013, German police raided two communities and removed 40 children to protect them from supposed continued abuse. An investigative TV report had documented systematic child abuse in a 100-strong community in Bavaria, including "persistent beatings for the most trivial offences". A few days later, German media reported about the disappearance of about ten school-aged children from the small town of Dolchau. Probably they had been brought to a farm belonging to the 12 Tribes in the Czech Republic to elude intervention by the authorities who would ensure their public schooling.
- Status: Illegal
- Status: Legal
The Hungarian laws (Article 45, Act CXC of 2011) allow homeschoolers to teach their children as private students at home as long as they generally follow the state curriculum and have children examined twice a year. Homeschooled children still have to be registered with a state school where examinations are carried out, although parents can request independent exam boards. Homeschooling is more frequently requested for children with poor health or serious illnesses, who cannot otherwise attend school. When homeschooling is requested, school principals must seek advice from local child protection services or the notary of the local government if homeschooling would be disadvantageous for the child.
- Status: Generally Illegal
Homeschooling is legal only if home teacher has a teaching degree.
Republic of Ireland
- Status: Legal
From 2004 to 2006, 225 children had been officially registered with the Republic of Ireland's National Education Welfare Board, which estimated there may be as many as 1500–2000 more unregistered homeschoolers. The right to a home education is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ireland.
- Status: Legal
In Italy, homeschooling (called Istruzione Familiare in Italian) is legal by the Constitution: parents or their appointed agents must however prove having a technical and economical capability to teach their children. Homeschooled children are required to pass annual exams if and when the child wants to enter the state school system. Mandatory schooling ends when coming of age with the 18th birthday, although a pupil over 16 year of age, with the parents' agreement, may opt for workplace instruction. There is no compulsory central registration for homeschoolers in Italy and thus no official, nor democratically elected, homeschooling representatives and advocates.
- Status: Generally Illegal
In the Netherlands, homescholing is not a recognized form of education and every child is subject to compulsory education from his/her fifth birthday, with exemptions:
- the child is (physical / mental) unfit for school education,
- the parents having reservations about the (religious/philosophical) direction of education in all schools with appropriate education at a reasonable distance from the home
- the child is enrolled in and regularly visits a foreign school
Many in the first group and all in the second group are home schooled. Until 1969 homeschooling was a recognized form of education.
- Status: Legal
Homeschooling is legal. Municipality is responsible to check that the homeschooling's curriculum is "equal to" public schooling, but the wording of the law is vague and doesn't say how this is supposed to be done. Hence, every municipality do things differently. Some municipalities assist the parents by providing funding for educational materials, while other municipalities make it a child protection issue.
- Status: Legal
Homeschooling is only allowed on highly regulated terms. Every child must be enrolled in a school (as of 2009, the school does not need to be a public school). The school principal may, but is not obliged to, allow of homeschooling a particular child. Homeschooled children are required to pass annual exams covering material in school curriculum, and failure on an exam automatically terminates the homeschooling permit.
- Status: Legal
- Status: Legal
The number of homeschoolers in Russia has tripled since 1994 to approximately 1 million. There are at least two forms of education that look like homeschooling. Family education: homeschoolers are attached to an educational institution where they are allowed to participate in laboratory work and extracurricular activities, may use teacher support and the school library and do tests and exams in every subject. The State is obliged to pay the parents some money. Externship: Less regulated, homeschoolers only do exams but can move ahead faster than other students. The State is not obliged to pay the parents any money.
- Status: Legal
Home education (slo. izobraževanje na domu) is legal in Slovenia since 1996. The law regarding home education has not been changed since then. It is almost identical to Montenegrin model of home education. According to Slovenian Ministry of Education it was based on Danish model of home education.
The compulsory school-age starts at 6 and lasts for 9 years ( Page 18(8666) Article 45). The child being home educated is required to enroll into a local school (public or private) and pass annual exam in certain subjects (mother tongue and math only in lower grades; with addition of foreign language in middle grades and more subjects in higher grades, Page 22(8670) Article 90). If the child does not pass all the exams in two attempts, it is ordered to continue the education with regular school attendance. Every year the parents have to notify the school before starting new school year that they will be home educating their child.
There are no special requirements for parents wanting to home educate their children. Parents are not eligible for any kind of state help nor are schools required to provide any kind of assistance. The schools are free to choose (they often do) whether they will allow special arrangements with home educated children (flexi-schooling, the use of school resources, participation in field trips and other school activities, etc.). The Ministry of Education and schools are not required to provide any form of help to parents of home educated children (teacher guides, worksheets, consultation, etc.).
In the school year 2010/2011 97 children have been home educated.
As of July 2011 there are no organised home education groups in Slovenia.
- Status: Legal
Homeschooling is legal with obstacles in Slovak Republic. Child's tutor is required to have a degree with major in primary school education. However homeschooling is restricted only to the first four years of primary education.
- Status: Illegal
In Spain homeschooling is in somewhat of a legal vacuum. On the one hand in Article 27 the Spanish Constitution talks of compulsive education (not schooling), the freedom of teaching and the right of parents to choose their children's education in accordance with their own personal, moral and religious convictions. On the other hand, Spanish education law speaks of compulsive school attendance for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. (Sec. 4.2 Organic Law on Education 2/2006, of 3 May).
In 2010 a family went in front of the Spanish Constitutional Court to argue that the Spanish education laws are not in accordance with the parental rights granted by the Constitution and are therefore unlawful. The decision made by the Constitutional Court made it clear that current education laws were in fact lawful interpretations of the Constitution with the result that since 2010 effectively school attendance is considered mandatory in Spain for all children from 6 to 16. (STC 133/2010, of 2 December) However, the Constitutional Court also made it clear that the Constitution indeed only talks of compulsive education and that a change in the law to make homeschooling a legal alternative to regular school attendance would be a possible and lawful option for the future.
In 2009 the regional government of Catalonia amended its education law so that now according to article 55 "education without attendance to school" is a viable option. However the regulation of that right hasn't yet been developed. As a regional law it can't contradict the education law passed by the national parliament. Hence the newly amended Catalan law can only refer to pupils who have special needs or are for some other reason unable attend school regularly in order that they may have their educational rights met. (Sec. 3.9 Organic Law on Education 2/2006).
- Status: Virtually illegal
In Sweden, children are obligated to attend school from the age of 7. Homeschooling is not technically illegal within the country and is allowed as an afterschool activity for children who are attending school, but homeschooling as a substitute for school must be approved by the county. In 2010 Sweden passed a law (SFS 2010:800) that added further restrictions on homeschooling to an earlier law which was passed in 1985. Homeschooling is only allowed for certain specific reasons such as for children of parents working temporarily in the country. Homeschooling will not be approved based on religious beliefs or philosophical reasons, nor is there an automatic approval if the parent has had teacher training. Recent court cases have supported these restrictions on parents.
The Domenic Johansson custody case has been cited as an example of the difficulty in receiving permissions.
In 2009 a child called Domenic Johansson was taken from his parents (Christer Johansson, a Swedish citizen, and Annie Johansson, a native of India) while they were on board Turkish Air Flight 990, waiting for departure to the mother's home country India. Domenic was taken into custody by the Swedish police due to reports of the child being homeschooled. His parents opted to homeschool Domenic since they would be leaving the country later that year and since he had only turned seven a few months prior to the move. The Johanssons reported that the Minister of Education had approved the homeschooling, but that local officials had refused to supply them with educational materials and fined them for every day Domenic did not attend the local school. In June 2012 the Gotland district court ruled that the Johanssons should retain their parental rights over Domenic, which was later overturned by the appeals court.
- Status: Legal
- Status: Disputed
The Home School Legal Defense Association claims that homeschooling is legal and expressly allowed for in Ukraine’s Education Law, but local authorities do not always agree.
Homeschooling is mentioned swiftly in The Law of Ukraine on Education, article 59:
Parents and persons who substitute them shall be obliged to assist children to get education in educational institutions or provide them with full-value home education in accordance with the requirements to its content, level and scope.
- Status: Officially Legal (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own education laws each with slight variations regarding education otherwise than at school.)
Education provided outside a formal school system is primarily known as Home Education within the United Kingdom, the term Homeschooling is occasionally used for those following a formal, structured style of education – literally schooling at home. To distinguish between those who are educated outside of school from necessity (e.g. from ill health, or a working child actor) and those who actively reject schooling as a suitable means of education the term Elective Home Education is used.
The Badman Review in 2009 stated that "approximately 20,000 home educated children and young people are known to local authorities, estimates vary as to the real number which could be in excess of 80,000."
- Status: Legal
The Australian census does not track homeschooling families, but Philip Strange of Home Education Association, Inc. very roughly estimates 15,000. In 1995, Roland Meighan of Nottingham School of Education estimated some 20,000 families homeschooling in Australia.
In 2006, Victoria passed legislation requiring the registration of children up to the age of 16 and increasing the school leaving age to 16 from the previous 15, undertaking home education (registration is optional for those age of 16–17 but highly recommended). The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) is the registering body.
- Status: Legal
As of July 2011 there were 6,517 homeschooled pupils registered with the Ministry of Education. It is an increase of 23.6% since 1998. As at 1 July 2013, there were 5,521 home schooled students recorded in the Ministry of Education’s Homeschooling database. These students belong to 2,789 families and represent 0.7% of total school enrolments as at 1 July 2013. Out of the 5,521 homeschoolers 65% were the aged 12 or under, 66% had been home-schooled for less than 5 years, and only 4% had been home-schooled for 10 years or more.
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