Home education is a key aspect of parental choice and the Council respects the wish of parents who choose to educate their child at home.
Home education is a right conditional upon parents providing an efficient education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child.
The council will support parents who choose to home educate by providing advice and information. Parents are advised that the Council is required by law to make sure the education provided at home is appropriate for the child.
Taking a child out of school
If your child has attended a council run school in West Dunbartonshire you must ask our permission before taking your child out of school. A request to home educate should be made in writing to the Executive Director of Educational Services.
Any request should include the following information:
- your child's name and date of birth
- your home address
- your child's present school and class
- the main providers of education input
- the range of curriculum areas planned
- any provision of physical activity
- the main resources to be used
- an indication of the provision of social activities
- the reasons for wishing to home educate (there is no obligation to provide this information).
We may ask you for further information and we may gather information from other agencies. A part of this process will include asking your child how they feel about home education.
You will receive a response in writing from the Council to inform you if we have granted our consent for you to home educate.
Guidance on a suitable home education
When you have started to home educate your child we will maintain contact with you on a regular basis. We will make contact with you at least once a year in order that we can satisfy the requirement that the education being provided is efficient and suitable.
We would expect your child's education to include:
- recognition of your child's needs, aptitude and aspiration
- a range of learning experiences
- a broad spectrum of activities appropriate to your child's stage of development
- access to appropriate resources
- appropriate levels of physical activity
- the opportunity to interact with other children and adults.
Where we have concerns with the education you are providing we will give details of the concerns and the reasons for them. You will also be given the opportunity to improve the education being provided.
We respect your right to educate your child at home and will make every effort to resolve issues.
Child protection issues
If you employ other people to educate your child then you are responsible for making sure they are suitable. We strongly advise you to take up references and ask for a PVG (protection of vulnerable groups) check.
Local authority support
Denise McKinnon, Quality Improvement Officer is the main contact for the Council if you have any questions about home education or if you require advice and support.
Opportunities are available to study for recognised qualifications if you home educate. Your child can study by:
Enrolling at college
Some colleges may accept children of school age on their courses. If accepted, you are responsible for payment of course fees. Contact the college for more details. The local college is West College Scotland's Clydebank Campus, telephone on 0300 600 60 60.
If you prefer to work independently towards qualifications you will need to meet the conditions of the exam board. If accepted, you are responsible for payment of the registration fee. To find out more information please contact the Scottish Qualifications Authority on 0845 279 1000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many correspondence courses available which vary in cost and content.
Organisations which offer correspondence courses include:
- Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC) on 020 7612 7090 or at email@example.com
- Association of British Correspondence Courses (ABCC) on 020 8544 9559 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
- British Association of Open Learning (BAOL) on 01462 485588 or at email@example.com
Help and advice
Organisations which can help you to home educate include: