Home Education And The National Curriculum

As a home educator have you every wonders ‘Do I have to follow the national curriculum?’ The simple answer is no as a home educator there is no legal requirement to follow the national curriculum.

What Is The National Curriculum?

The national curriculum was first introduced in 1988 and the last major update was in 2014. It sets out subjects and standards to be used by primary and secondary schools.

According to the government website

  • “The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said, and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.”

Do All Schools Follow The National Curriculum?

The National Curriculum is not compulsory for all schools – only state primaries and secondaries (schools run by local authorities). Schools that don’t have to follow the curriculum are academies, Free schools and private schools do not have to follow the national curriculum and  home educators also do not have to follow. 

Why The National Curriculum Could Be Useful For Home Education?

Whilst it is not compulsory to follow the national curriculum it can be a useful resource.  First if your child may be returning to school at a later date then if you follow the national curriculum you will know that the appropriate skills have been covered. 

Secondly, if you are unsure what information, knowledge and skills to cover with your children the national curriculum can help guide you with information and ideas for your home education planning. 

The national curriculum covers all stages from keystage 1 through to 4.  Take a look at the government website to download the different national curriculum frameworks for England.

As a home educator make sure that you are familiar with your rights by reading the government Elective Home Education Guidelines.