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Home Schooling and GCSEs

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 8 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Education Gcse Children Home Schooling

Home schooling students who want to take GCSE qualifications (which usually last two years, and in schools culminate in exams usually taken at the age of 16, in school year 11) have several options to consider. While the school norms for GCSEs are outlined above, GCSEs can in fact be taken at any age, and while some home schooled children do decide to take these exams at 16, many decide to take one or two GCSE subjects per year from the age of around twelve or thirteen up to whatever year they decide to stop, perhaps continuing on to an A Level syllabus, or opting for vocational qualifications, or deciding not to take any further examined qualifications.

At 16 some home schooled students may alternatively decide to enrol at a college - either part time or full time - to take GCSEs, that is, to end their fully home schooled education. The latter option is most often selected when home schooled students require a particular qualification for a certain career or university course.

GCSE Examination Boards are not all the Same

Parents of home schooled children who are looking at taking GCSEs should be aware that not every examination board will cover the same subject, or have the same requirements. With literature subjects, for example, boards will set different texts in their syllabi, while some boards will include coursework as part of their examination requirements but others may not.

These issues should all be researched before embarking on a GCSE course. This information can be found in most GCSE text books, but some are board-specific so be careful about buying these (and in fact many libraries stock a large variety). Another good place to look is revision guides, which tend to provide information on the which boards ask for coursework, exams, oral examinations, etc. Past papers, available in high street book shops as well as online and from the examination boards direct, are another way to gauge which board's GCSEs you wish your child to take. There is usually a fee for these, however, so you may want to look at some online or wait until after a course decision has been made before purchasing them.

GCSE Coursework and Home Schooling

For many students coursework is a popular option as it lessens the importance of single examinations and can lead to reduced levels of stress (some marks are already 'in the bag' so pupils may worry less about making a mistake in an exam.) Coursework may include things like art or design and technology projects, essays, question responses or similar written work; it is carried out during the year in which GCSEs are studied and the marks from the coursework go towards a student's final grade.

Coursework can be difficult to arrange for a home educating teacher, however, as it must be marked by a neutral person and some boards have rules about who that person can be, his or her qualifications, etc. It is best to look into this before embarking on a GCSE course which includes coursework; another option is to take International GCSEs, IGCSEs, which do not have coursework components.

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My daughter suffers from severe anxiety at school so we are taking her out of school I understand all about home schooling but how do I go about getting her in to college in February 2020 when she actually is 16 to do her English and maths Gcse Many thanks
Catherine - 8-Oct-19 @ 8:19 AM
My 15 year old is in her last year in school but for the past 2 years has had nothing but problems with the teachers she is now asking if I can home school her and pull her out as she has had enough of being blamed for everything when she ain't done it. Can I put her forward to into college to finish her education. Any help is greatly appreciated
Tiger - 3-Oct-19 @ 5:46 PM
i have a 16 year old son who is doing UAL level 2 at college in creative media. he did ok in his GCSE’s but got a 1 in his maths as he has dyscalculia - he hates his maths lessons at college and has started to miss his lessons which is unlike him - am i by law allowed to home school him in maths - i am an art teacher secondary school qualified -
charlie - 26-Sep-19 @ 10:41 PM
KAMMY forget to mention, you can refuse a home visit but it's a good idea to keep them informed of your home education plan.
Sophia - 18-Sep-19 @ 11:20 AM
Hi KAMMY, I am in the same situation. I have just de registered my child yr11 from school. You need to write an official letter to de register your daughter, to the head teacher. You do not have to give specific reasons . Go to the website education otherwise.org , it's extremely helpful and they have sample letters to download, just fill in the blanks, your name, daughters name etc. Cliick on download resources. The school will then inform the local authority. Apparently they might or might not request a home visit but will want to see some proof of home education, this could be an email or in writing. Check the site I mentioned out because it will give you the correct advice for when this happens. My child is doing English and Maths gcse online with ISC learn but you have to pay, they do monthly instalments. From 16, you will be able to get your daughter to do gcses in a college for free. Try and find advice from your local connexions. Hope that helped a bit. Good luck.
Sophia - 18-Sep-19 @ 11:15 AM
Hi my daughter as problems with her secondary school she as just how into year 11 her last year I'm thinking of taking her out and home schooling as I'm fed up with going in for meetings and them putting the blame on my daughter.how do I help her with school work and how do I get her to do her GCSE where would she go to do them and do anyone need to come out to see us
Kammy - 12-Sep-19 @ 10:36 PM
Hi Is there any special consideration allowed in marking for home schoolers taking GCSEs My daughter attended at a local centre which was very stressful at the time. Thanks
Ls - 12-Sep-19 @ 8:40 PM
Hi. I am 17 years old and I did not pass exams in college I want to take exams again in November, I want to pay for it
Mihail - 11-Sep-19 @ 7:12 PM
@blueThank you so much for your homeschooling advice. That was a huge help and I have now taken the first steps and de registered my son from high school. Could you please tell me if you prefer ICS or Cloud Learn? Many thanks.
Sophia - 9-Sep-19 @ 4:57 PM
Hey, I have just gone into year 11, meaning this is my final year until I do my GCSEs in June. However, I wanted to start homeschooling and want to know how it works and how i will be able to get in to it:)
izi - 1-Sep-19 @ 9:30 PM
My 15 year old daughter has been having a lot of issues with her school and has had problems with her attendance so I was wondering if there was any chance she could take her GCSE exams at a college of her choosing and how we would go about it. Regards Michelle Austin
Mich - 30-Aug-19 @ 10:36 AM
Although I have found a coursework free GCSE. How can you meet the spoken language element of an AQA English Language GCSE if you are being homeschooled in South London?
LBS - 21-Aug-19 @ 7:49 PM
Hello, I am Capy. I would like to know if my daughter is in Year 10,can she enroll in your program? If yes,please give me more information and your conditions. Best regards, Capy.
Capy - 30-Jun-19 @ 4:17 PM
If Iunrole my son in year 10 can he go to college in year 11 to do a course and GCSE
Char - 22-Jun-19 @ 11:05 AM
Hi i tok my daughter out of education through bullyung through constant meetung she would not settled so i agreed to home schooling but now she wants ti return to school to do her gcse but has been put in a veryow class wjich has prevented her from doing her gcses she is devasted can i iverturn tjis
Wendy - 18-May-19 @ 12:06 PM
Homeschooling my daughters. Firstly, do not worry about homeschooling and the law. If you are currently in high school and want to leave. You will need your parent/carer to send a letter into the head teacher saying this: Dear ....... From the 22nd Jan (or whatever date) I am withdrawing my daughter/son (your name) from (high school name). Thank you for all your support during their time at the school. I shall now be homeschooling and will inform the local authority of my decision. We wish you all the best. Many thanks (Name of Parent & Sign) It is that simple. You do not have to explain any reason why you are withdrawing from school. You will more than likely get a phone call from the school trying to get you to stay there and offering lots of amazing things they can do! Its all about them not wanting it on the record that they have lost another pupil. Secondly, you need to get your parent to send another letter or a quick email to the local council/authority. You need to address it to the 'home education department'. Again tell them you are withdrawing from school. Add a little more detail in. So my daughters do the online study with ICS Learn and Cloud Learn and sit one GCSE a year. Give them the information about the course. Legally, you do NOT have to engage with the home education professional. You do not have a legal requirement to visit them or let them visit you in the family home. I refused a home visit and told them if they have concerned I am not educating my kids correctly then they will need to provide a legal reason. They wrote back agreeing that that could not make me engage with them. What you do need to do is have a plan. So what are you studying in your first year? Who are you studying with(online/private tutor)? What are you doing for fitness? What are you doing to maintain friendships? Don't be aggressive with the local authority as they will feel you have something to hide. Be smart and let them know your plan. Each year you will get a friendly email to ask how you're getting on. I send the woman an email back with details how the homeschooling is going and if they did a GCSE I tell her. Everyone has a misconception about homeschooling. But it is as simple as that - Send two letters, one to high school and one to the local authority. If you are at primary school you don't need to send anything. You just simply leave. You will have your vaccination letters in the post when they are due and you have them at the doctors. When you want to sit an exam. Google 'Local Private Candidate colleges' and book with them. Its cheaper than the online course booking with them. Lastly, don't be fobbed off with the pastoral care department at high school.They told me they will place my daughter in a single classroom for a couple of weeks.That is not the answer to all the problems she was having. She was really stressed at the time. If you're not happy in school if you have issues and can't cope in a school enviro
blue - 22-Jan-19 @ 9:03 AM
I live near to Wrexham and this is not my born country, I am 17 years old in year 11and I live here from 1 year and I am really confused about this because I don't know what I can do because is different between England and Wales and no one knows what I can to do to move on to home studying and I really need help from someone who know
Viktor227 - 16-Jan-19 @ 11:47 AM
Hey, I am in year 11 right now and have been struggling with anxiety since year 7. My school has attempted many times to give me support but they have all been quite half effort tries and were never effective. It's gotten to the point that I vomit almost every day before school and without access to my phone under any circumstances at school although I have friends, I feel no escape from the horrid place. I would really like to enrol in an online GCSE course to finish year 11 successfully however I have no idea where to start; I have been on some websites that offer online GCSE's but they all say to just sign up an that's the end of it however surely I have to inform my school? and aren't there legal requirements for the number of hours spent at "school" - (online studying) - a day? If anyone could fill me in on the process of moving got online schooling i would be really grateful.
saf - 10-Jan-19 @ 4:59 PM
Sorry for the grammar mistake! I am gonna change it now. Hello, Please can the head of this website or whoever actually replies to these comments hurry up and reply to the last 8 messages including my own as a lot of us would like a reply soon or before Christmas and one of the 8 who sent the message including me has been waiting for over four months for a reply which is very long time to wait for one and I don’t think she has anymore patience or if she does have anymore patience I think she would only have very little patience. Can the head of this website or whoever actually replies start looking at this website more often and reply to comments as soon as they are on there or very quickly or within 50 hours of them coming up on the website just in case messages that come up on the website are urgent. Thanks.
Squeaky Squoo - 24-Dec-18 @ 7:38 PM
Sorry for the grammarmistake! I am gonna change it now. Hello, Please can the head of this website or whoever actually replies to these comments hurry up and reply to the last 8 messages including my own as a lot of us would like a reply soon or before Christmas and one of the 8 who sent the message including me has been waiting for over four months for a reply which is very long time to wait for one and I don’t think she has anymore patience or if she does have anymore patience I think she would only have very little patience. Can the head of this website or whoever actually replies start looking at this website more often and reply to comments as sooon as they are on there or very quickly or within 50 hours of them coming up on the website just in case messages that come up on the website are urgent. Thanks.
Mikey J - 24-Dec-18 @ 5:49 PM
Hello, Please can the head of this website or whoever actually replies to these comments hurry up and reply to the last 8 messages including my own as a lot of us would like a reply soon or before Christmas and one of the 8 who sent the message including me has been waiting for over four months for a reply which is very long time to wait for one and I don’t think she has anymore patience or if she does have anymore patience I think she would only have very little patience. Can the head of this website or whoever actually replies start looking at this website more often and reply to comments as sooon as there on their or very quickly or within 50 hours of them coming up on the website just in case messages that come up on the website are urgent. Thanks.
Tychael - 21-Dec-18 @ 5:02 PM
I have a 14 year old son who suffers with extreme anxiety and autism he has not attended school since September 2017. He is receiving teaching and learning support in a teaching centre and is still on his school role but is finding this increasingly difficult and is unable to attend. We were considering home schooling with IGCSE however my concern is he would not be able to get to an assessment centre to undertake the exams. Is there an option for him to undertake the exams at home?
Sjmars - 19-Dec-18 @ 3:54 PM
Hi, I have home schooled my two children for ten years.It works for us as a family. Never allow anyone to question your decision on what makes your children happy, confident and spending more time with their parents.Avoid negative people and if this is not possible show you are confident in your decisions. After all, you taught then to walk, talk and learn, never underestimate yourself! I ordered a catalogue from Schofield and Sims. I mark off the books I have ordered for example KS1 Maths, KS1 English, KS1 Science and continue on with each subject as we learn. When my child is confident in that subject we move on. History, I use CGP Books, again marking off the subject in stages. I do the same for History with CGP. WHSmith have all the language books if you need them. Encourage sewing, cooking, first-aid, art, anything to encourage learning. Join a local Scout group, martial arts, visit museums, swim, pack a picnic and enjoy nature! Most of all enjoy watching your children learn and become confident. I hope this helps. All the best!
Lisa - 5-Dec-18 @ 2:56 PM
I live near Rugby and I want to resit my French GCSE exams. I have heard there is an exam centre in Coventry, can you tell me if this still exists? Or if there are any other exam centres nearby? Thank you.
Mike - 2-Dec-18 @ 12:24 PM
My son is 14 in year 10 and I've decided to home school him as he struggles with subjects were just going to concentrate on English and Maths he started his option Gcse in year 9 where do I start ? What do I need to do to get started haven't a clue .
Turks - 21-Nov-18 @ 11:31 PM
Hi. We left UK for personal reasons and have relocated to Portugal. My 13 year old was devastated to leave his friends and has spent a year in a Portuguese school where he was treated dismally by a teacher because he could not communicate in Portuguese. Want to homeschool him for year 8 but have no clue where to start. His self confidence has gone from 10 to 0 and is displaying worrying signs of rage. Help please?
Lilly - 15-Oct-18 @ 2:30 PM
Hey, I have just gone into year 11, meaning this is my final year until I do my GCSEs in June. However, I have just started doing homeschooling and have no idea what to do. Is there some curriculum that tells me what I should be learning? Do I have to talk to someone? Can someone please help me as time is of the essence. Also, I know that you are required to have at least 5 GCSE qualifications at grade c or above to do your A-levels but how many do homeschoolers need? Do homeschoolers have to take 5 GCSEs too? If so how do I go about taking those courses. For example, how do I do homeschooling for business studies? I'm really confused and any help would be amazing! Thanks, Scarlet.
Scarlet - 3-Oct-18 @ 11:53 AM
Just recently took my 13 year old daughter out of school now home schooling. How does she go about meeting other kids thst are in same situation for friendship, support etc would be grateful for ant advice.
Chel - 24-Sep-18 @ 8:05 PM
Hi .. like many of the other comments here we have also found ourselves in a position where our son currently year 11 is now out of school it was our decision to pull him out and begin the process of homeschooling him through his final year. Unfortunately the lack of qualified teachers at his last school, the drop in grades, making him have low self esteem and feeling under too much pressure eventually led us to this position we are now in. My husband and I both work full time so finding enough time to tutor him ourselves is hard we have now got a one on one maths and English tutor coming twice a week and actively looking for a science tutor but we don't what to do as regards GCSE'S that are also marked on coursework ? We obviously want to best for him and any help or assistance we would be most grateful .. thank you
LLMarie - 17-Sep-18 @ 9:26 PM
Miranda - Your Question:
I’m 14 and in Year 10, is it possible to move to homeschooling even though I have already started some of my GCSE courses? I don’t fit in at school anymore and feel really left out all my best friends have got other best friends which they’d prefer to be around so I’m left on my own.

Our Response:
If you have someone (a tutor etc) who can provide you a suitable education/supervision, this is possible. We suggest however, that you talk to your form tutor, head of year or pastoral team about your concerns first.
AHomeEducation - 12-Sep-18 @ 12:55 PM
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