Home > Qualifications > Home Schooling and GCSEs

Home Schooling and GCSEs

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 21 Sep 2020 | 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My son is in his last year at school, and he has never really done well at school, he just doesn't fit into the conformity of school life. I am really worried that he's going to come out of school with nothing, and there doesn't seem to be an option for him to do less GCSEs.I would prefer he just concentrate on English, Maths and possibly Science.Therefore, I am wondering whether homeschooling him would be best to concentrate on the 3 topics, or perhaps even doing functional skills instead. Any suggestions or advice would be great.
Sarah - 21-Sep-20 @ 9:13 AM
Hi I’m thinking of home schooling my 14yr old daughter as she suffers terrible anxiety and school really triggers this but I don’t have a clue where to begin? I don’t know what subjects she needs to do and I don’t have a clue about exams and things as she will want to do performing arts at college when she turns 16 Would love to talk to somebody for help and advice
Kate - 4-Sep-20 @ 3:26 PM
Hi my daughter is in the last year of school year 11 she wont go to school lost all her friends through bulling and suffers from anxiety, iam looking to get her some home schooling and haven't a clue where to start and how much this would cost us. She wants to do history, chemistry , biology, physics , maths,English & art please could you help us we need this help for her asap regards Anth.
Anth - 27-Aug-20 @ 4:41 PM
I am a private LAMDA coach and one of my students attends a school which has discontinued Drama GCSE at her school. She is looking to undertake it along side her school studies. Does anyone have advise how to go this? Her mum has asked me and i’m stumped.
maxw - 10-Aug-20 @ 12:14 PM
Hello Parents, I am an experienced tutor. I teach a multitude of subjects, from English and Maths to Science and History and many more. My company, Bethan’s Tutoring Service, is just myself at the moment, and I have a lot of availability. I also have a lot of tools and helpful items. You can find me on Facebook, with my prices and experience and some reviews. Thank you very much Bethan Linbourn
Bethan’s Tutoring Se - 14-Jul-20 @ 4:18 PM
hi my son is 14 and will be going into year 10 in September.he is strugglingto keep up to speed with school work and has found it hard to maintainhis school work. He has been bulliedand has lost all his friends.he has told me he doesn't want togo back to school as it give him stressand I can see signs ofdepression.Would it be possible formeto find out if I can remove him from school and get him a tutor at home or at alocal teachers house .I would need to no a weekly cost as I don't no weather this would be in my budget. Awaitingyour answer many thanks
frank - 5-Jul-20 @ 8:11 PM
NAJAF - 6-Apr-20 @ 2:50 PM
My daughter is in her last year of school, she has only got three months left until exams but Is really struggling socially. She has been have trouble with anxiety and depression since year nine but has battled through it. She’s a had working student who is predicted 6-7s. But after my conversation we think it would be best to homeschool her for the remaining months. I just have questions about how and where she will be able to do her GCSEs and what’s involved and most importantly can we do it?
Katie - 3-Mar-20 @ 3:43 PM
Are there any suggestions / answers to the question in this thread . My 14 yr old has diagnosed tic syndrome . Despite the psychiatrist diagnosis and recommendations to his school on how he should be treated , he is isolated , shouted at and punished by his school .I withdrew him today for not following the professional advice .Help!
SAN - 6-Feb-20 @ 10:26 PM
Hi could someone please tell me what books I need to get for gcse maths and English for my daughter I have decided to homeschool her after he school refused to deal with the constant bullying , any help given would be very much appreciated , thank you
Cristina - 14-Jan-20 @ 2:36 PM
Hi My 15 yr old is in year 11.He is diagnosed with ADHD and is going through the assessment for ASD.He is very bright and predicted 7, 8, and 9s in his GCSEs but despite many meetings/emails/conversations, school still fails to make reasonable adjustments and he is constantly misunderstood and ending up in isolation.It is seriously impacting his mental health and his confidence.We are thinking of deregistering him and getting him through the next 6 months with homeschooling.If we did this, how can we register him for his exams on the same exam boards that he has been studying and with the current access arrangements that his is entitled to please?
kittykhl - 12-Dec-19 @ 4:18 PM
Hi, am considering home ed for my 14 year old, she is in year 10, are there any active home ed groups in west london, we are based in wembley, my biggest fear is social isolation for my child, she also wants to pursue art so any idea on how to access art GCSE at college or private facilities?many thanks
Kally - 4-Dec-19 @ 11:15 AM
My kids 12 and 14 both have additional needs, my daughter has irlen syndrome and wears coloured glasses and dyslexia and she is autistic and my son i believe is aspergers and struggles in silence as he is scared of getting told off for asking for help, but no one is helping them at school.My daughter is in isolation alot because of silly things like talking and doodling and generally not been able to control her autism traits alot of her traits are stimulants like drawing.she has drawn some small circles in her planner because she was stressed out in a test now this is classed as graffiti and if i dont buy another planner she will be isolated again until i do buy one.I am not sending her or my son to school again.I feel this is child abuse,to place children in a isolation booth all day is certainly against human rights.Schools these days are placing children with addtional needs in these isolation booths to remove them from been educated instead of putting funds into helping them with tactics or learning aids to help them.I feel they are doing this to make the school look good from the outside and justifying the abuse by including it in their behaviour policies.I am home schooling as of tomorrow.
Vics - 25-Nov-19 @ 7:50 PM
Hi , My 14 yr old daughter is having nothing but problems with teachers and students alike. The school seem to be doing nothing and she is also asking to be home schooled any advice greatly appreciated as she now has stopped going in all together very stressful
Kirsty - 4-Nov-19 @ 10:06 AM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments