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Home Schooling and GCSEs

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 15 Sep 2017 | 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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[Add a Comment]
kevchlo1 - Your Question:
Hello I just turned 16 and m in year 11 and I am thinking about leaving school because of many ongoing issues, however I do not know how I would go about my GCSEs. is there anywhere else I could go for private one to one lessons or who should my parents talk to about a tutor coming to my house and teaching me everything I need t know??pat

Our Response:
Your parents can search locally for private tutors - there are also some agencies that offer private tuition as well.
AHomeEducation - 18-Sep-17 @ 11:23 AM
hello i just turned 16 and m in year 11 and i am thinking about leaving school because of many ongoing issues, however i do not know how i would go about my GCSEs. is there anywhere else i could go for private one to one lessons or who should my parents talk to about a tutor coming to my house and teaching me everything i need t know??pat
kevchlo1 - 15-Sep-17 @ 3:49 PM
We have just returned to the UK after 9 years in New Zealand. My children's NCEA (NZ educational standards aren't recognised here) I want to school my 17 and 19 year old through GCSE math and English but I really don't know where to start. Can anyone advise?
NZ mum - 31-Aug-17 @ 3:48 PM
One of my lads has just finished A Levels but he wants to study Maths at either Cambridge or Warwick Universities. However, getting straight A*s isn't enough to get across the threshold of those establishments - they demand good grades (esp. Cambridge) in their entrance exam for Maths degrees, STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) Mathematics. No schools in our area teach up to that standard - A Levels are as far as they go. So, he wants to take a year out to study for STEP and probably study for an extra A Level but - again - it's not in a subject taught at any local schools! Money is in short supply due to health problems and I have been heavily reliant on Child Tax Credits. But these are supposed to stop when a child enters further education. I have requested they reconsider this in our situation because he won't be entering further education in September but continuing with pre-further education studies.However, since his high school, and no others in the area, are able to teach him the subjects he wants to cover, our only option is home study. The Tax office rules are that CTCs can only be paid when a child is receiving supervised tuition for at least 12 hours a week (not including breaks!)I am wondering if anyone else has come up against this issue? And if so, what evidence must be shown to prove the Tax office rules are being followed, that there is supervised tuition for 12+ hours in a week?Anyone?
Gra' - 15-Aug-17 @ 8:47 PM
Bec - Your Question:
My daughter has been homeschooled for the last 18 months due to severe bullying at mainstream school.She would be going into year 11 after this summer holiday.She wants to go back to school but no school will take her due to her going into year 11. Can she go to college instead and sit her GCSE's in maths and English there? If so, how do I go about this? Thank you.

Our Response:
Most colleges will only take pupils over the age of 16 / in year 12. Ask your local education authority (usually the council or county council) for help with this. It's worth checking with local colleges too as some FE colleges have been given funding for 14 - 16 year olds in recent years.
AHomeEducation - 9-Aug-17 @ 11:45 AM
My daughter has been homeschooled for the last 18 months due to severe bullying at mainstream school. She would be going into year 11 after this summer holiday. She wants to go back to school but no school will take her due to her going into year 11. Can she go to college instead and sit her GCSE's in maths and English there? If so, how do I go about this? Thank you.
Bec - 7-Aug-17 @ 4:36 PM
After reading comments from kids on here, my heart truly goes out to you, my 12yr old daughter came home today crying from frustration at her school, she has been previously home schooled & just decided to do lots of work over summer to see if she can sit GCSE's over the next few years. I can only tell you what I tell her, turn every lesson in to something you love, my daughter wants to be an Architectural engineer, so every subject homework she bases it on that, it's so frustrating adults have forgotten what it's like to be a kid, where so much is expected of you and you get no respect in return, I hope one day I'm able to launch an idea I've had for a while of something to replace schools, where you pick the things you love to do and core subjects are taught in relation to those things, and you are all taught real life skills...I know you must feel stuck right now, but maybe write yourself a list of the things that anger/stress you and work out how you can change your reaction to those things, focus on the things you do have control over
Sophia-mum - 14-Jul-17 @ 7:50 PM
Hi I am 13 years old and don't wanna go school ....I can't cope with children and I feel better working alone but my mom says it is impossible for me to be homeschooled what do I do and I'm going in year 9 soon.i hate going school I need help ...
Nikki - 14-Jun-17 @ 11:02 PM
Hi, I'm in the middle of year 10 and I hate the thought of going to school, it really frustrates and upsets me about having to go. I often fall out with my parents about not wanting to go. I would like to get homeschooled but I don't know if we could afford it. Do you have any advice?
mlse - 24-May-17 @ 6:17 PM
My daughter is currently studying R.E., Sociology and Psychology.
Fran - 6-May-17 @ 9:03 AM
My daughter currently attends Sixth Form, she is in her first year of a-levels and would like to be home schooled. Do you have any ideas where I can get advice and support?
Fran - 6-May-17 @ 9:01 AM
Hi, my son is home-schooled and would like to do GCSE's in the science subjects but I keephearing that he can't do GCSEs in science because he would not be having the practical elements as he is home-schooled . Is this true? Can he only do IGCSE then for the science subjects?
rose - 4-May-17 @ 5:59 PM
se162ug - Your Question:
I was just wondering, my friends daughter has just stared being home-schooled and apparently she don't have to teach her daughter science, is this true? thank you

Our Response:
Home schooled children are expected to be provided with "broad/efficient full time education". While subjects are not listed specifically, an education would not be considered very broad without any science.
AHomeEducation - 4-May-17 @ 2:14 PM
I was just wondering, my friends daughter has just stared being home-schooled and apparently she don't have toteach her daughter science, is this true? thank you
se162ug - 3-May-17 @ 10:14 PM
Jas - Your Question:
Hello My child has been homeschooled for 3years.W e dont think we have done enough work but my daughter wants to catch up and go back to school.Would this be possible at such a late stage year 10.

Our Response:
It may still be possible. You could try employing a private tutor in the interim period. Contact the school that your daughter hopes to return to and ask them for information about what needs to be done.
AHomeEducation - 19-Apr-17 @ 11:59 AM
Hello My child has been homeschooled for 3years . W e dont think we have done enough work but my daughter wants to catch up and go back to school. Would this be possible at such a late stage year 10 .
Jas - 16-Apr-17 @ 9:51 PM
Megen.xo - Your Question:
Hi, I was just wondering if anyone could tell me where homeschooled students take their GSCE's. Do they have to go into a school or can they take them at home?

Our Response:
You would normally have to go into a school or an exam centre. Contact the relevant exam boards and ask them.
AHomeEducation - 11-Apr-17 @ 11:35 AM
Hi, I was just wondering if anyone could tell me where homeschooled students take their GSCE's. Do they have to go into a school or can they take them at home?
Megen.xo - 9-Apr-17 @ 4:51 PM
Hi all, my daughter 16 is moving from South Africa to UK in about a month, are there any suggestions for her to get her GCSE and what subjects are required. Many thanks
Jackie - 29-Mar-17 @ 2:51 PM
Joe - Your Question:
I am writing because I'm concerned of what my possibilities are at college and what I can choose to do, currently I am getting home schooled but do find it quite challenging I haven't learnt much at school for when I have been there and have forgotten pretty much everything I'm probably meant to know for my GCSEs this worries me greatly, I can't go to school because of reasons I wouldn't really like to say but basically no schools would accept me due to my old younger self behaviour but now I was wondering if I don't take sit my gcses this year can I redo my gcses at college with a proper teacher next year and then sit my gcses at college? I would love to be in proper education right now but I have messed that up for myself so yeah can I redo my gcses all at college for free of charge?

Our Response:
Yes this should be feasible. It's really good to learn that you have recognised that your previous behaviour was not great and want to do better.
AHomeEducation - 29-Mar-17 @ 2:40 PM
I am writing because I'm concerned of what my possibilities are at college and what I can choose to do, currently I am getting home schooled but do find it quite challenging I haven't learnt much at school for when I have been there and have forgotten pretty much everything I'm probably meant to know for my GCSEs this worries me greatly, I can't go to school because of reasons I wouldn't really like to say but basically no schools would accept me due to my old younger self behaviour but now i was wondering if I don't take sit my gcses this year can I redo my gcses at college with a proper teacher next year and then sit my gcses at college? I would love to be in proper education right now but I have messed that up for myself so yeah can I redo my gcses all at college for free of charge?
Joe - 28-Mar-17 @ 2:05 PM
Susie - Your Question:
Hi, I'm fifteen and have recently been unable to go to school because of anxiety. My mum has phoned the school but they refuse to send work for me home and it is really worrying my because I really value my education is there anyway for me to learn my GCSE work without having to be thrown into an environment with a lot of people?

Our Response:
If the school is refusing to provide work, you need to arrange a meeting to discuss the way forward - this may involve encouraging/ supporting your child to attend. If necessary, speak with your Local education Authority as well
AHomeEducation - 23-Mar-17 @ 2:50 PM
Hi, I'm fifteen and have recently been unable to go to school because of anxiety. My mum has phoned the school but they refuse to send work for me home and it is really worrying my because I really value my education is there anyway for me to learn my GCSE work without having to be thrown into an environment with a lot of people?
Susie - 23-Mar-17 @ 4:11 AM
i'm currently 15 years old and have been to a phycatric ward for 6 months for my depression and bpd. I haven't been in normal education wince year 8 and I find going to school a big herdle for me . I am at a stepping stone school at the moment but my 12 weeks is almost up and they want to basically just throw me back into main stream school. Though I understand the situation , I don't want to get ill again and I think school would just not help . I want to go to college and do my GCSES there as people are more mature , they want to be there , and I really don't want to give up my education . Is going to college to take my gcses at 15 impossible ??
hayday - 7-Mar-17 @ 2:29 PM
I am 14 years old ( year 10 ) This year I am taking 3 GCSE exams Dutch , English language and statistics However in year 11 I want to be homeschooled as we are moving to Dubai . I was wondering if I could continue with the same exam boards and syllabus as my school that I am enrolled in now . Also where would I get the recourses from to homeschool and how wouldI know why a recourses to get and how how would I enter or signup for my exams ?
Sumaya - 4-Mar-17 @ 5:09 PM
Rachel - Your Question:
I am 15 years old and do not like going to school due to personal problems, my attendance is very weak and I always wake up not wanting to go. My school wont send me work to do and have threatened to take my mum to court. I hate being there and am starting to develop anxiety and depression. what should I do????

Our Response:
Please speak to someone at school first. Does your school have a pastoral adviser or welfare officer? They should be able to help you with your worries and anxiety. Your GP may also be able to help you with a referral for counselling, therapy or other treatment options. Please do try and share your worries rather than thinking home schooling will be a solution at this stage of education. If you are left with no option but to try home schooling, you will need to do lots of research - there are plenty of forums and resources on the Internet. The main exam boards also have information that might help.
AHomeEducation - 24-Feb-17 @ 11:23 AM
I'm looking into home schooling but I'm doing dance and drama GCSEs how would I do them at home?
Paige - 23-Feb-17 @ 12:26 PM
I'm a year 9 student (homeschooled till September) I am doing great it science and maths but English is something I'm stuck on anyone have any ideas what I can do?
Roxana - 23-Feb-17 @ 11:34 AM
I am 15 years old and do not like going to school due to personal problems, my attendance is very weak and I always wake up not wanting to go. My school wont send me work to do and have threatened to take my mum to court. I hate being there and am starting to develop anxiety and depression. what should I do????
Rachel - 21-Feb-17 @ 6:05 PM
Queenie - Your Question:
I'm 15 nearly 16 (year 11) and have not been going to school due to anxiety problems. My school won't send me work to do, but they said I can go in for my exams, (which I don't want to sit at that school). Is there any other places I can sit exams rather than a school, and would my parents have to pay for the exams?

Our Response:
Try contacting your local education authority (usually the county council, but if not, they will refer you to the right place) and asking them if you can take your exams elsewhere. They may be able to arrange this for you. Unfortunately we can't say whether your parents would have to pay or not.
AHomeEducation - 16-Feb-17 @ 12:39 PM
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Latest Comments
  • AHomeEducation
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    kevchlo1 - Your Question:Hello I just turned 16 and m in year 11 and I am thinking about leaving school because of many ongoing issues,…
    18 September 2017
  • kevchlo1
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    hello i just turned 16 and m in year 11 and i am thinking about leaving school because of many ongoing issues, however i do not know…
    15 September 2017
  • lewy
    Re: How Can I Help My Son to Pass His GCSEs?
    I have been home schooling my daughter since the end of June, she has suffered anxiety at school since the age of…
    6 September 2017
  • Suki
    Re: Using Past Papers for Exam
    Hi just started home schooling my 12year old . Is it optional for them to sit exams, how do they apply for college if not got exam…
    1 September 2017
  • NZ mum
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    We have just returned to the UK after 9 years in New Zealand. My children's NCEA (NZ educational standards aren't recognised here) I…
    31 August 2017
  • Gra'
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    One of my lads has just finished A Levels but he wants to study Maths at either Cambridge or Warwick Universities. However, getting…
    15 August 2017
  • AHomeEducation
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    Bec - Your Question:My daughter has been homeschooled for the last 18 months due to severe bullying at mainstream school.She would be…
    9 August 2017
  • Bec
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    My daughter has been homeschooled for the last 18 months due to severe bullying at mainstream school. She would be going into year 11…
    7 August 2017
  • AHomeEducation
    Re: Home Schooling a Child Outside of the UK
    Hun - Your Question:Can I home educate my daughter in the US for 4 months?Our Response:We've ans
    7 August 2017
  • Hun
    Re: Home Schooling a Child Outside of the UK
    Can I home educate my daughter in the US for 4 months?
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