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Home Schooling and GCSEs

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 8 Jul 2018 | 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 grandson is 15 and I am about to start home schooling with him as he has struggled to cope with school since year 7. He thinks home schooling will be good for him as he says he is too easily distracted in the classroom. He is not worried about the social side as he is a very confident lad socially and has friends. Could someone tell me how I book him into an exam centre and which exam I should be choosing for him to sit for English and Maths as this is my only worry in terms of home schooling. Laura. 8/7/18
Laura - 8-Jul-18 @ 11:35 PM
I am 13 years old, for at least a year now I have been feeling really down, I have a medical conditionand it makes me feel really down about my self however, I can not cope in school any longer- my mom is really supportive with this and says we’re going to see how the summer holidays go then if they don’t go well we’re considering to go into home schooling I need advice the subjects you can take when home schooling
Jorja x - 5-Jul-18 @ 8:21 PM
I am 15 and was very depressed at my old school for around 7 months, so when things were at its very worst we decided to move. However my new school doesn’t feel like it fits me at all. It’s a private school and The culture is so different and I feel very restricted and like I can’t be myself, as well as the students being very different to me. On my first day I came home crying. We’re now looking into home schooling but it’s hard cause I have my GCSE exams next year. Can you still get good grades being homeschooled?
B3th - 20-Jun-18 @ 9:07 AM
Hi I am 15 years old and like a lot of comment I have read i have really bad anxiety and feel like my mom's not taking it seriously.I cry before school most nights and I'm really anxious about tests,I have my mocks coming up next week and I don't think I can make it through it,I really want to be homeschooled but my mom doesn't like the social aspect of it.any advice?
Dev - 18-Jun-18 @ 5:21 PM
My yr 10 daughter suffers with terrible anxiety. School have been patient and done all they can to support her, care plans, reduced time table. She is under CAMHS. I am now considering home educating her to at least get her through math and English GCSEs. She is very intelligent but unable to cope in the school environment. I am worried as to whether this the right move. What help is out there. Could she continue with art GCSE? Where on earth do I start ?
Helen - 31-May-18 @ 12:52 PM
Hi My 15 year old daughter who should be on course for taking 9 GCSEs this year with predicted grade B or above. She fell ill 4 years ago and hasnt been able to attend school. She will only have 3 GCSEs at the end of this current academic year and I can not find out how to get her either studying for 2 more GCSEs (psychology, sociology and/or criminology) or A levels of the same subjects. I can not home school her. Any thoughts? Regards PRE2612
PRE2612 - 15-May-18 @ 5:47 PM
Elziee - Your Question:
Since the beginning of year 7 till now (year 10) I have had nothing but trouble at my school, to the fact that I constantly break down in tears when I get home to show my mum how much I don’t want to go is there a course I can take for my maths English and science gcse? And by law is that allowed? I need help please

Our Response:
Talk to your school or local education authority if you feel you cannot continue. They will be able to provide you with addtional support or perhaps alternative options.
AHomeEducation - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:36 PM
Since the beginning of year 7 till now (year 10) I have had nothing but trouble at my school, to the fact that I constantly break down in tears when I get home to show my mum how much I don’t want to go is there a course I can take for my maths English and science gcse? And by law is that allowed?I need help please
Elziee - 18-Apr-18 @ 7:42 AM
Ari - Your Question:
I’m 15 this month, I’ve struggled with public schooling since year 7, I suffer with anxiety and depression and I have a couple of fake friends in school which until a few weeks ago I didn’t even realise school made it 10 times worse. In school holidays I’m myself but in term time I’m constantly in that “dark hole” I’m panicking and missing a lot of classes and crying myself to sleep most nights. I really want to be homeschooled but it seems really complicated and we don’t have the money for online schooling and my parents don’t have the time to tutor me, any advice would be appreciated

Our Response:
Please talk to the person in charge of pastoral care at your school. They will be able to discuss your options. Your parents could also try talking to your council's education welfare officers to ask whether there is any help locally for home schooling etc.
AHomeEducation - 4-Apr-18 @ 3:21 PM
I’m 15 this month, I’ve struggled with public schooling since year 7, I suffer with anxiety and depression and I have a couple of fake friends in school which until a few weeks ago I didn’t even realise school made it 10 times worse. In school holidays I’m myself but in term time I’m constantly in that “dark hole” I’m panicking and missing a lot of classes and crying myself to sleep most nights. I really want to be homeschooled but it seems really complicated and we don’t have the money for online schooling and my parents don’t have the time to tutor me, any advice would be appreciated
Ari - 2-Apr-18 @ 3:35 PM
I’ve got a 15 year old who is in year 10 now She hate school with a passion . From year 7 she been bullied which involve the police .since then she thinks of every excuse not to go . The school never once stood buy her when she was bullied. She wants to leave and do her gcse at collage .but don’t know where to start to get her in. Birmingham
Cas - 14-Mar-18 @ 6:13 PM
I am 15 years old and i have had a very difficult past, i have been kicked out of school due to some problems and i have not been in a mainstream school since October 10th 2017. During my time in school, i have had a lot of people strive to bring me down, quite a lot of the times they have succeeded in this. I have honestly tried my hardest to work and study on my own, but i keep on getting distracted by social media. There was a big problem that kept on disturbing me, this was i listen to a lot of songs with vocals in them, so i decided to only listen to music that is just instrumental because then i wont focus more on the lyrics. I have missed out on a lot in school but i am really trying my hardest to build up my knowledge once again. i would like to know what i can to do to help me pus forward
Lonelyblood_ - 12-Mar-18 @ 7:28 PM
My son turning 15 next April. He is doing very well and ready to set IGCSE this June. However, we live overseas and we have to go back to UK in the middle of his exams as I have to leave job. I don't want my son to spend next year for IGCSE as he is prepared very well. How can he set October Novemberdiet ? I asked colleges and schools and they advise him to join for year 11 to be able to set exam next year. Can he set as private candidate and home education? Regards
Aym - 10-Mar-18 @ 7:11 PM
We have had to relocate to another town and my daughter is 15 in year 11 and I can’t get her into another school. She’s not academically minded and has a college interview tomorrow Forbes a courses in sept that doesn’t require gcse students for entrance and does maths and English GCSEs along side her course. Do I legally have to registers her for gcses? Can she just be homeschooled with me til exam time? Thank you
Diane - 24-Jan-18 @ 5:04 PM
I'm 16 and just started school again after being off for two weeks due to having teeth extractions. I physically can't bare to be at school anymore, I'm so unhappy and I can't bare the thought of going there. I really need some advice on home schooling
leah - 22-Jan-18 @ 11:33 PM
Hi. I' m 16 and I'm homeschooled. I am one year back because I went to an independent private school. I wasn't really educationally active in between year 7-9 but I made that up in school. Now I have literally a few months left and I'm in need of help. Unfortunately my parents are not that supportive and cause of cultural stigma I'm not sure if they are going to. Please help. Thank you. What can I do.
Zaina - 27-Dec-17 @ 10:15 PM
Hey, I’m 14 and I’ve just started my gcse year (it’s coming up to Christmas). I find my school atmosphere so stressful and unbearable. The sheer thought of going to school makes me feel physically sick. I luckily have a great and highly supportive family which helps so home if a very happy place for myself. I am really considering online schooling because I’m so far behind on some of my gcse choices and feel that I should t be taking them anymore. I’m really not sure of what to do? Any suggestions?
Emelia - 1-Dec-17 @ 10:44 PM
tolly - Your Question:
Hi My daughter liver with her mum, Weve been seperated a few years. My duaghter is 15 and being homeshooled as she suffers from terrible anxiety and depression. Her exams are cuming up next year and im concerned about her sitting her gcse's. Her mum is not putting pressure on her to do them and said shes probably going to do them when shes ready at college. I was just wondering on the law and if she has to sit them when she is 16 or she can do them when she tries college. Thanks

Our Response:
There are no laws surrounding the education that a child receives if they are home educated. Some local education authorties are more engaged with home schoolers than others and might take action if they do not consider you to be giving a "suitable" education.
AHomeEducation - 27-Nov-17 @ 12:40 PM
Hi My daughter liver with her mum, Weve been seperated a few years. My duaghter is 15 and being homeshooled as she suffers from terrible anxiety and depression. Her exams are cuming up next year and im concerned about her sitting her gcse's. Her mum is not putting pressure on her to do them and said shes probably going to do them when shes ready at college. I was just wondering on the law and if she has to sit them when she is 16 or she can do them when she triescollege. Thanks
tolly - 23-Nov-17 @ 11:40 AM
Willow - Your Question:
Hi, I'm 15 (year 11) I haven't had any education since the middle of year 9 due to being sectioned 4 times for mental health reasons, it's close to GCSE time for everyone and I'm panicking because I'm not even enrolled with a school. I really want to go to a art and design college because becoming a Fashion Designer is my dream, but the qualifications to get on the course are ; 5 GCSEs grade 9-5 and maths and English at a minimum grade 4, and a portfolio of artwork and written work. What can I do???

Our Response:
Talk to someone at your local education authority (this is usually your county council or local council). If you are in contact with any of the teachers at the school where you're registered, they may be able to help with some suggestions too. Do you have a support worker at all? Have you mentioned your education to them? Get some adults on the case to help you out with this, you don't need to do it alone.
AHomeEducation - 20-Nov-17 @ 3:26 PM
Hi, I'm 15 (year 11) I haven't had any education since the middle of year 9 due to being sectioned 4 times for mental health reasons, it's close to GCSE time for everyone and I'm panicking because I'm not even enrolled with a school. I really want to go to a art and design college because becoming a Fashion Designer is my dream, but the qualifications to get on the course are ; 5 GCSEs grade 9-5 and maths and English at a minimum grade 4, and a portfolio of artwork and written work. What can I do???
Willow - 19-Nov-17 @ 6:48 PM
Hol - Your Question:
Hi, I’m age 15, I’ve been suffering with anxiety and bad pannick attacks for about 2 years now, I really dislike school, not just because I’m a teenager but because I genuinely can’t cope any longer, I’ve asked for help from teachers, and they gave me a time out card we’re I can go to a quite room when ever I feel down and anxious, this did help at first, but I feel like it’s getting worse, I really don’t won’t go school and I’m sick of how I’m feeling all the time, I have to go school, but sometimes I just can’t cope at all

Our Response:
Talk to the teachers or your parents again. They may be able to refer you to a GP who can help with counselling etc. Home schooling is only useful if you have someone who can provide tuition for you.
AHomeEducation - 8-Nov-17 @ 12:22 PM
Hi, I’m age 15, I’ve been suffering with anxiety and bad pannick attacks for about 2 years now, I really dislike school, not just because I’m a teenager but because I genuinely can’t cope any longer, I’ve asked for help from teachers, and they gave me a time out card we’re I can go to a quite room when ever I feel down and anxious, this did help at first, but I feel like it’s getting worse, I really don’t won’t go school and I’m sick of how I’m feeling all the time, I have to go school, but sometimes I just can’t cope at all
Hol - 7-Nov-17 @ 11:56 AM
alana - Your Question:
Hi,I am 14 years old and starting my GCSE’S,I really dislike school but I’m not just like any other child that hates school. I suffer badly with anxiety and bad panic attacks and it’s getting to me now when I go into do my first exam In January I will take a panic attack,I really don’t like school and I told my mum I’m not going back.

Our Response:
You really need to talk to your teachers about this. There may be someone who can help, by offering counselling, therapy etc. Your form tutor or a welfare or pastoral advice person would be a good place to start. They could also help you look at options like combining home study with some time in school etc
AHomeEducation - 23-Oct-17 @ 10:51 AM
hi,I am 14 years old and starting my GCSE’S,I really dislike school but I’m not just like any other child that hates school. I suffer badly with anxiety and bad panic attacks and it’s getting to me now when I go into do my first exam In January I will take a panic attack,I really don’t like school and I told my mum I’m not going back..
alana - 19-Oct-17 @ 10:52 AM
My daughter for some personal reason she left U.K. When she wasend of learning yr 10 but in three months time she wanted to come back to ukto finishhergcse can she come and join in the Same school to finish her gcse orlesle is there any other way to finish her gcse.I worried because of her age she is 15 now,can anyone advise me about what to do.
Shaa - 9-Oct-17 @ 8:35 AM
Hi there, My son has just started year 10. For the past 3 years he has been educated at a vocational school as a dancer but due to a few reasons (anxiety, food restriction & homesickness) we decided that he should come home and go to a main stream school. During the summer holidays he was mugged and had his mobile phone stolen so his anxiety levels are extremely high and he is struggling with insomnia, depression etc for which we are getting help from the GP. He hates going to school as everything is out of his control and has repeatedly asked if he can be home schooled. I work full time so am worried he wont get the support he needs. I also have no clue where to start if we do decide to go down this route. Can anyone please give me some advice?
Charliepop - 2-Oct-17 @ 12:15 PM
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
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