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Home Schooling and GCSEs

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 23 Nov 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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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
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
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Latest Comments
  • tolly
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    Hi My daughter liver with her mum, Weve been seperated a few years. My duaghter is 15 and being homeshooled as she suffers from…
    23 November 2017
  • AHomeEducation
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    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…
    20 November 2017
  • Willow
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    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,…
    19 November 2017
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    I need help my daughter is in S3 and does not want to go school as we have moved to other side…
    17 November 2017
  • AHomeEducation
    Re: Where Can my Home Schooled Child Take Examinations?
    beth - Your Question:I suffer from anxiety and there is absolutely no way I can take my exams in my…
    8 November 2017
  • AHomeEducation
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    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…
    8 November 2017
  • beth
    Re: Where Can my Home Schooled Child Take Examinations?
    I suffer from anxiety and there is absolutely no way I can take my exams in my school's exam room.…
    7 November 2017
  • Hol
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    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…
    7 November 2017
  • AHomeEducation
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    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…
    23 October 2017
  • alana
    Re: Home Schooling and GCSEs
    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…
    19 October 2017
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