Beyond The Benefits: Disadvantages Of Homeschooling In The UK

disadvantages of homeschooling

Do you know the potential disadvantages of homeschooling in the UK? Homeschooling is becoming a popular option for families in the UK. Instead of sending their children to school, many parents educate their children at home. Homeschooling in the UK offers many advantages such as a personalised education experience, greater control over children’s learning, flexibility in scheduling, and a safer environment free from negative influences.

But, while homeschooling can offer many benefits, it’s important to consider the disadvantages of homeschooling. This article will explore some advantages and key disadvantages of homeschooling in the UK. However, before proceeding, we will explain what homeschooling is.

What is Homeschooling in the UK?

In the UK, homeschooling is an educational option where parents take on the responsibility of educating their children at home instead of sending them to school. Homeschooling is legal in the UK, and parents are not required to register with any government agency or follow a specific curriculum.

However, parents who choose to homeschool their children in the UK must ensure that their children receive an education suitable for their age, ability, and aptitude. This education must include English, mathematics, and science and cover other subjects such as history, geography, and art.

Rise of Homeschooling in the UK

In the UK, homeschooling is a method of education in which parents or guardians opt to teach their children at home instead of sending them to school. The UK government reported that during the academic year 2020-2021, there were around 75,668 homeschooled children in England, showing a 38% increase from the previous year. This increase is expected to continue due to the COVID-19 pandemic as more parents homeschool their children.

Advantages of Homeschooling in the UK

In the UK, homeschooling has benefits, including a more individualised educational experience, more control over kids’ learning, scheduling freedom, and a more secure environment devoid of harmful influences.

Personalised Education Experience:

Homeschooling provides children with a personalised education experience where they can learn at their own pace and focus on their strengths and weaknesses.

More Control over Children’s Learning:

Homeschooling gives parents more control over what their children learn, which can be tailored to their interests and values.

Flexibility in Scheduling:

Homeschooling allows more flexibility in scheduling a more relaxed and comfortable learning environment.

Safer Environment Free from Negative Influences:

Finally, homeschooling can provide a safer environment, free from bullying and other negative influences that may be present in schools.

Disadvantages of homeschooling in the UK

1. Lack Of Socialisation Opportunities

One of the disadvantages of homeschooling is that it can be tough for kids to meet new people, as they only get a few chances to do so. Regular interaction at traditional schools helps children make friends and develop social skills. Homeschooling is cause loneliness because kids rarely socialise with other children.

Homeschooled youngsters may struggle to make friends, which could cause issues later, highlighting one of the disadvantages of homeschooling.

2. Limited Access To Resources

Traditional schools provide textbooks, libraries, labs, and technology, which can disadvantage homeschooling. Other resources may be less accessible or extensive for homeschoolers, making it easier for parents to give a well-rounded education.

Homeschooling families can use online learning platforms and curriculum providers, but these options have disadvantages. Using these resources can be prohibitive, particularly for families already struggling financially, which can exacerbate the disadvantages of homeschooling.

3. Limited Access To Qualified Teachers

Homeschooling can also be hard for parents who need training as teachers, which is one of the disadvantages of homeschooling. Some parents feel confident in teaching their kids. Others may need help with lesson plans or subjects.

Homeschooling parents may have more support and training than teachers, making teaching difficult.

4. Lack of Diversity

One of the disadvantages of homeschooling is that it can limit a child’s exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences.

Children were always given various ideas and cultures in a traditional school setting. This exposure can broaden their worldview and increase their understanding of others.

5. Lack of Structure and Routine

Conventional schools provide children with daily routines and timetables to help them succeed. However, the disadvantages of homeschooling include less structure and rigidity, which can be bad for some children.

6. Increased responsibility and workload for parents

When it comes to homeschooling, one of the disadvantages of homeschooling is that parents have to take on many responsibilities and work. Unlike traditional teachers who plan and teach students, homeschooling parents must do everything. They have to create the curriculum, grade assignments, and administer tests.

There can be big disadvantages of homeschooling for parents with a lot on their plates, like working or caring for younger children. Homeschooling can take a lot of time and work, which can be too much for some families.

7. Difficulty Transitioning to College

Homeschooled children may struggle with the transition to college, which is one of the disadvantages of homeschooling. They may have had different academic intensity and preparation than their traditionally-schooled colleagues, making it harder for them to succeed in a college environment.

8. Lack of Accountability

In the UK, homeschooling is not subject to any restrictions, which can contribute to the disadvantages of homeschooling. There often needs to be more oversight or accountability for homeschooling parents. It can lead to inconsistencies in education. It can also make it difficult to ensure children receive a quality education.

9. Limited opportunities for children with special needs

Last, homeschooling can be severe for kids with special needs. Teachers and speech therapists at ordinary schools can help special-needs kids. Homeschooling families might have different resources, making it harder to help these children.

Homeschooled kids with exceptional needs may need more support than available resources. Homeschool parents may support special-needs children more than teachers.

Potential Disadvantages of Homeschooling in the UK Highlighted by the Education Policy Institute Report

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) report “Home education”: An analysis of voluntary registration and monitoring proposals” highlights several potential disadvantages of homeschooling in the UK, including limited social interaction, limited access to resources, limited curriculum options, potential for inadequate teaching, and lack of oversight.

Potential Disadvantages of Homeschooling in the UK Explanation
Limited social interaction Homeschooled children may miss out on the socialisation opportunities available in traditional school settings, impacting their social development and ability to interact with others.
Limited access to resources Homeschooled children may not have access to the same resources and facilities as those in traditional schools, such as libraries, laboratories, or specialised equipment.
Limited curriculum options Homeschooled children may have a limited range of curriculum options, which could impact their ability to pursue certain subjects or careers.
Potential for inadequate teaching Homeschooled children may receive inadequate teaching if their parents or caregivers are not qualified or trained to provide effective instruction.
Lack of oversight Without proper oversight and regulation, homeschooled children may be at risk of neglect, abuse, or poor academic outcomes.


Homeschooling advantages and disadvantages should be considered before making a decision. Homeschooling has its benefits but also has potential drawbacks.

Consider the disadvantages of limited homeschooling socialisation, unskilled teaching and resources, and greater parental work. Children with special needs may not have enough support.

Before deciding, families must consider the pros and cons of homeschooling. Suppose you’re thinking about homeschooling your kids. Talk to educational specialists to ensure your children get a thorough grounding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is homeschooling legal in the UK?

In the UK, homeschooling is a legal way for parents to teach their children at home. Parents can decide not to send their children to school and teach them at home. Even so, UK law demands proper education for homeschooling children. Homeschooling is great, but parents must obey their child’s education rules.

What is homeschooling in the UK, and how many children were homeschooled during the academic year 2020-2021?

During the academic year 2020-2021, around 75,668 children were homeschooled in England, a 38% increase from the previous year. Homeschooling in the UK refers to a method of education where parents or guardians choose to teach their children at home instead of sending them to school. This trend is expected to continue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do homeschool children have the same access to qualifications as traditionally-schooled children?

Homeschooled children can still access qualifications like traditionally-schooled children. Homeschooled children can earn the same recognised qualifications as school-going children. But, they may need to take tests at an outside testing centre or through distance learning. Homeschoolers must work harder and plan to help their children get these qualifications.

Can parents who are not qualified teachers homeschool their children in the UK?

Yes, parents in the UK who are not trained teachers can still teach their kids at home. They may need homeschooling curriculum providers or education professionals.

Can homeschool children take part in extracurricular activities or sports teams?

Yes, homeschooled children can take part in extracurricular activities and sports teams. But, some activities or teams may limit access. You need proof that you attend a traditional school for some activities.

About Author

Mark Taylor is a trained Content writer from London. He has completed his English Literature (Hons) from Glasgow University. Mark currently lives in the UK and works as a freelance academic writer, and provides Dissertation Writing Services. Mark is a huge fan of the writing of Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens. In his blog posts, he talks extensively about the various authors and their writing styles.