Don't forget, waste collections will be a day later than usual all this week after the spring bank holiday.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.


All school-aged children in the United Kingdom have the right to a full-time education that is appropriate to their age, development and level of need.

Although most children go to school, there is a growing number of parents choosing to home educate.

We are committed to supporting and working positively with families that home educate to make sure children are safe and receiving the best education possible.

Parents and carers’ rights and responsibilities

Parents and carers do not need to be qualified teachers to home educate their children. There is also no requirement to follow the National Curriculum, though some find this helpful if they plan to make use of public examinations later.

Parents and carers must be able to provide their child with a suitable, full-time education or provide access to means through which this can be achieved. They

  • can choose how, when and with whom learning takes place
  • do not have to have formal learning plans, lessons, or assessments
  • do not have to follow to the age-related learning expectations used in maintained schools

We may contact parents and carers to discuss home education. They do not have to respond, but in cases where more information is needed about a child’s learning or welfare, this communication is advised and can help stop statutory action from being taken.

You can find more information in the document in the downloads section of this page.

Somerset Council’s Duties and Responsibilities

Local authorities have a number of duties to make sure that all children are kept safe and have access to suitable, full-time education, including those that are home educated.

You can find details of these duties in the document in the downloads section of this page.

Home Education Process

Most home educated children enjoy a personalised and flexible way of learning that is in line with their learning style, needs and aspirations. Many also benefit from Somerset’s network of support groups within its home educating communities that provide valued support, guidance and advice to parents and carers.

In the small number of cases where home education is found to be unsuitable, we have a duty to question and act to make sure adequate educational provision is put in place.

You can find details about how we work with parents and carers who home educate in the document in the downloads section of this page.

Accessing exams

There is no requirement for home educated children to sit public exams, such as GCSEs and A Levels, but they can do so as private candidates.

Parents and carers who wish to have their child entered for a public exam will need to approach local exam centres (typically schools and colleges) that accept private candidates. An exam entry fee will be payable and children sitting exams as private candidates are required to do so under the exam conditions provided by the exam centre.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) holds an interactive list of exam centres that accept private candidates, which is searchable by postcode and examination type. Independently registered exam centres can also be used, where available.

You can find more information in the document in the downloads section of this page.

Returning to school after being home educated

If you want your child to return to school you can request a place at any time by following the in-year school admissions process. For support and information, please email the School Admissions team at

Last reviewed: December 19, 2023 by Adam

Next review due: June 19, 2024

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