A topic that seems to come up more and more on education super-discussion board The Student Room is that of home education in sixth form. Students are interested in home education for many different reasons; a feeling of lack of support in school, problems with bullying, disagreements with teachers or simply that the subjects they want are not being offered.

Will I really need all these books?

The three main questions asked are usually:

Am I legally allowed to teach myself at home?

Yes – as long as your parent or guardian agrees, you have a legal right to be homeschooled. The local authority need to be notified, however, if you are leaving  school. Make sure you understand the extent of the task, and are able to acquire the necessary text books. Consider engaging the services of a private tutor, either regularly or as and when necessary.

How can I enter for exams if I’m not in school?

Some schools will accept outside candidates, but you will probably end up sitting your exams as a private candidate at an exam centre. You will need to pay for each exam. The exam board AQA has a page answering questions on this subject.

Will I still be able apply to university?

Yes – you will apply through UCAS in the usual way. The ‘school/college’ question can be filled out in the way that you feel best suits your situation, but your personal statement should detail your home education experience. Having the motivation and drive to self-study is a big plus point, and students need not feel they have to hide the fact they have been studying outside a school setting. You will, however, need to consider who would be able to act as an impartial referee to comment on your academic ability, character and extra-curricular activities. This person cannot be a member of your family, but other possible referees could be a private tutor, religious leader or employer.