Dh and I are considering moving home (his home) to England in a few years and were wondering what the UK rules/laws for homeschooling are. Are there a lot of homeschoolers? Is there a support network? Any experience / advice appreciated.
We lived in England a couple years ago and homeschooled there. The laws are straightforward and require almost no involvement w/ "the authorities". In fact, unless your child is already attending school and you plan to withdraw him/her, you don't even have to tell anyone that you homeschool--you just go ahead and do it! Record keeping and testing are *not* required. I'm not sure about Wales/N.Ireland, but I do know that in Scotland h.s.'ers *do* have problems w/ the government. You have to get permission from the local school authorities. There were ongoing battles, so maybe the laws have changed since we were there.
There are country-wide homeschool organizations -- "Education Otherwise" is a great one -- as well as local support groups. There's also a huge seaside festival each year. We lived in a small village on the outskirts of a mid-sized town and had plenty of h.s. friends.
In the area where we lived (not the most open-minded place), people were often very surprised to hear that my kids didn't go to school. But, most were genuinely curious rather than judgemental. They probably just thought I was a crazy American!
Here in Florida, people think we have pretty good h.s. laws, but after living in England, it seems quite intrusive.
Any way, I'll be happy to answer any questions if I can. Where in the UK would you live?