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A Guide to Homeschooling A-Levels

A Guide to Homeschooling A-Levels

8 min Read|February 06 2024
|Written by:

Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa


Homeschooling provides the opportunity for students in the UK to pursue their A-Levels in the comfort of their own homes. Homeschooling, or home education as it is sometimes called, is a valid option for parents or guardians who want to provide their children with an alternative to traditional schooling. This includes A-Level study, which is typically taken after completing secondary education (GCSEs) at the age of 16. However, the question of whether it is possible to homeschool A-levels is still a topic of debate. In this article, we will answer some common questions about homeschooling A-levels in the UK. While some people assume that homeschooling is only suitable for primary or secondary school education, it is also possible to homeschool your child through their A-Level qualifications. Here, we will explore whether it is possible to homeschool A-Levels, and how homeschooled students can take exams.

Homeschooling for A-Levels requires a significant level of commitment, discipline, and self-motivation. Students who choose to study A-Levels at home must have access to appropriate learning resources and materials, such as textbooks, online resources, and study guides. They may also need to enroll in an online course or hire a private tutor to help them with their studies. In the UK, A-Levels are typically taken after completing secondary education (GCSEs) at the age of 16. A-Levels are a two-year course of study that prepares students for university-level education or for employment. A-Levels are available in a variety of subjects, including English literature, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and many more.

To find out more, read our article on how to choose your A-Levels.

There has been a significant increase in the number of students being homeschooled in the UK. In fact, it was discovered that the number of students being taught at home has seen a substantial rise of 130% between the years 2013 and 2018. This increase in the popularity of homeschooling has led to a rise in the number of homeschooled students in the UK from 24,824 in 2013 to 57,132 in 2018. This data showcases a growing trend of parents and families seeking alternative education methods, which can be tailored to meet the specific needs and requirements of their children. It is noteworthy that this trend is not only limited to the UK, but has also been observed globally in recent years.

Increase in trend of homeschooling over the years.


Can you be homeschooled for A-Levels?

The answer is yes. It is possible to be homeschooled for A-levels in the UK. Many families choose this route for various reasons, such as flexibility, individual learning pace, or dissatisfaction with their local schools. Quite a few resources and support networks are available for families who decide to take this path. However, there are some requirements that must be met. The government requires students to be registered with an exam centre or school, and they must take the same exams as traditional school students. This means that students must have a designated place to take their exams and have their work assessed.

At the start of 2021, homeschooling was adopted by 90% of British parents. According to homeschooling statistics collected during the months of January and February 2021, nine out of ten parents resorted to teaching their children at home due to the pandemic.

Number of students opting for Home-education over the years.


How much does A-Level homeschooling cost?

The cost of A-level homeschooling varies depending on the resources and support that students require. Some families choose to use online resources and textbooks, which can be relatively inexpensive. However, others may opt for a good private A-Level tutor or enrol in an online course, which can be more costly. According to the UK-based organisation Home Education Advisory Service, the cost of homeschooling a child in the UK ranges from £300 to £2000 per year, depending on the resources used.

Here's a breakdown of potential costs associated with homeschooling:

1. Curriculum resources: Costs can range from free online resources to expensive textbooks and materials. The key is to find those that align with your child's learning style and preferences.

2. Examination fees: For each A-Level subject that students want to take exams in they will need to pay examination fees – typically ranging from £80-£150 per subject.

3. Tutoring fees: If families opt for private tutors to supplement their child's study, costs can vary from £25-£60 per hour.

4. Extracurricular activities: Although not mandatory, families may want to invest in extracurricular activities or clubs that cater to their child’s interests outside academia.

Can You Do A-Levels at Home?

Yes, it is possible to homeschool your child through their A-Level qualifications. In fact, there are many reasons why parents might choose to do so. For example, homeschooling can provide a more personalised and flexible approach to education, allowing students to learn at their own pace and in a way that suits their individual learning style. There is a whole guide on Elective Home Education for parents as well which can help them choose the best option for their kid and also have more understanding of it.

In order to homeschool A-Levels, you will need to follow the same syllabus and curriculum as students in mainstream schools. This means that you will need to ensure that your child has access to high-quality textbooks, resources and materials, and that they receive regular tuition and support from a qualified tutor or teacher.

One of the advantages of homeschooling for A-Levels is the flexibility it offers. Students can create their own schedules and study at their own pace, allowing them to balance their academic work with other commitments, such as work or extracurricular activities. Homeschooling for A-Levels also allows students to tailor their studies to their own interests and strengths, which can be particularly beneficial for those who may struggle in a traditional classroom setting.

However, homeschooling for A-Levels also has its challenges. Students may miss out on the social interaction and support provided by a traditional classroom setting, which can impact their overall well-being and academic performance. Additionally, homeschooling for A-Levels may not be suitable for all students, particularly those who thrive in a structured environment or who require additional support and guidance from teachers.

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How do homeschooled students take exams?

Homeschooled students in the UK have the same options for taking exams as students who attend traditional schools. Homeschooled students can take their exams at exam centres, or they can opt for online exams or take-home exams.

Exam centres are the most common option for homeschooled students. There are many exam centres in the UK, and they offer a variety of exams, including A-Levels. Homeschooled students can register to take their exams at any approved exam centre, and they will usually need to pay a fee to do so.

Another option for homeschooled students is to take online exams. Online exams are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and there are now several online exam providers that offer A-Level exams. Online exams are taken remotely, which means that students can take their exams from anywhere with an internet connection.

Take-home exams are also an option for homeschooled students. Take-home exams are similar to online exams, but they are completed offline. Students are usually given a set amount of time to complete their exam and then submit it for marking. Take-home exams are less common than online exams, but they can be a good option for students who prefer to work offline.


According to the latest government statistics, there were 57,525 homeschooled children in England in the 2020/21 academic year, which is an increase of 29.3% from the previous year. Of these, approximately 15,000 were between the ages of 14 and 16, which is the age range for A-Level study. While there is no official data on how homeschooled students in the UK take their exams, it is likely that the majority take their exams at exam centres.

It is important to note that homeschooled students are required to take the same exams as students in traditional schools, and their results are considered equally valid. This means that homeschooled students can apply to universities and colleges in the same way as students who attend traditional schools.

Qualification Options for Homeschooled Students in the UK

Homeschooled students have access to sit for GCSE or other qualifications such as the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Parents can organise for their children to take these exams by contacting exam centres – which can be schools, colleges or private establishments that offer this service. They will act as a private candidate within the centre and attend only for the examinations. Fees apply and may vary depending on the location and subjects chosen.

It is also worth mentioning that some homeschooled students may choose alternative qualification routes such as vocational ones like BTECs (Business and Technology Education Council) or opt for an entirely different educational pathway tailored to their interests, talents and future goals.

In conclusion, homeschooled students in the UK can take their exams at exam centres, opt for online exams, or take-home exams. Exam centres are the most common option for homeschooled students, but online exams and take-home exams are also available. While there is no official data on how homeschooled students in the UK take their exams, it is likely that the majority take their exams at exam centres. Homeschooled students are required to take the same exams as students in traditional schools, and their results are considered equally valid.

Take a look at all revision techniques that you can use to improve your exam quality!

It’s Totally Your Decision

Homeschooling is a viable option for those who want to study A-Levels in the UK. But ultimately, whether or not to pursue A-Level homeschooling is a personal decision that should be made after careful consideration of individual circumstances and preferences. Homeschooling requires a high level of self-discipline and motivation, as well as strong support from parents or guardians. However, for those who are up to the challenge, homeschooling can provide a unique and rewarding educational experience that sets them up for success in the future.

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Professional tutor and Cambridge University researcher

Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa

Written by: Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa

Oxford University - PhD Mathematics

Rahil spent ten years working as private tutor, teaching students for GCSEs, A-Levels, and university admissions. During his PhD he published papers on modelling infectious disease epidemics and was a tutor to undergraduate and masters students for mathematics courses.

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