Home education is legal in Ireland and is enshrined in the Irish constitution. In 2000, the Irish Government brought in a system of registration for home educated children aged six to sixteen, with teenagers usually staying on the register until they reach eighteen.
In 2000, the Irish Government brought in a system of registration for home educated children aged six to sixteen, with teenagers usually staying on the register until they reach eighteen. Originally, the registration process was administered through the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB), but in 2014 it was moved from the Department of Education to the Child and Family Agency, Tusla.
The registration process consists of:
- a written application form,
- followed by a meeting with an Authorised Person (assessor) called a Preliminary Assessment. Most people have no problems and are put on the register after this initial assessment.
- If the Preliminary Assessment is deemed inconclusive, Tusla may require a more detailed assessment, called a Comprehensive Assessment.
- Once on the register, Tusla may request occasional ongoing monitoring assessments.
To help home educators to understand this process HEN (Ireland) compiled a guide which is available to all HEN members.
- The State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children.
- Parents shall be free to provide this education in their homes or in private schools or in schools recognised or established by the State.
- 1 The State shall not oblige parents in violation of their conscience and lawful preference to send their children to schools established by the State, or to any particular type of schaal designated by the State.
3.2 The State shall, however, as guardian of the common good, require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social.