Home education is legal in Ireland and is enshrined in the Irish constitution, Article 42. 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:
Application to Home Educate
UPDATE 16/9/20 –
A written application of intention to home educate as set out here in the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 – Section 14
The R1 Form provide by Tusla Alternative Education Assessment & Registration Service Dept Tulsa contact details and forms can be found here.
Applications can be sent to –
Alternative Education Assessment & Registration Service
Child and Family Agency
Floor 4, Brunel Building
Heuston South Quarter
For the purpose of determining whether the child is receiving a certain minimum education, an authorised person will carry out, in consultation with the parent who made the application, an assessment of—
(a) the education that is being provided, or that it is proposed will be provided, to the child,
(b) the materials used, or that it is proposed will be used, in the provision of such education, and
(c) the time spent, or that it is proposed will be spent, in the provision of such education,
The Tusla guidelines also give a good overview of how the assessment process works.
Prior to 2019 assessments only happened face to face, phone assessments where introduced and then during 2020 Microsoft Teams meetings where also introduced as an option for meeting with an Assessor.
Most families are put on the register after this initial assessment and get highly commended for the provision of education they are providing their child/ren.
If the Preliminary Assessment is deemed inconclusive, Tusla may require a more detailed assessment, called a Comprehensive Assessment.
Ongoing Monitoring Assessment
Once on the register, Tusla may request occasional ongoing monitoring assessments. Often when a younger sibling is registering the assessor may also ask to complete an ongoing monitoring assessment of an older child. There is no set time frame for these assessments.
Information can also be found through Citizens Infomation.
- 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.