Education (Scotland) Act 1980

Relevant sections of The Education (Scotland) Act 1980, the primary legislation which affirms the responsibility of parents for providing education during the compulsory years:

Section 28(1) of the Act states:

In the exercise and performance of their powers and duties under this Act the Secretary of State and education authorities shall have general regard to the principle that, so far as is compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.

Section 30 of the Act states:

It shall be the duty of the parent of every child of school age to provide efficient education for him suitable to his age, ability and aptitude either by causing him to attend a public school regularly or by other means.

Section 35(1) of the Act states:

Where a child of school age who has attended a public school on one or more occasions fails without reasonable excuse to attend regularly at the said school, then, unless the education authority have consented to the withdrawal of the child from the school (which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld), his parent shall be guilty of an offence against this section.

As is clear from the above provisions within the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, parents are legally entitled to educate their children outwith school. This is a right and a serious responsibility – not a privilege – and the law applies equally to everyone.