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Home Education in the Republic of Ireland (Continued)

by Kim Pierce, Home Education Network

Who can home educate?
How does home education work in practice?
What about exams and other forms of assessment?
Third Level Education
What about social interaction?
The Home Education Network
Registering for Home Education

Third Level Education

Home educators have successfully gone to college or university. Currently the route into Irish third level institutions is normally through Leaving Cert. However, mature students (23 and over) are not subject to the usual entry requirements. There are also a growing number of correspondence courses on offer, perhaps the best known is the Open University. The National Association of Adult Education, webpage is a useful source of information on distance learning in Ireland.

Their general telephone number is 01 406 8227.

It may also be possible to enter third level at 20/21 without Leaving Cert, by interview and portfolio only. This will depend on the open mindedness of the institution concerned. You would need to approach your chosen institution to discuss this possibility.

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is a state agency established by the Quality Assurance and Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012. QQI is an amalgamation of the previously operational Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC); the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC); the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI). QQI can be seen at Tel; 01 905 8100 They offer a variety of courses for the 16+ age group which are accepted as valid for entry to third level courses.

What about social interaction?

‘Socialisation’ is something that home educator’s are often asked about. There appears to be the belief that children can only be ‘socialised’ in school. All children, whether home educated or not, mix with their brothers, sisters, neighbours, friends and relations. Many of them participate in community and sports activities. Many of them take part in group activities - music, dancing, sports, clubs - outside the home.

There is no evidence that home educated children lack positive social experiences and there is some evidence that they avoid some negative social experiences. They are not subject to the kind of peer pressure, or the pressure to conform and be obedient that children in school are subject to. Considering the amount of time that home educated children spend out in the wide world mixing with a variety of different people of differing ages it is clear that their social experience and hence social skills are at least as well developed as those of their school educated peers.

The Home Education Network

Home education is a legal and constitutional right under Article 42 of the Constitution. Please see the Home Education Network's website for comprehensive information. Alternatively please call HEN's Contact Officer Margaret Quaid on 053 9429267, email

Registering for Home Education

Under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) is charged with ensuring that every child receives an education and as part of this remit it must ensure the registration of children who receive their education through home settings. This requirement exists in order to support parents in their right to home educate and to safeguard a child's right to a minimum education.

If you decide to educate your child at home, you must register with the NEWB. The Board will then carry out an assessment of the education being provided. Contact the NEWB on 01 8738736 for further information.

Click here if you are looking for information on the Home Tuition Scheme 2020/21

As of Saturday, August 28, 2010, there is a new and focused Irish home-ed representative group, called Irish Core Home Education Support Services, or I-CHESS.
 I-CHESS was launched after the AGM of the Home Education Network (HEN) Annual Conference, held in the Scout Centre, Mount Melleray, Co. Waterford.
Almost all of I-CHESS's founding members were, and continue to be, HEN members. They see a clear need for a new and powerful focus of attention and activity in the political, legislative and lobbying arenas, and I-CHESS is the vehicle that has emerged as fashioned specifically for that purpose.
The I-CHESS Group can be accessed via the HEN Social Network Site, just by logging on to the HEN site, and then logging into the "Network" area.
Background and other information about I-CHESS can be accessed by clicking on "Groups" or on "Mag" in the HEN website.

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