Costs of Homeschooling

What is the cost of home education in the UK? Read the HyperJar blog and find out everything you need to know. Click here for more information.
Amabel Polglase
February 16, 2023
min read

If you’re considering taking your children out of mainstream education, understanding the potential financial cost of homeschooling in the UK is important.


While most children in the UK attend a school, the Department of Education published figures that suggested 116,300 kids were in elective home education for a period over the 2021-22 school year. 

It’s important to note that this figure is likely to account for roughly half of the children homeschooled, as it’s not compulsory to tell the government if you’re teaching your child at home. 

There are lots of advantages to homeschooling, like being able to teach in a way that’s tailored to your child and having more one-on-one time with them. However, it’s worth considering the extra time, effort and expense it could cost you and your family. Let’s take a look. 

How Much Does Homeschooling Cost?

It’s difficult to say exactly how much home education in the UK costs, as there are many variable costs. In theory, homeschooling your child doesn’t cost anything, as there are plenty of free courses and curriculums that you can follow to make your life easier. If you build or join a community of other homeschooling parents you can swap subject expertise and save money on tutoring, for example.

However, in reality, there are several costs that you need to think about when educating your child at home: 

1. Exam costs

No child is legally obliged to take exams, and this of course applies to homeschooled children. In fact, the only legal requirement is that they receive full-time education from ages 5-16. 

If you do want them to take GCSEs and/or A Levels, these cannot be taken at home so you’ll need to visit a registered exam centre. 

According to government research, the average GCSE cost was £43.91 per exam in 2021, while the average cost of an A-level exam was £105.12. Depending on your child, it’s likely that they’ll be taking between 5 and 10 GCSEs so it’s worth planning for this cost as they approach exam age. You’ll have plenty of time to start budgeting for this so it’s certainly not something to worry about early on.

2. Tutors

If you and your partner decide to homeschool your children, the chances are that you're going to take responsibility for most of their instruction yourself. You will need to carefully consider balancing your professional and other commitments when educating your kids, and you might find that you need some help managing that workload. You could try ‘subject swapping’ with other parents who are homeschooling - so if English isn’t your thing but you’re a whizz at maths, you could offer your expertise in exchange for theirs -  or, more typically, buy in some additional expertise and support.

Tutors can be a great option for many homeschooling parents who are either looking for help with the workload or when you start to get into greater depth at subject-level. There are plenty of good companies with teams of specialist tutors available, or individuals in your area who can offer instruction and support in various disciplines.

Tutors often charge by the hour, but you can also book a block of lessons for your children to access more competitive rates. Think about what kind of support you think you’ll need and start budgeting for it early on if you’ll be buying it in.

3. Subscriptions

One of the most important things for all homeschooling families is the subjects you follow and the academic resources you’ll need. You will have a lot more freedom than you’d find in a school as there’s no requirement to follow the national curriculum, which means you and your child get to choose not just the subjects studied, but the number and how much depth you go into for each.  

There are plenty of free and paid subscriptions you can sign up for which allow you to organise your child’s study.

While all of these subscriptions are optional, you might find them useful to help your child thrive at homeschool.

·  Home Education Advisory Service Membership - £10-£50: A charity for home-based educators, publishing updates and helpful resources for everyone.

·  Access to online learning resources: As a home educator, you might want to download helpful educational resources, some of which are free and others are paid. WSC has some great free resources to help you get started.

·  Access to educational supplies: One cost associated with homeschooling in the UK is access to educational supplies like textbooks. Books can cost between £5 and £75, so you need to make some money available to cover these costs. 

·  Access to homeschooling networks: Facebook is the perfect platform to gain access to homeschooling networks that you can draw on for advice and support. Most of these networks are free to join and provide many helpful resources to ensure you feel supported when educating your kids at home.

·  Online and in-person homeschooling memberships: Another thing you should consider as a homeschooling parent is access to membership sites specifically for homeschool educators. Many of these are free, but you can also find groups that charge a small monthly fee for unlimited access and support. 

4. Food shop

Granted, you’re responsible for feeding your child at home and school, but it’s worth considering that the more time your kids spend at home, the more they are likely to eat! This is particularly important if your kids usually qualify for free school meals or subsidised food at school, as you will now need to meet this additional cost yourself. 

It’s beneficial to maintain a structured routine around meal times when your kids are learning from home, as it can be disorienting if you don’t follow a set pattern that they are accustomed to from school. 

5. Educational outings

Trips are a memorable part of the conventional school experience, and can be replicated even if you’re planning to teach your children at home. Supplementing your child’s home education with outings helps them to learn and is a great way to add something unique and inspiring to their (and your) home education routine. 

Helpfully, you can go on many free outings, such as trips to the fantastic free museums all over the UK, or plan adventures into the countryside to learn about nature. However, you might want to budget for things like transport, food, and drinks to ensure that you can meet your kids’ expenses during these outings. 

Conclusion: The Cost of Homeschooling in the UK 

The bottom line is that it’s impossible to arrive at a single figure when planning the cost of homeschooling in the UK. It can go from effectively free to eye-watering if you’re buying in specialist tutoring.

As explored throughout this blog, there are various costs associated with homeschooling and you can choose which ones are relevant to you and your child and how well you think you can teach them alone versus  employing outside expertise. 

You can use our excellent spending app to create Jars for each cost, for everything from food to trips and tutoring, as well as your other household expenses like bills and petrol. This will help take the surprise out of educating your kids at home so you can focus on the teaching and giving your kids a brilliant homeschooling experience. Or you may want to explore the HyperJar app with your children, to teach them about financial planning and budgeting from a young age.

Amabel Polglase

Chief Marketing Officer

Amabel has diverse experience in business, marketing and entrepreneurship, including founding her own successful startup. She served in several senior leadership roles prior to joining HyperJar including Zilch and Curve Card where she led brand, marketing and communications. Before joining the fintech revolution, Amabel was a managing global client partner at Facebook and prior to that at McCann-Erickson, the world’s largest ad network. She volunteers at Girls Out Loud, a charity created to empower and inspire teenage girls, and is also a mentor at The Girls’ Network. She received her MA in history and international relations from the University of St Andrews.

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