College Scheme for Home-Educated Students Edit

Some colleges will accept part-time home-educated students aged 14-16. There is a special scheme only for home-educated students in England, and it is different from the national scheme for 14-16 year-old school pupils to attend college.

Home-educated students can still apply to join the national 14-16 programme at participating colleges, but this page focuses on the special scheme which applies to home-educated students only.

A college can admit home educated students to any course as "infill" students , ie filling empty places.

The home - educated students may be:

  • in a class with other students, often 16-19 year-olds, OR
  • in a separate class just for home-educated teens, if there are enough of them.

Both are funded the same way, under the Infill scheme. This is funded directly as if they were aged 16-19. The family does not need to pay for this - funding is given directly to the college by the Education Funding Agency and the college doesn't need to claim from the Local Authority . In the past, there was some discretionary funding available from LAs for this, but few actually used it.

It's entirely up to the college whether to admit HE under-16s ; they do not have to accept you. Although you have a right to a school place, you do not have a right to attend college under this scheme.

Students can do courses at Level 1 (eg Btec Level 1, GCSE grade D-G), Level 2 (GCSE grade A*-C), or Level 3 (A-levels, BTec Diplomas).

Most colleges don't know about this special scheme and will assume you're asking about the national 14-16 scheme, which is much more difficult for colleges to comply with than the HE scheme. It's important to read up on it first and you may well need to educate the college about the scheme.

National 14-16 College Scheme Edit

When you mention 14 year-olds going to college, most people will think you are talking about the national 14-16 college schemes. Some colleges will take 14-16 year-old school pupils, either by an arrangement with the Local Authority, or via Direct Recruitment, which means anyone in that age group can apply to go and the college will be paid directly by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The national scheme for 14-16 year-olds is a big undertaking for colleges as they become effectively schools for that age group, and there are lots of additional responsibilities for them, eg they have to take overall responsibility for the student's education, provide a dedicated area for 14-16 year-olds, and more.

Home-educated children can join these schemes but you will normally be expected to attend full-time and to behave in many ways like a school pupil. The Infill scheme for home - educated children is much more flexible.

The Infill scheme for Home Educated Children Edit

Any college with spare capacity can take home - educated children part-time and receive direct funding for them. For home-ed students, the parent still has overall responsibility for the student's education and so the college doesn't have to make all the special arrangements which are required under the national 14-16 scheme.

The government has confirmed that any FE college can admit home-ed students for part-time courses, without needing any special permission or to fulfil any extra requirements. It's entirely between the college and the student's family. Colleges do not need to be participating in the national 14-16 scheme in order to take on home-ed students.


References for all this are at the bottom of this page, with direct links to the relevant government guidance.

More details on EdYourself 14-16 College places

Which colleges are participating? Edit

There are many home-ed students nationwide who are attending part-time 16+ college courses at under 16 years old, fully funded. There is no national list of colleges which accept home-educated students in this way, but the best partial list is on

Here are some examples, but do see the page above for the most up-to-date list.

Lewisham College EHE scheme (EHE stands for Elective Home Education).

City and Islington College, London (CANDI) - planning a pilot scheme to start September 2019. Please register your interest here.

New College, Swindon

South Devon College EHE scheme

Nottingham College 14-16 Home Educated Students

University Technical Colleges Edit

"University technical colleges (UTCs) are government-funded schools that offer 14–18 year olds a great deal more than traditional schools. They teach students technical and scientific subjects in a whole new way and are educating the inventors, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow"

These are technically schools. The attraction for home educators is that they have an intake at age 14 and offer a more specialised education than regular schools. You may not have heard of them because they were only established recently, but they are opening up in many areas. See the University Technical Colleges site for an up-to-date list.

References Edit

These are the documents you will need to show to a college which is considering taking home-educated students.

Funding Rates and Formula 2017-2018 Edit

This is the pricipal reference. It shows that the Education and Skills Funding Agency will pay for home-educated students aged 14-16 to attend a college, paying as if they were 16-19 students. It confirms that colleges don't need to meet the criteria for the national 14-16 college scheme.

Screenshot 20170504-090617
Screenshot 20170504-090704

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Funding Guidance for Young People 2017 - 2018 - Funding Rates and Formula

Page 29:

113. The ESFA also funds the following groups of 14 to 16 year olds through the standard 16 to 19 funding formula. Institutions do not need to meet the direct recruitment criteria to enrol and record funding for these students.

a. students under 16 who hold qualifications that are at least equivalent to a full level 2 (achieved at an earlier age than normal) who wish to enrol on a full level 3 course

b. electively home educated students (EHE). These students can only be enrolled and funded for part time courses – if an institution recruits them for full time courses, then they are no longer home educated and the institution will need to meet the criteria for direct recruitment 

Funding guidance for young people 2017 to 2018 rates and formula - Ref: ESFA-00119-2017 and see index page for all Funding Rates and Formula guidance.

Funding Guidance for Young People 2017-2018 - Funding Regulations - p17:

45. The EFA may fund provision for students of compulsory school age within the post 16 funding methodology as set out in the following paragraphs.
47. Institutions (including colleges eligible to claim funding for other 14 to 16 year olds in the above paragraph) may record elective home educated students for post-16 funding and these students will be counted for lagged funding purposes.
Document is on index page Advice and Funding Regulations for Post-16 Provision.

See alsoFunding Guidance for Local Authorities on Home Educated Children p7, where it says:

Attendance at FE Colleges
7. With effect from September 2013 FE and sixth form colleges can admit pupils aged 14 or 15 and receive funding for them direct from the Education Funding Agency. This includes not only specific provision for groups of pupils but also individual admissions of pupils who would otherwise be home educated, and who may well be educated with young people aged 16-18. We would therefore not expect local authorities to be paying fees to the colleges for these pupils.
and also, from

Full-time enrolment of 14- to 16-year-olds in further education and sixth-form colleges in 2016 to 2017 academic year

Annex C: Electively home educated 14- to 15-year-olds
1. Colleges sometimes admit children aged 14 or 15 who are being electively home educated, to take courses on an infill basis by arrangement with the local authority or with the parents. Where these courses are at level 3, they are funded by entering the student on the ILR and the student then counts for lagged funding in just the same way as if they were 16- to 18-yearolds.
2. Prior to September 2013, students on courses below level 3 were funded either directly by the local authority, or sometimes by the parents, paying a fee to the college. These arrangements changed with effect from September 2013. Colleges now enter these students on the ILR and they count towards the college’s student numbers for lagged funding in the following year. Local authorities and parents should no longer be expected to pay fees for this provision.
3. Colleges make such local arrangements as they deem appropriate. There is no national prescribed model for provision to these students and they do not form a part of the arrangements for the full-time enrolment of 14 -16 year-olds in further education and sixth-form colleges. Further information is provided on the elective home education section on GOV.UK.
From Full-time enrolment of 14- to 16-year-olds in further education and sixth-form colleges in 2016 to 2017 academic year , where it mentions home-ed as NOT being part of the national scheme, and includes Annex C which specifies the funding arrangement for part-time home-educated students.

From the section on Statutory obligations, additional requirements and advice, it says:

Existing arrangements for admitting 14- to 16-year-olds by arrangement with schools, local authorities or parents will continue and are not affected by this guidance. The funding arrangements for electively home educated children are summarised at Annex C to this document.

NB Home Education is the UK term for what is referred to in the USA as homeschooling or home schooling. The term "home education" is preferred in the UK as it is considered to encompass all approaches to education, not only a school model.