Support for home educating families

Oak National Academy was created in April 2020 as a rapid response to the coronavirus outbreak. They are part of the Reach Foundation, a registered charity.

Teachers and colleagues from leading education organisations came together to support schools’ efforts to keep children learning and since then, they have developed over 40,000 resources, including video lessons, across all key stages and subjects.

Visit Oak National Academy.

Home Education Family Support Workers

Home Education Family Support Workers (HEFSWs) regularly meet with home educating families and are therefore well placed to share new ideas, resources and promote good practice. Their remit is to offer support to families where necessary, advice to enable home educators to provide the best possible education for their child and to satisfy the local authority’s legal obligation to establish if a child is in receipt of suitable education.

You can contact our HEFSWs at any time using the contact section of the Elective Home Education page.

Support organisations

Sources of advice and support are contained in our home education guidance document.

  • SEEDS – Southampton home education support network provides support and advice for parents educating their children at home
  • Education Otherwise – a self help organisation supporting its home education members
  • Home Education Advisory Service – a national home education charity providing advice and practical support for families who wish to educate their children at home
  • Ed Yourself – provides updates on elective home education practice and policy
  • Educational Freedom – a non-profit organisation offering free support, advice and information to home educators
  • Home Education Fareham and Gosport – this group is for parents/carers who are home educating or seriously considering it
  • Home Educators Educating Together – a community of home educating families who have come together to organise activities and classes for the mutual benefit of the home-educating community in Hampshire and beyond
  • South Hampshire home educators – a support group for home educators in south Hampshire - requires a Yahoo account
  • Portsmouth home education – offers a variety of weekly meetings and sessions for a variety of activities - requires a Facebook account
  • Totton Home Educators Network – a support group for home educators in Totton - requires a Facebook account

Directory of support services

Our directory contains information and support for families with children and young people aged 0-19 including family support and parenting, health and wellbeing and a range of services and activities on offer at our Family hubs. View the directory of support services

Southampton City Council Music Services

Southampton Music Services is delighted to inform you that they can offer instrumental lessons at your home, subject to teacher availability, should your children wish to learn an instrument. They can also offer lessons where the parent can learn alongside the child.

The current cost of lessons per child is £160 per term, for this the child will receive 11 x 30 minute lessons a term. If the loan of an appropriate instrument is needed there is an additional £30 charge. This offer will remain in place until July 2023. Prices for parent/child lessons are available on request.

If your child is interested in having instrumental lessons, or if you would like to explore proposals for group sessions, then please email or call 023 8083 4532 for further information.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service Fire Cadets Programme

Fire Cadets is a nationally recognised programme which offers young people aged 13 to 17 the opportunity to gain essential social, life, work and wellbeing skills, including a BTEC Level 2 qualification and develop their confidence and personal skills.

Fire Cadets provides fun and challenging opportunities for young people to reach their full potential contributing to safer, stronger and healthier communities. They meet for two hours, one evening per week at a local fire station, during school term time.

Find out more at Fire Cadets - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service or e-mail

Educational Visits

  • English Heritage – allow free entry for home educating families. You need to make contact with them before the visit, which needs to take place during school hours and term time
  • Winchester Science Centre – at Winchester offer a reduced rate for home educators, and run dedicated home educator days

Further information on educational visits is contained in our guidance document for parents.

Southampton City Council Library Service

The Southampton City Council Library Service can be a valuable resources for home educating families, offering access to hard copy books, e-books, computers and Wi-Fi, newspaper and magazines, online materials etc. 

They also have arrangements in place whereby you can print learning resources for free. Ask your local library for more information.

Online safety

View a list of useful websites offering advice for parents about online safety.

The Lurking Trolls campaign

In response to the challenges faced in helping children stay safe online, the Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships (LSCPs) in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton have launched the Lurking Trolls campaign.

Lurking Trolls is full of fun resources and information for both children and adults which supports the campaign to help families get talking about online safety, how to stay safe on the internet, and what to do if something goes wrong when you’re gaming, using social media or searching online. 

EHE and impact upon benefits

The world of benefits is complex and the consequences of us giving poor advice to families could be serious. Instead, we would like to signpost parents to the following sources of support if you have any questions about EHE and how it may impact upon any of your benefits.

Useful contacts

Should you wish to contact us, please see the contact details on the Elective Home Education page.

  • National Careers Service: 0800 100 900
  • Southampton SEND Service: 023 8083 3004
  • Southampton School Admissions: Enquiry form