Is Online School Legal in the UK?

Apr 8, 2024 | Blogs

The advent of technology has revolutionized many sectors, including education. Online schooling has become increasingly popular worldwide, offering a flexible and accessible alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. However, as this trend continues to grow, many parents and students in the UK are left wondering: “Is online school legal in the UK?” This blog post aims to answer this question and shed light on the legality and regulations surrounding online schooling in the United Kingdom.

Understanding Online School

Online school is a form of education where students learn remotely using digital platforms. This learning mode can be synchronous (live sessions with teachers) or asynchronous (pre-recorded lessons). We take the synchronous approach at IVA, and all our classes involve live teaching. Online schools offer a wide range of subjects that align with national curriculums, allowing students to study at their own pace from anywhere.

Legality of Online Schooling in the UK

In the United Kingdom, online schooling is indeed legal. The Education Act 1996 stipulates that parents are responsible for ensuring their children receive an efficient full-time education suitable for their age, ability and aptitude. This can be through regular attendance at school or otherwise. The term ‘otherwise’ legally covers home education, which includes online schooling.

However, it’s important to note that while online schooling is legal, it must meet specific standards set by the government. These standards ensure that children receive a well-rounded education equivalent to that which they would achieve in a traditional school setting.

Regulations Governing Online Schools

Online schools in the UK are subject to regulations similar to those governing traditional schools. They must adhere to the National Curriculum or offer an educational program equivalent in content and quality. They should also have qualified teachers who can effectively deliver lessons and support student learning.

Furthermore, online schools must comply with safeguarding measures set out by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education), ensuring students’ safety during online interactions. This includes measures such as secure login credentials, moderated chatrooms, and stringent data protection policies.

Choosing the Right Online School

Choosing the right online school is crucial for a child’s educational success. Parents should consider factors such as curriculum alignment, teacher qualifications, safeguarding measures, and the school’s reputation. It’s also essential to ensure that the online school provides opportunities for social interaction to foster students’ social skills. These factors are crucial to us in the makeup of IVA Global.

The Department for Education (DfE) does not maintain a list of approved online schools. However, they provide guidance on what to look for in an online school. Parents can also seek advice from local authorities or consult with education consultants to make an informed decision.


In conclusion, online schooling is indeed legal in the UK and can be a viable alternative to traditional schooling. It offers flexibility and accessibility that can be beneficial for many students. However, parents must ensure that the online school they choose adheres to government regulations and standards to guarantee their child receives a quality education.

As we continue navigating through this digital age, it’s clear that online schooling will continue playing a significant role in education. And while it may not be the perfect fit for everyone, it certainly opens up new avenues of learning that were previously inaccessible or inconvenient for many students.

So, if you’re considering this route for your child’s education, speak to one of our teachers here at IVA. Rest assured, knowing that not only is online school legal in the UK, but it also has the potential to offer a rich and diverse learning experience when chosen wisely.

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South Africa Curriculum

IVA Global Online School in South Africa aligns strongly with the vision of the IEB which is to advance quality teaching and learning in South Africa through an assessment process of integrity, innovation, and international comparability.

IVA Global Online School employs highly experienced IEB teachers, daily engaging students through live synchronous online lessons.

IVA Global Online School is a registered IEB centre.

International British Curriculum

Interest in the International British curriculum continues to grow as it provides students from outside the UK the opportunity to attain a strong international qualification.

IVA Global Online School offers live synchronous lessons according to a structured timetable with highly qualified teachers.

Students can complete their GCSE’s and AS levels within 2 years.

IEB International Curriculum

The IEB-ISC is a “Globally-oriented qualification with its roots in Africa” and is suited for Grade 10 to 12 students living outside South Africa.

The ISC is an international qualification in that it is intended to be offered across borders in different countries, particularly in Africa.

The USAF (universities of South Africa) evaluation of the IEB-ISC provides assurance of its quality and students are able to pursue university studies in South Africa and abroad.

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