top of page

Home education and Saturday School

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

How our National Qualification offer is supporting young people who are home educated.

When Saturday School gained SQA Approved Centre status in 2017, we anticipated that the bulk of our studentship for National 5 and Higher qualifications would be adults who perhaps hadn’t quite performed as well at school as they could have. We had visions of being there to heroically step in and save these people who had been rejected by the larger colleges, missed out on spaces, or whose work/life just didn’t allow them to take a traditional college route to finally capture the qualifications they need. Our ambition: Saturday School would be their lifeline just when they thought they were fresh out of options!

We were not wrong. Every year, we work with a brilliant group of people, from teenagers, right through to fifty-somethings, looking to unlock new doors for themselves in work or study; National 5/Higher Maths often being the key.

The satisfaction and pride for our staff get, each year, seeing these people finally gain their necessary qualification(s) to kick start their dream career move or make it into university is immeasurable. It really is special. They probably waited longer, experienced more bumps on the road, and had to work harder than most, but they got there.

There is a negative in here though and it is linked to how some students arrive upon Saturday School and why they actually need us at all. For many, it’s not that they didn’t work hard enough in their teenage exam years, they just weren’t ready for the challenge, and that’s perfectly forgivable. For some, they weren’t actually supported through that challenge and for others, the conventional mainstream school route just did not work for them.

These days, and for the above reasons, there is a new type of student coming to Saturday School: young people, still of school age. Young people, who, for a whole host of reasons, are not accessing mainstream education. Simply put, they are not in or going to school Monday to Friday. But, on a Saturday, they come to us. Accessing the high school timetable and joining hundreds of their peers each weekday is simply not an option for them. So, they come to us to gain their qualifications. This short case study details one student’s experience with us in the academic year that we will never forget: the year of the pandemic. Personal information will of course be protected but this is a personal reflection, produced by the parent of a student who, at the time of writing, has just been estimated to gain a band 1 A in National 5 Maths.

Parent reflection June 2021

There are many reasons why parents decide that their child will be home educated, but in many cases, it’s made at the end of an often heart breaking and extremely stressful period of time. Trying to maintain your child’s attendance at school, and hence, as we thought at the time, their education, becomes a constant battle that seeps away the energy, happ