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December 19, 2008

Home Education in Norway

Modern home education started in Norway in 1992–93. Two homeschool families faced much harassment by police and social services.

Two court cases on home education were filed in 1995 and in 1996–2000. The last case, called “The Mosvik case” (in the middle of Norway), went through all three levels in the Norwegian court system before the case was closed because of lack of evidence. The central issue in the Mosvik case was conflict with the local school authorities’ power to supervise and control home education. The case developed into a key home education case in Norway. After 2000, home education in Norway developed in a more liberal direction.

The situation in 2009:

  • Children ages 6 and older are required to have primary and lower secondary education, which lasts for 10 years. § 2-1 in Norway’s Education law states that education can be "otherwise." Education otherwise is in private schools or home education.
  • Families may begin homeschooling after they notify local school authorities of their plans.
  • Local school authorities are by law obligated to supervise home education. The most common method of supervision is a visit from a supervising teacher twice a year. Local school authorities may, if they wish, administer relevant achievement tests. The law states that supervision must be "in agreement with the parents."

In 1966, there were about 40 home educated students in Norway. By December 2002, that number had increased to approximately 400. Since 2002, that number has grown, but there are no new estimates available.

A National home education conference has been arranged every summer since 1996 by OTH (Home Education/Homeschooling in Norway – Center for Information).