Compulsory Attendance Law
5–15 years (grade 10) inclusive, per the Compulsory Education Law of 1949.
Estimated Number of Homeschoolers
Several hundred families.
The Compulsory Education Law grants the Minister of Education authority to exempt children and parents from compulsory schooling for special reasons and in accordance with an instruction to be published in official records. According to the Director General of the Ministry of Education’s 2002 directive, “the position of the Israeli education system is that the place of students of the compulsory education age is within the institutional educational framework. Educational authorities ought to do everything possible to allocate a suitable learning environment for each student. Consequently, requests for home education will be approved only in most exceptional cases, where it can be proven beyond any doubt that the request for home education derives from a formulated outlook which rejects institutional education of any form, or where it can be so proven that there are extraordinary circumstances, unique and most exceptional, because of which a child is unable to attend a recognized educational institute”.
The authority to approve or deny home education is in the hands of the Director General. The permit is granted every year for one school year only. A child for whom home education was approved must meet the standards set by the educational system. Despite the stringent formal stand taken by the Director General, the Ministry of Education, in fact, approves the vast majority of requests. For example, in 2006/2007 the Ministry approved 155 requests and denied only 8. Moreover, according to some reports, the actual number of children in home schooling is significantly higher than the official figure.