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Compulsory Attendance Age

6–18. Compulsory education begins if the child is 6 years of age by September 15. After 15 years of age there are different possibilities to finish the secondary education degree.

Legal Status

Portugal has laws for homeschooling that date back to 1949, but homeschooling has only become a visible choice since around 2016. Still, the number of students in this choice represent less than 1% of enrolled children. In accordance with data from the Ministry of Education (2018/2019), 909 children are now enrolled in homeschooling or Individual Teaching (n = 50). Individual teaching is distinguished from homeschooling by the fact that a teacher, and not a relative, is the one responsible for the students’ education.

In order to homeschool, students have to be registered in a public school, and the parents or legal tutor must have a certain school achievement level (regulated by a regulation from 1977) that translates, more or less, to one school level above that of the child. Moreover, the one responsible for homeschooling (relative or not) must live in the same house as the child.

Children are assessed through exams at the end of each school cycle as external students.

At the moment, regulations are under development with the new Home Education Decree no. 55/2018 that established a curriculum for primary and secondary education, guiding principles and organizations and evaluation of learning. The present decree seeks to regulate educational modalities of individual teaching and home education, defining the rules and procedures concerning enrollment and attendance, as well as monitoring procedure and the certification of learning. The Decree gives total authority to the central government to disapprove “requests” to homeschool and requires parents to have a university degree before they apply.

Contact Information

Associação Nacional de Pais em Ensino Doméstico

Website: www.anped.pt
Email: anped.pt@gmail.com

Movimento Educação Livre

(Movement for Freedom in Education)

Website: www.educacaolivre.pt/mel
Contact: Sílvia Cópio
Email: geral@educacaolivre.pt
Phone: +351 (93) 486 7547
Facebook: facebook.com/movimentoeducacaolivre


Additional Resources

 Portuguese Students Have Classes at Home (SAPO News)

The national newspaper Sol covers the growth of home education and interviews MEL leaders.

 Parents Mobilize against Government's “Slap-in-Face” over Homeschooling

A website that follows news in Portugal reports on the efforts to overturn new restrictions on homeschooling.

 International Homeschool—Watch Videos from Dozens of Countries

HSLDA and more than 1-- homeschoolers from all over Europe gathered to encourage one another and discuss how they could work together for greater homeschooling freedom in Europe.