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 dates back to 1949 but only very recently, namely in the last 4 school years, homeschooling has become a visible choice. Still, the number of students in this choice represent less than 1%. In accordance with data from the Ministry of Education (2018/2019), 909 children are now enrolled in HS or Individual Teaching (n = 50), a form that is distinguished from HS by the fact that a teacher, and not a relative, is the one having the responsibility over the students’ educational project.

The 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, in the need to have one school level above the one of the child. Moreover, the one responsible for HS (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 under development with a 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 enrolment 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.

Above text credit goes to Sónia daVeiga a member of the National HomeSchooling Parents Association in Portugal (ANPED - Associação Nacional de Pais em Ensino Doméstico).

Santos, A. M. dos. Entre a casa do ensino e o ensino em casa. Governo propõe alterações à alternativa e pais prometem combatê-las "com todas as suas forças". Sapo 24, 20 nov. 2018. Retrieved from

Contact Information

Associação Nacional de Pais em Ensino Doméstico


Movimento Educação Livre (Movement for Freedom in Education)

POC: Sílvia Cópio
Phone: +351 (93) 486 7547