Compulsory Education Age

6-16 years old

Estimated Number of Homeschoolers

70,000 families

Legal Status

Homeschooling is legal. Article 44, paragraph 1 of the Federal Law of 29 Dec. 2012 N 273-FZ “On Education in the Russian Federation” states that that parents (guardians) of children have the primary right to educate and raise their children before any other person. In the law, home education is referred to as “family education.” Many Russian families are currently exercising this right.

The right to receive general education at home is guaranteed to every family without exceptions by the Law. (“On Education in the Russian Federation,” Article 44, paragraph 3, subparagraph 2.1.) The parents have the general right to choose the form of education for their children up to the end of the Middle School years. (Article 44, paragraph 3, subparagraph 1, and Article 63, paragraph 2 of the Family Code.) After the end of the Middle School years, this general right belongs to parents and child in common. (Article 34, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1 and Article 63, paragraph 4.)

The right to home education is also supported by Article 63, paragraph 2 and Article 17, paragraphs 1 (subparagraph 2) and 2. The Law (Article 79) mentions directly only education in organizations for the children with special health needs, but no known interpretation of this Article hinders home education in practice at the moment. Every child receiving general education at home is free to return to school at any stage of training provided successful attestation.

Those children, who choose to study at home or are recommended to pass the regular attestation on the conditions of externship in state-accredited schools, are obliged to pass two final attestations (after finishing the Middle School and Senior School level programs) in the school. In order to receive a state-approved certificate of completing general education, which is essential for continuing education in Russia, this final attestation should be passed in the form of the State exam in the stated accredited school. (Law on Education in the Russian Federation Articles 17 paragraph 3, 34 paragraph 3, 58 and 59 paragraphs 3-5.)

The (formal, optional) regular attestations are passed according to the regulatory norms and program of the school. State final exams are regulated by the Federal Regulations, unlike the Middle School (after 9 years of study) and Senior School (after 11 years of study) levels. In order to be admitted to the state exam, the student must pass the regular attestation in the state accredited school for 9th, 10th, and 11th years educational program.

Considering the insufficiency of federal legislation concerning home schooling, some federal subjects of The Russian Federation (acting within the scope of their jurisdiction) have elaborated additional regional regulations on this issue. The regional regulations have to comply with the federal law and cannot restrict the rights of parents stipulated therein.

Until 2004, the earlier Federal Law on Education contained article 40.8, which included the responsibility of local authorities to provide parents educating their children at home with financial support in the amount of the cost of education of each child at the appropriate stage of education in the state or municipal educational institution. These payments were considered social benefits for children, and therefore were excluded from taxable income. In 2004 the mentioned article was removed from the text along with many other social guarantees by the Federal Law No. 122-FZ of 22 August 2004, the notorious ‘Law on Monetization’. This kind of norm is absent in the recent laws including the Law “On Education in the Russian Federation” currently in force. The federal subjects are free to decide if they provide any kind of financial support of this kind and usually they decide not to provide it.

In practice, some parents choosing home education can face the problems at the local levels when schools and local authorities are trying to deny their rights. But this kind of problem is usually easily resolved through appropriate legal consultation and providing the local authorities with the proper legal information.

The above text was contributed by Pavel A. Parfentiev. NFO "For Family Rights", President. Legal practitioner, author of the "Legal Guide on Homeschooling and Externship" (2011), independent expert in homeschool and parental rights.

Contact Information

For Family Rights
Pavel Parfentiev, Chairman
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Learning At Home
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Homeschool Support Center
POC: Guzel Gurdus
Moscow, Russia 119002
Arbat Street, 43-4
Email: info@hss.center
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