The HE Byte

Home Education Research

Whether to refute criticism of our choice to home educate or to back up a claim in a consultation response or as one prepares to speak with politicians, a knowledge of where to source reliable research about home education is always useful.

This page provides links to various EHE groups and sites giving information about research into home education. UK ones are listed first, followed by American sources.


This bibliography was provided to the HE Byte team in August 2019, both for our own benefit and so it could be made available to the wider EHE community. Anyone wishing to look into the politics behind elective home education may find these sources and links a very helpful starting place.

A Bibliography of Elective Home Education Research Relevant to the United Kingdom – Sept. 2019

Note: this document will be updated from time to time.

If readers are aware of other relevant material which could be of benefit to the whole EHE community, please send the details to the HE Byte for inclusion on this section. (Name of the document, a source and a link to where it can be found would be very helpful.)


Simone de Hoogh’s article “Home Education: A successful educational experiment?” is useful for those looking for a brief overview. It was initially published in the Mensa Research Journal, Vol. 38, no. 3, Fall 2007, p. 35–39. It references, but does not link to, multiple research articles.

Mike Wood’s Home Education UK site provides via the Research Tab: Literature option a comprehensive five page PDF Review of the Research Literature, listing work done by Roland Meighan, Alan Thomas, Leslie Barson and Paula Rothermel (see below).

A useful and particularly topical piece of recent research referenced on this site is Wendy Charles-Warner’s Home Education and the Safeguarding Myth: Analysing the Facts Behind the Rhetoric, February 2015

Paula Rothermel’s name is associated with the first UK study involving home-educated children and their families, using diverse methodologies, broad aims and a large sample. In 2002, she presented a paper entitled “Home-Education: Aims, Practices and Outcomes” at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association.

Another of her papers is  “Comparison of home-and school-educated children on PIPS baseline assessments” (2004). Whilst not open access, the abstract indicates that it finds that the outcome of HE for younger children of all socioeconomic groups is positive.

Fiona Nicholson of Ed Yourself says of her own research, “My main area of investigation is the diversity of local authorities with respect to home education, primarily in England.” Under the title “International Research”, Fiona’s page also lists multiple sources of HE research.

HE-Special-UK is a group of families who home educate children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities. On their Government page they provide documents prepared by members and submitted to the government in response to consultations.


A great deal of research has been done in the United States, with Brian Ray’s work at the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) being well regarded.

(Do bear in mind though the cultural differences between the UK and the USA, which also affect perceptions and practice of EHE.)

Two pages on their website provide lists of research papers, though not all of them are available on the internet:

International Center for Home Education Research was founded in 2012 “by a group of international scholars with more than 70 years of combined experience studying homeschooling.” Its Reviews blog maintains an up to date list of research articles from multiple sources.

Another American group, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) conduct their own research and have collated this and various other sources on their own Research page.


Research by Giuliana Liberto, a home educator from New South Wales, Australia entitled, “Child-led and interest-inspired learning, home education, learning differences and the impact of regulation” was published on line in July 2016. It covers a wide range of issues, from parents’ intuitive knowledge of what is in the best interests of their own children, to the adverse effects of over-regulation and the need for proper consultation with key stakeholders in the formulation of policy. (Not over-long, easy to read.)