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Can I Join School after Homeschooling in India? Will school admit / accept child in age appropriate grade?

While contemplating choice about trying or starting homeschooling in India many families are concerned about whether child will be accepted or admitted back in traditional schools after trying or practicing homeschooling for one or more years.

What Education Policy under RTE(Right to Free & Compulsary Education Act 2009) obligates?

Ideally a child should be accepted in age appropriate class after doing homeschooling for 1 or more years or if child has never been to traditional school.
Consider a scenario (A),
If a child has attended school till 2nd grade and then family decided to homeschool and dropped out of school, and after homeschooling for an year if family need to join school, then child should be admitted in 4th grade without having obligation to produce records of 3rd grade exams.
Or scenario (B),
If child has never been to traditional school and need to join school at age 10. In that case RTE suggests that child should be admitted to age appropriate class which in this case is 5th grade without having obligation to have previous school leaving or transfer certicate or exam certificates, and preparation needed for appropriate grade should be facilitated by school or state.

What may happen in practice?

Usually private schools admit child in age appropriate class provided there is vacancy. Usually as there might be over-supply of private schools in many locations, finding a school which accepts may not be challenge, albeit at times you may not get school of choice or may need to join relatively expensive school. Some private schools may conduct a casual or routine assessment test to check preparedness of student for grade before admission. That usually is not a hindrance for most homeschooling children.
And as we have discussed, provisons of RTE put obligation espacially for Govt schools and state to accept every school age child (between 6 to 14 years) in school in age appropriate grade.

In many places there are alternative schools or learning centers which operate with bit different ideas in relation to curriculum or assessments than traditional schools. Such schools are even more receptive to homeschool families.

A family wanted to try homeschooling for an year, they discussed with school and school agreed to admit child next year if needed. Family did not go back to school. Families can discuss such possibilies with existing schools that are cooperative to have more sense of security if needed.

Though most families who have plunged in homeschooling or living without schools have not joined back schools, I am also connected with some homeschooling families who have shifted in & out of school in their homeschooling journey. I have not heard any story wherein families struggled to get back in school if they needed.

Shared by Muzaffar Shaikh, living in Pune, whose 10 yr old son always has been growing without school and Muzaffar has been connected over a decade with hundreds of homeschool families and associated with home schooling groups in India.
Last Updated : July 6, 2020

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