In 2000, the Irish Government brought in a system of registration for home educated children aged six to sixteen, with teenagers usually staying on the register until they reach eighteen. Originally, the registration process was administered through the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB), but in 2014 it was moved from the Department of Education to the Child and Family Agency, Tusla. The branch of Tusla that deals with Home Educations is their AEARS (Alternative Education Assessment and Registration Service) section. The registration process consists of:

Application to Home Educate

Last updated on 16th September 2020

It has come to the attention of the NCB that a new Statutory Instrument (Si330 of 2020, see link below) has as of 26th August 2020 made a regulation in respect of Tusla’s use of the R1 form with regards to the home education application process as per Section 14.4 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

As many of you are aware since the Sunshine case in September 2019 (when the court ruled that the R1 form was not a legal requirement) it has been possible to apply by letter, without the use of the R1 form. It is unclear at the moment whether this SI overrides the decision of the court, or if applications are still valid without the full R1 form.

We are aware that people who applied in writing have been sent a shorter version of the form for completion, since the SI was implemented. We will update members when we know more.

Tusla (AEARS) New R1 Application Form

Tusla (AEARS) Guidelines for completing the application form

Tulsa (AEARS) contact details and forms

Applications can be sent to :

Registration Section

Alternative Education Assessment & Registration Service

Child and Family Agency

Floor 4, Brunel Building

Heuston South Quarter

Dublin 8

Preliminary Assessment

For the purpose of determining whether the child is receiving a certain minimum education, an authorised person will carry out, in consultation with the parent who made the application, an assessment of:

  1. the education that is being provided, or that it is proposed will be provided, to the child,
  2. the materials used, or that it is proposed will be used, in the provision of such education, and
  3. the time spent, or that it is proposed will be spent, in the provision of such education.

The Tusla/AEARS guidelines also give a good overview of how the assessment process works.

Guidelines on the Assessment of Education in Places Other Than Recognised Schools

Prior to 2019 assessments only happened face to face, phone assessments where introduced and then during 2020 Microsoft Teams meetings where also introduced as an option for meeting with an Assessor.

Most families are put on the register after this initial assessment and get highly commended for the provision of education they are providing their children.

Comprehensive Assessment

If the Preliminary Assessment is deemed inconclusive, Tusla/AEARS may require a more detailed assessment, called a Comprehensive Assessment.

Ongoing  Monitoring Assessment

Once on the register, Tusla/AEARS may request occasional ongoing monitoring assessments. Often when a younger sibling is registering the assessor may also ask to complete an ongoing monitoring assessment of an older child. There is no set time frame for these assessments.

Information can also be found through Citizens Infomation.

article 42

  1. The State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children.
  2. Parents shall be free to provide this education in their homes or in private schools or in schools recognised or established by the State.
    • The State shall not oblige parents in violation of their conscience and lawful preference to send their children to schools established by the State, or to any particular type of school designated by the State.
    • The State shall, however, as guardian of the common good, require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social.
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