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March 20, 2015

Legal Basis for Home Education in the Russian Federation

Submitted by “For Family Rights”

Education in Russia is regulated primarily at the federal level by the federal legislation. According to the Russian Constitution (Art. 43) everyone shall have the right to education and parents or guardians shall enable their children to receive a basic general education. The same Article of the Constitution points out that “The Russian Federation shall … support various forms of education and self-education.”

The major issues concerning education are regulated at the Federal level by a framework law, the Federal Law of 29 Dec. 2012 N 273-FZ “On Education in the Russian Federation.”  The law (Art. 44 (1)) states that parents (guardians) of children have the primary right to educate and to bring up their children before all other persons.

According to this law, all the three levels of general education (primary, secondary and high school levels, embracing 11 years of learning) are obligatory. The education received should conform to the Federal State Educational Standards that are obligatory for all forms of general education (Art. 11 of the Law).

General education may be received within the school system or “outside of educational establishments.” The last option includes home education in forms of family education and self-education (Art. 17). Children receiving home education have the right to pass the testing at schools and final state exams after their 9th and 11th years of study. The final tests are obligatory under the law.  As for yearly tests, their obligatory nature is not so clear, but it is highly recommended in practice to pass them in order not to have problems with potential truancy reporting and subsequent procedures.

Homeschooling is available for all families and for all levels of general education. Parents have the right to choose the form of education—including education at home in forms of family education or self-education—until the end of 9th form (taking into consideration the opinion of the child).  This is secured in Art. 44 (1) 1 of the Law. Children at the age of 10th-11th forms have the right to choose the form of education themselves (Art. 34 (1) 1 of the Law). Nevertheless, the law states that the form of education for general education is still chosen by the parents (Art. 63 (4)). This is a sort of inconsistency in the law that could be interpreted as a necessity to have the decision of both parent and pupil for the 2 senior years of general education. Family education is lawful for all three levels of general education, while self-education is available only for the two senior-year levels (Art. 63 (2)).

Parents who have chosen family education for their children should inform the municipal authorities of their decision (Art. 63 (5)). 

The “For Family Rights” NGO works to protect parental rights, including the right to choose home education for their children

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