Homeschooling is legal in Portugal and many international families are considering alternative education options for their children. It is important for parents to understand the difference between homeschooling and online schooling.

Online schooling 

An online school, like CambriLearn, provides a schooling curriculum through an online platform. This involves using an online learning programme that connects students to a teacher during live classes, or where students can log on to software to complete coursework with worksheets, lessons or other learning tools.

The online school is responsible for designing the lessons, administering tests and recording results. This is a great tool to help homeschooling families gain access to structured coursework and professionally trained teachers. 

Online schooling can be done at home in a homeschooling environment or through a tutor or learning pod. This option provides students with the freedom and flexibility of online learning, combined with the support and social interaction of studying alongside a group of peers.


Homeschooling refers to a child learning in a home environment without the use of a formal schooling curriculum. This typically places all the responsibility on the parent or guardian. Parents who homeschool (without an online schooling platform) are responsible for creating the lesson content and monitoring the student’s progress and completion of the required coursework.

The benefits of enrolling your child in an online learning platform, like CambriLearn, is that they provide a detailed course outline, marked assessments, assignments and student report cards. All of these can be used as part of the child’s portfolio of learning.

A CambriLearn student progress report can also assist in registering a child with another school or applying for university later down the line. The most important thing to local authorities is that you can prove that your child is receiving an education.

family speaking to a consultant about homeschooling in portugal

Choosing an online schooling curriculum 

A curriculum is a planned sequence of lessons and learning content that a child will follow to complete their education. A popular choice for expatriate homeschooling parents is the CambriLearn International British Curriculum which equips a child to graduate from school by completing the IGCSE and A-Level Cambridge assessments, enabling them to apply to universities around the world.

Legal Requirements

If the child is already registered with a Portuguese public school and you wish to remove the child from the school and place them into a homeschooling environment then the child will need to follow the Portuguese curriculum. 

In this case, the child will be registered as a homeschooler with the local education office. The parent who is responsible for educating the child will need to have a degree (this does not need to be a degree in the education field, but it does need to be recognised in Portugal). 

If the child has not previously been registered with a Portuguese public school and you wish to place them in a homeschooling environment then you are able to do so by enrolling them in an international online schooling curriculum.  

Homeschooling with the help of a family member or tutor

If you are not registered with an international online school and neither of the parents has a degree, you can still homeschool if:

  • you have a family member with a degree who can act as the 'responsável educativo’ (education responsible). The family member responsible for homeschooling must live in the same house as the child.
  • It is also possible for parents to hire a licensed tutor or teacher to facilitate their child’s education at home - if they do not have a degree or a family member with a degree to facilitate education at home. Hiring a tutor or a teacher is distinguished from homeschooling as “Individual Learning”.

MEL, a non-profit organisation, is the Education Association in Portugal that offers legal advice and support with regard to homeschooling and alternative education. By becoming a MEL member, you will be able to ask for legal advice and assistance when choosing a curriculum and registering for homeschooling in Portugal.

We also recommend joining the Facebook Group ‘Homeschooling in Portugal’ to connect with like-minded families who may be able to assist with answering any questions based on their first-hand experiences. 

Reasons parents choose alternative schooling in Portugal

  • Access to personalised education: Parents choose online schooling to ensure that their children have access to a personalised education which is often more affordable than private schooling options in Portugal.
  • Non-Portuguese-speaking families: Whilst public education is free in Portugal, the teaching is done in Portuguese. Many parents prefer that their child learns in their home language and thus opt to enrol their child in a school that teaches in their first language. 
  • Children with special learning needs: Online schooling and homeschooling can provide a better learning environment for children with ADHD or with other special learning needs because their lesson plans can be tailored to their unique needs, without stigmatisation.
  • A solution for travelling families: Online schooling gives you more freedom and flexibility. Students are able to set the pace of their learning and students can go away during term time to visit family back home. Following a standardised international curriculum, like the international British or Cambridge curriculum, means that children can move between schools easily. 

Online Schooling costs in Portugal

The cost of online schooling will depend on the curriculum, platform, student level and the subjects you select. The Cambridge curriculum (or International British Curriculum) is a popular schooling curriculum and is chosen for its flexibility and teaching methodologies. 

The costs for the Cambridge Curriculum will be influenced by the following factors:

  • Selected platform, package and fees
  • Textbooks (digital or printed)
  • Exam fees

The costing provided below is for illustrative purposes only and will vary depending on the number of subjects, the examination venues, and the textbook formats you’ve elected to buy. 

Primary stage online schooling costs

Annual online schooling fees for primary-stage students range between €629 and €1 802 per year for three subjects. Textbooks will cost between €82 and €165 and at this level, there are no additional examination fees.

Secondary stage online schooling costs

Annual online schooling fees for lower secondary stage students range between €2 258 and €4 324 per year for six subjects. Textbooks will cost between €391 and €489 and there are no additional examination fees for Lower Secondary years 1 and 2.

Secondary IGCSE online schooling costs

Annual online homeschooling fees for IGCSE students range between €2 436 and €4 869 per year for six subjects. Textbooks will cost between €293 and €391 and, depending on the examination centre, exam fees range between €979 - €1 959 collectively.

AS Level online schooling fees

Annual online homeschooling fees for A Level students range between €1 717 and €4 464 per year for four subjects. Textbooks will cost between €391 and €489 and, depending on the examination centre, the subject, and the exam type, exam fees range between €979 - €1 959 collectively.

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Schooling curriculums in Portugal

The most common schooling curriculums in Portugal are:

  • The Portuguese National Curriculum is the curriculum which you will follow if you enrol your child in a public school. The Portuguese education system is divided into - Preschool (3 – 6 years), Basic education (6 - 15 years) and, Upper secondary education (15 to 18 years)
  • The International British Curriculum/Cambridge Curriculum: This is a globally recognised system of learning and assessment that allows for seamless integration with national curricula worldwide. It offers more flexibility for students to work at their own pace and students are able to write exams in exam centres anywhere in the world. Parents opt for the International British Curriculum because an A Level certificate is accepted by universities across the world.














After school

National Curriculum

Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
Grade 9
Grade 11
Grade 12
Post-secondary non-higher education

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