Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all people and is imposed by government. Depending on the country, this education may take place at a registered school (schooling) or at home (homeschooling). "Compulsory education differs from compulsory attendance, which means that parents are obliged to send their children to a certain school. Compulsory education involves both the duty imposed upon parents by law to see that their children receive instruction, and the prerogative of every child to be educated."
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights requires, within a reasonable number of years, the principle of compulsory education free of charge for all.