You can choose to educate your child at home rather than sending him or her to school. This is sometimes called ‘elective home education’ or ‘home schooling’.
The law on home education
As a parent you have a legal right to educate your child at home.
In accordance with Section 7, Education Act 1996, you must provide an efficient full-time education suitable to:
- the child's age, ability and aptitude
- any special educational needs the child may have.
You will have full financial responsibility for your child’s education, including the cost of public examinations.
You can choose home education at any stage in your child’s schooling up to the end of compulsory school age.
There is no requirement to register or seek approval from the council. If your child is already enrolled in school, and you de-register them, the school’s headteacher must inform us.
The GOV.UK website has elective home education guidance for parents including your responsibilities.
What is our involvement
We provide support to parents who choose to home educate by offering information and advice and by making informal enquiries.
We do not have a legal responsibility to routinely monitor home education but we do have statutory duties if:
- it appears a child is not receiving a suitable education
- a child has a statement of special educational needs (SEN).
Our Education Welfare Service (EWS) supports individual students in accessing education, including children being educated at home.
The EWS’ main role is to ensure parents provide their child with a suitable education. We can provide you with information for home educators and a copy of the local authority’s policy.
You can also complete a questionnaire or, if you prefer, a written statement or philosophy about the education you will be providing.
An officer from our EWS can meet with you to discuss your child’s education.
The kind of issues the EWS considers include whether:
- parents or other significant carers play a substantial role in providing education
- the child's needs, aptitudes and aspirations are recognised
- there are opportunities for the child to be stimulated by their learning experiences
- the child has access to appropriate resources and materials to aid their learning. These might include paper, pens, books, arts and crafts materials, sporting or exercise facilities, ICT resources and opportunities for the child to interact appropriately with other children and adults.
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