Elective Home Education

Brent's Education Welfare Service (EWS) aims to support individual students in accessing education, including those in home education.

The law on home education

Parents have a legal right to educate their children at home. If they choose to do so they must provide an 'efficient full-time education suitable (a) to the child's age, ability and aptitude, and (b) to any special educational needs the child may have.' [Section 7, Education Act 1996]

Parents may decide to exercise their right to home educate their child from a very early age and so he/she may never be enrolled in school. Parents may also elect to home educate at any other stage up to the end of compulsory school age.

Parents are not required to register or seek approval from their local authority to educate their children at home. However if parents de-register their child from a school the head teacher must inform the local authority.

Parents who choose to educate their children at home become fully financially responsible for their child's education, including the costs of public examinations.

Our involvement

We provide support to parents who elect to home educate by offering information and advice and by making informal enquiries.

They have no legal responsibilities in relation to monitoring home education on a routine basis but statutory duties and powers are conveyed on local authorities in certain circumstances, for example, in cases where a child has a statement of special educational needs or where it appears that a child of compulsory school age is not receiving a suitable education.

The role of the Education Welfare Service

The Education Welfare Service (EWS) provides home educators in Brent with information and a copy of the local authority's policy.

Parents are given the opportunity to provide the EWS with a completed questionnaire or, if they prefer, a written statement or philosophy about the education they will be providing.

Parents will also have the opportunity to meet with an officer from the EWS to discuss their child's education.

The main role of the EWS is to ensure parents provide their child with a suitable education.

The EWS considers issues including 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.

Contact the Education Welfare Service.