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Home Schooling

How does it work? What rights do you have? What help can you receive?

Some Parent Carers choose to educate their children at home, some feel that they have no choice. As a Parent Carer you may feel that your child’s school is not providing adequate SEN provision or you could feel let down by the school’s / LEA’s failure to provide an EHCP.

So, how does Home Schooling work?

Any parent can choose to educate their child at home and they do not have to follow the National Curriculum or stick to regimented hours. They do however need to make sure that their child is educated, in accordance with Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act:

‘The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable:-

  1. to his age, ability and aptitude
  2. to any SEN’s they may have.

Home education

How do parent’s remove their children from school?

Parents need to write a letter of de-registration directly to the Head Teacher, preferably hand-delivered with a signature on receipt. The school has to consent if the parents want to remove the child completely but they can refuse part-time requests.

Will the Local Education Authority check up on you?

The LEA can make an informal visit to your home to assess your child’s education and they can serve a school attendance order if they feel that your child is not receiving an adequate education at home.

What if your child has an EHCP in place?

As a Parent Carer you can still choose to educate your child at home but if they have an EHCP it could be that you will receive help with this from the LEA. It is their duty to review your child’s statement of needs annually  It is also the duty of the school to support children with medical needs (as a Parent Carer you can ask to see the school policy on this).

What happens when a child is ill and has a prolonged absence from school?

If a child has an absence, which is likely to be or is longer than 15 days then it is the parent’s responsibility to inform the school and the school’s responsibility to update the LEA.

The LEA must make sure that your child is not missing out on their education and should provide either home schooling, hospital teaching or a combination of both, whatever is most appropriate to their situation. They must make sure your child is not without education for more than 15 days.

As well as the education itself the school should encourage social communication with the other children and help with reintegration when it is time for your child to return to school.

Useful organisations

HE Special is a website run by parents of children with special needs.

Home Ed is a website with lots of information on home education.

Education Otherwise is a charitable organisation that has been supporting home education now for over thirty years, doing this through community, information and promotion.