General information about educating your child at home

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About home-education

Education is a fundamental right for every child and we recognise that parents have the right to choose to educate their child at home rather than at school. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children receive a suitable education. Where parents have chosen to home educate, we want the home-educated child to have a positive experience. We believe this is best achieved where parents and the local authority recognise each other's rights and responsibilities and work together.

Parents may decide to exercise their right to home educate their child from a very early age and so the child may not have been previously enrolled at school. They 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 the local authority to educate their children at home. However, the law requires parents to de-register their child by writing to the headteacher of the school the child attends. Parents who choose to educate their children at home must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility, including bearing the costs of any public examinations. Parents must also ensure that their children receive full-time education for as long as they are being educated at home.

Parents' right to educate their child at home applies equally where their child has special educational needs, irrespective of whether the child has an education, health and care plan or not. If the child attends a special school see: Home-education for children registered at a special school.

Parents' education provision will reflect a diversity of approaches and interests. Some parents may wish to provide education in a formal and structured manner. Other parents may decide to make more informal provision that is responsive to the developing interests of their child. One approach is not necessarily more efficient or effective than another. Although some parents may welcome general advice and suggestions about resources, methods and materials, the local authority cannot specify a curriculum or approach, which parents must follow.

The local authority will normally expect to review provision and satisfy itself that the education is appropriate.

For more contact details, please see: Contact Children's Services.

Visit the Education Otherwise website and home education on the website for further information.

For more information, please see our guidance for parents on educating your child at home.

Please see our Elective Home Education Policy (PDF).

Home-education for children registered at special schools and who have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

Parents should seek agreement from the local authority before a child's name can be removed from the register of a special school. This is in Accordance with the Education Act.

It is the local authority's duty to ensure that the educational provision specified in your child's education, health and care plan is provided. If you believe that a school placement is not appropriate for your child and you wish to educate him or her at home, you should write to the Area Special Needs Manager for your area giving the reasons for your choice and setting out your proposals for your child's education at home.

The local authority will normally expect to review provision and satisfy itself that the education is appropriate.

For more information, please see: Home education for children with special educational needs.

Contact details

Please see: Who to contact about home education.

Drop-in Sessions

Our Elective Home Education (EHE) Inclusion Officers will be holding Drop-In Sessions for those families who are already home educating and for those who may wish to know more. Refreshments will be available, so please do come along.

New dates will be added with details of the venues and dates for your area

Files available to download