If you decide to educate your child at home

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How to withdraw your child from school for home education

We are happy to talk to you if you are considering home education, however, you are not obliged to tell the Local Authority if you decide to home educate. You are only required to write to the headteacher of your child's school, requesting his/her name is removed from the register as you intend to take responsibility for your child's education.

The headteacher will remove your child's name from the admissions register and will notify the Local Authority. If your son or daughter has never attended school, no notification is required.

First steps to home education

Where do I start?

It may be helpful to ask yourself:

  • "Why do I want to home educate?"
  • "What do my child and I want to achieve?"

By asking these questions it will become clearer what style of education will best suit you and your child and this will help you to decide what resources you require.

Next steps

  • You will need to withdraw your child from school
  • You may find it helpful to talk to other parents who have chosen to educate their child or children at home. One of the most valuable resources for home educators is the experience of those doing the same, so a good starting point is to make contact with other home educators.
  • Plan out how you will educate your child. Please see: How to teach your child at home.

How is Surrey County Council involved in elective home education?

Although the local authority (Surrey County Council) has no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis, we like to get to know our home educating families. The Elective Home Education Inclusion Officers can give advice on home education.

When you start to home educate we will write to you suggesting an informal meeting at your home to discuss your plans.

Most people find the visit helpful, but you might prefer to meet at another venue, with or without your child.

After this initial informal contact, our aim is to contact you once a year for up-to-date information about the education your child is receiving.

How to teach your child at home

Do I need to be a teacher?

No. You need no formal qualifications whatsoever.

What do I have to teach? Do I have to follow the National Curriculum?

The education you provide has to be full time, efficient and suitable. You do not have to follow the National Curriculum, but you could find it helpful to use it as a framework, both for subjects to include and to get an idea of levels of achievement. You can obtain information about the National Curriculum, both Primary and Secondary, on the National Curriculum website that includes guidance and tools that can be downloaded.

If you intend to send your child to school in the future, then it would be wise to be aware of what is taught in school so he/she is not disadvantaged. There are many textbooks and workbooks based on the National Curriculum and these may be useful. You can also use the internet to find information and tools to help you teach your child at home.

How will I teach my child?

You might follow a timetable such as you would find in a school. Or choose to follow a form of 'discovery' education, where you exclusively follow the interests of your child. Or you might use a mixture of these methods.

Surrey Children's Services recognises there are many styles of teaching and learning and does not endorse any particular method. Our interest is in establishing that suitable education takes place. Take a look at online information and resources for parents to find out about some of the home education options available to you and your child.

What happens if it appears suitable education is not being provided?

Under section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996 (on Office of Public Sector Information website), the Local Authority has a duty to intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education.

A home visit will be offered with the aim of helping you overcome the difficulties within a mutually agreed timescale.

If, after an agreed timescale, the situation has not improved you should arrange for your child to return to school. Should you need help to find a school place, the Schools Admissions Team and the Inclusion Service will assist you.

If you decide to return your child to school after trying home education

If you change your mind about home educating your child, you must contact a school to request a place.

You can do so at any time, however, it cannot be guaranteed that there will be a place at the school previously attended.

Please see School admissions for more information about applying for a school place.

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