Home education

Elective Home Education (EHE)

Most children receive their full-time education at school, but a small number of parents prefer to educate their children at home. If you wish to do this, this page can help you find out more about what is required to be a home educator.

Home education and the law

The responsibility for a child's education rests with their parents. In England, education is compulsory, but school is not. The 1996 Education Act imposes a duty on parents and guardians of children of compulsory school age to secure 'efficient full time education,' - this can be done at school or 'otherwise'. Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that:

"The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause [them] to receive efficient full-time education suitable:

  • to [their] age, ability and aptitude, and
  • to any special educational needs [they] may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise."

Parent/carer rights and responsibilities

You have the option at any point to educate your child at home. Parents may decide to exercise their right to home educate their child from a very early age and so the child may have not been previously enrolled at a school. We would be grateful if you would inform us at the local authority of your intention to educate your child at home from a particular date so that accurate records can be kept. Please contact us to request a voluntary referral form using the email address below.

If your child is already registered as a pupil at a Salford school, you need to write to the head teacher of that school and inform them of your decision to home educate your child with effect from a particular date. The head teacher of the school then has a duty to inform the local authority of anyone withdrawn from the school and for what reasons. The local authority will then register your child with the home education team who will begin corresponding with you from there.

If you move into Salford and intend to home educate, we would be grateful if you would contact us informing us of your child’s name, date of birth, your previous address and your current address. Likewise, should you leave the area, it would be appreciated if you could inform us of your new residence, so we may pass on your details to the receiving local authority.

Before making your choice, you should be clear that when parents opt to home educate, you are taking full responsibility for your child’s academic, social and emotional education. There is no funding, resource (physical or online), or teaching support from the local authority for home educating families, including the arrangements and costs of sitting any GCSE examinations, or access to any technology to support the child’s learning. The home educating parent will be expected to take full responsibility for planning, marking and resourcing their child’s education – including any costs associated with this. You will also no longer be eligible for any financial support that you may have been previously receiving via free school meal entitlement.

Local authority's role and responsibilities

We have a statutory duty (under s.436A of the Education Act 1996) to ensure that children who are being home educated are receiving a 'suitable' education and that their needs are being met. Therefore, home visits or meetings will be made by a member of the EHE team to all home educated young people in Salford in order to assess the educational provision. Our role is a supportive one, not judgemental, and the team truly enjoy meeting families in order to see the wonderful work that is being carried out!

We fully appreciate that families who home educate may not provide formal teaching and instead choose much more autonomous educational methods. All methods are respected and carefully considered. Our meetings and written evidence reports are made with an open mind and will be used to look at:

  • Educational philosophy/beliefs.
  • Resources and methods used to meet the philosophy.
  • Evidence to demonstrate the child’s learning (this may be through conversation, photographs, discussion with the child/third party or looking at completed work).
  • Discussions about how you are meeting your child’s social and emotional needs, as well as their academic ones, such as resilience; independence and autonomy; confidence; communication skills; observation and awareness skills; problem-solving skills; creative and imaginative skills; numerical and literacy skills, and physical skills.

You should note that the EHE team will not be able to direct the learning that takes place, nor can they accept any responsibility for this. If you decide to educate your child at home, it is your responsibility to plan, implement and fund your child’s education. The local authority cannot provide books or any other equipment or resources that may be recommended, although we will try to be as helpful as we can.

Moreover, if we think that you are merely encouraging absence from school and not providing suitable home education, we will consider invoking a School Attendance Order (Sections 437-443 1996 Education Act). If an order is served, it will be arranged for your child to be admitted to, and to attend, the school named on the order; failure to do so would be an offence and you would be prosecuted accordingly.

Children with special educational needs

Parents also have the right to educate their child at home if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The EHCP will remain in place and the local authority must ensure that parents make suitable educational arrangements to meet the child’s special educational needs. It remains the duty of the local authority to maintain and review this on an annual basis.

If your child is on the roll of a special school, their name may not be removed from the school register without the local authority’s consent. On receipt of notification that a parent has requested their child be removed from the roll of a special school, the head teacher will notify the SEND caseworker and the EHE team, and the parent will be contacted to arrange to meet in order to discuss the provision being proposed.

The meeting will involve representatives from the school, the EHE officer, SEND services, the parent, and on occasion other services involved with the family. The local authority must be satisfied that the child will have their special educational needs satisfied through home education.

School referrals

If a parent or carer has written to the headteacher stating that they wish to home educate their child(ren), please complete our online form below, ensuring that a copy of the written request is uploaded at the end of the form.

Important: This form should only be completed by schools

Elective Home Education school referral form


Alternatively, if you are a newly home educating parent or are new to the area, please email us in order to request a voluntary referral form so we can register your child(ren).

Useful link

Who to contact

Email: electivehomeeducationadmin@salford.gov.uk

The privacy notice for Education Inclusion can be found on our GDPR page.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 17 February 2023

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