Home teaching

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 ensure that he/she shall receive an efficient, full-time education that is suitable:

  • to his/her age, ability and aptitude, and
  • to any special educational needs he/she may have.

Find out more about home teaching

Parental rights and responsibilities

You have the option at any point to educate your child at home. If your child is already registered as a pupil at a school, you need to write to the head teacher of that school and inform them of your decision to home educate your child. The head teacher has a duty to inform the local authority (LA), who will then register your child with their home education team, who will begin corresponding with you from there.

If your child has never been registered at a school, you should tell us that you want to home educate your child.

If you move into Salford and are a home educator, we would be grateful if you would inform us as soon as possible. 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 LA.

Children with special educational needs

Parents also have the right to educate their child at home who has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The statement or EHCP will remain in place and the local authority (LA) must ensure that parents make suitable educational arrangements to meet the child’s special educational needs. It remains the duty of the LA to maintain and review this on an annual basis.

If a child is registered at a special school, the consent of the LA is necessary to remove the child from the school roll. This will only be done once education has been established as suitable.

Local authority role and responsibilities

We have a statutory duty to ensure that children who are educated at home are receiving a 'suitable' education and that their needs are being met. Subsequently, home visits will be made by the Home Education Coordinator in order to assess the educational provision. Our visits 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 will ensure your child is learning life skills, as well as academic ones, such as communication skills; observation and awareness skills; problem solving skills; creative and imaginative skills; numerical skills; physical skills and personal / social skills.

You should note that the Home Education Coordinator will not be able to direct the learning which takes place, nor can he/she 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 which may be recommended, though 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 home education, we will consider invoking a School Attendance Order (Sections 437-443 1996 Education Act). This gives us the power to put a child's name on a school register. 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.

Useful links

The privacy notice for Services to Schools can be found on our GDPR page.

Who to contact

Email: electivehomeeducationadmin@salford.gov.uk

This page was last updated on 6 December 2018

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