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.

What is my duty as a parent/guardian?

If you have a school-age child, you must see that they are educated. You can delegate this duty to a school, or you can carry it out yourself.

In any case, the education provided:

  • must be effective
  • must be suitable to the child's age, ability and aptitude
  • must cater for any special education needs

What is the council's duty?

We have a statutory duty to ensure that children who are educated at home are educated according to the law and that parents are providing a 'suitable' education. If we think that you are merely encouraging absence from school and not providing home education, we will consider invoking a School Attendance Order. This gives us the power to put a child's name on the school register. Failure to attend the school after this could result in a fixed penalty fine up to £100.

What should I teach my child?

Life skills are as important to a child's education as knowledge. You should think about how the education you provide will help your child to develop:

  • communication skills
  • observation and awareness skills
  • problem solving skills
  • creative and imaginative skills
  • numerical skills
  • physical skills
  • personal and social skills

How will I be assessed?

If you decide to educate your child at home, we will make sure that your child is receiving an efficient and suitable education. This involves an inspector making an annual visit. Alternatively, the parent might wish to make a report (this is not compulsory).

Who do I inform?

If you are withdrawing your child from school, it is important to see that they are de-registered.

The pupil's name will be removed from the school's admission register if the school has received written notification from you that your child will be educated at home instead. 

You do not need permission do start home educating but you do need to let the governing body of the school know, usually through the headteacher. The school has ten days to let the council know that your child's name has been deleted from the admission register. 

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

If your child has a statement of special educational needs, you need to let us know that you want to home educate them. It remains our duty to ensure that the child's needs are met. The statement must remain in force and the council must ensure that you make suitable provision, including provision for the child's educational needs.

Home education and the law

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

  • to his/her age, ability and aptitude; and
  • to any special education needs he/she may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise

Other useful links

This page was last updated on 17 March 2016

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