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Home education

Education is compulsory for all children of statutory school age.  The decision on how to educate a child is the responsibility of the parents/ guardian (defined under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996).

As a parent or guardian, you have the right educate your child at home.

Why choose home education?

Home education can be a positive choice to support a particular philosophy, hone a talent or to help foster a particular lifestyle.

Other reasons may include conflicts with a school or negative experiences for the child or parents.

Every child and every parent is different, so talking to other people who home educate can give you an insight into what home education involves.

If you are considering home education for your child, you can talk about it with the local authority.  There are trained and experienced teachers who can help and advise you.

Your responsibilities

As a home educator, you do not have to follow the national curriculum or keep to school hours. You must make sure that your child receives full-time education that is effective and suitable for them. You’ll need to take their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs into account.

If your child is currently enrolled in a school, you must inform the school in writing that you intend to remove your child and will be providing education at home. If your child has not yet started school, you do not have a legal obligation to inform the Local Authority (LA) of your intention to home educate but it is advisable to do so.  It is also helpful to keep your LA informed of any major changes in circumstances, such as a change of address.

If the LA suspects that a child who is of compulsory school age is not receiving education that is full-time or suitable to their requirements, (whether this is at a school, home or by any other means), you will be served with a notice. This will ask you to provide evidence that your child is receiving adequate education. If you are not able to do this, you may be issued with a school attendance order.

Advice and guidance

The LA is not able to provide parents/ guardians with any grants or funds to help provide home education. It will, wherever possible, provide advice and guidance.

The QCA maintains and develops the national curriculum and associated assessments, tests and examinations on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education and Skills.

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