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Educating your child at home

Your responsibilities as a parent

By law, all children aged between 5 and 16 must get an efficient and suitable, full-time education. As a parent, you are responsible for making sure this happens. If you don’t want to register your child at a school, you can choose to educate them yourself. This is known as elective home education (EHE).

As an elective home educator, you will be financially responsible for your child’s education.

You’ll need to take your child’s age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs into account. You do not have to follow the national curriculum or keep to school hours.

Support for parents who choose EHE

We have a team of experienced teachers who can give you advice and guidance. You can contact us by email if you need support.

These websites have more information about EHE:

The Department for Education’s guidance for parents booklet has lots of advice about EHE, including:

  • your legal position
  • what you should think about before choosing EHE
  • what you need to do before you start

What to do if your child hasn’t started school

Legally, you do not have to tell us that you’re going to home educate your child. It will be helpful if you do so we can make sure you have access to advice and support.

What to do if your child currently goes to school

Tell the school in writing that you intend to remove your child and will be making other arrangements for their education. The school will de-register them. This means they acknowledge your child no longer attends the school and is not absent without permission.

If the school is providing support (such as special educational needs (SEN) support), this will stop.

Once they’ve left, your child may not be able to return to the same school if you change your mind.

Proving that your child is getting a suitable education

If we don’t have any information about how your child is being educated, we may ask you to prove it. This will be an informal enquiry.

We may serve an S.437 (1) notice if we need to know more. If we don’t believe you’re providing a suitable education, we can issue a school attendance order (SAO).

Your child and exams

Home educated children and young people do not have to sit exams, but they can if they want to.

You’ll need to pay for:

  • exam registration
  • coursework assessment

Your child can take GCSEs and A-levels as an external candidate at a local exam centre. You’ll need to find an exam centre and contact them direct to arrange this.

Some subjects aren’t available to external candidates unless you can come to an arrangement with an exam centre. Contact the exam boards and they’ll tell you what you need to do:

Policies and guidance

Contact information

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