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Regulations On The Home Schooling Of Your Child

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 22 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Law Parents Regulations Home Education

There are around 50,000-80,000 home educated children in the UK. Home education can be highly fulfilling for children and can lead to children achieving better than average qualifications. Having been home educated does not prevent a young person from going on to university and having fulfilling careers. Indeed in the US, where home education is more commonplace, many universities and employers seek out home educated young people in their recruitment efforts.

There are a number of reasons why a parent might want to educate their child at home. Some parents opt to home-school because of lifestyle or family reasons, while others do so because of negative school experiences like Bullying, Expulsion, difficulty getting a child into the school of choice, or some problem specific to an individual school.

Socialisation

The main question raised about home education relates to socialisation. With so many home-educated young people in the UK there are now many local support groups all over the UK. These groups often hold regular meetings and are frequently networked with each other through the internet. Home-educated students rarely find socialisation to be an issue.

The law

Under Section 7 of the 1996 education act, parents are responsible for ensuring that their children receive an education suitable to their age ability and aptitude, as well as any special needs he or she may have. The following home-schooling rules apply in England and Wales:

  • You do not need the permission of an LEA to home educate a child (unless the child attends a special needs school)
  • You do not have to hold any particular qualifications to home educate your child
  • There are no predetermined hours or times that you must tutor your child at home
  • You do not have to conform to the National Curriculum
  • You can home educate a child with special needs
  • Home educated children are not required to undertake examinations or SATs

Your Local Education Authority

When considering home education it is wise to consider all of your options carefully and discuss the idea with your child. If you have specific issues with the school, you should consider discussing these with the school and possibly with the Local Children's Services (LEA).

If your child is currently in school, you are required to inform your child's head teacher in writing before you withdraw your child. The head teacher will then inform the (LEA) and remove your child from the school's register. There is no legal requirement for you to allow the local authority access to either your home or child.

The Education Welfare Service (EWS) will almost certainly make contact with you to ensure that you are meeting your duty to provide an education to your child. However, you should be allowed some short period to settle in to your new routine before having to supply detailed information on your provision.

If they are unhappy about your provision, they will write to you to explain their concerns and ask for further information. In rare cases, if the local authority remains unsatisfied with your provision, they can issue a School Attendance Order which requires you to either provide further evidence of education or enrol your child at a school named in the order within 15 days. Such an order can be challenged in court. In all the actions they take the Local Authority must act in the best interests of the child.

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[Add a Comment]
My 2 children aged 15 and 12 have just had a terrible ordeal while walking home from school with me to cut a long story short there were several fights to which we were followed home my youngest child has adhdand can't keep her mout shut I am so upset and wish to take them out of school because they don't want to go and I don't want them to please help how do I go about it and can I take them out
Upset - 22-Jan-18 @ 7:00 PM
My daughter is waiting for a managed move due to her present school failing in their duties. Can she be home schooled till this move as we do not want her back at this school?
Ricky - 15-Jan-18 @ 3:44 PM
Lou - Your Question:
HiMy son is home schooled and will be 16 in February. Can I legally stop his homeschooling after his birthday or do I need to continue it until the end of the official school year ?When can he start an apprenticeship? Thank you x

Our Response:
Compulsory education ends on the last Friday in June if a child will turn 16 before the 31st August). Apprenticeships do not usually commence until the September following the end of year 11.
LawAndParents - 10-Jan-18 @ 12:47 PM
Jim - Your Question:
My ex partner has decided that she is going to withdraw my 5year old autistic son from main stream school and I am not convinced that this is beneficial for him but is there anything I can actually do about it? In my opinion she has no justifiable reason to remove him from school as he has all the support services he needs in his current school and his social communication has also improved vastly since he attended and I feel it is unfair to take him away from all the relationships he's built now over simply not liking the staff at the school when my son seems more than settled there and with those people! I may add that educational assessments carried out by the local authority have proved that my son has learned and retained information since starting school so again I see no need to remove him from the environment when he is learning.

Our Response:
As his father with parental responsibility you have an equal say inimportant events in your son's life. So while your ex can make the decision to remove your son from school, you are equally entitled to challenge this decision. If you feel your son would suffer as a result of removing him from the school, you could consider applying forProhibited Steps Order (PSO) from the courts.
LawAndParents - 10-Jan-18 @ 12:25 PM
Daze - Your Question:
I currently have a social worker involved with my children due to my ex partners violent conduct. The supervision orders in place until March 2018, after that social services should no longer see us once a month or have any involvement. If I decide to withdraw my daughter from school in order that home educate her can the school and social workers prevent me from doing so if they want to if they can't see our point of view?

Our Response:
You must inform the school if you want to remove your child from school.As long as your child is not under a School Attendance Order, or registered with certain Special Educations Needs (SEN), you should not need agreement from the local authority.
LawAndParents - 9-Jan-18 @ 11:39 AM
I currently have a social worker involved with my children due to my ex partners violent conduct. The supervision orders in place until March 2018, after that social services should no longer see us once a month or have any involvement. If I decide to withdraw my daughter from school in order that home educate her can the school and social workers prevent me from doing so if they want to if they can't see our point of view?
Daze - 8-Jan-18 @ 12:23 AM
Hi My son is home schooled and will be 16 in February.Can I legally stop his homeschooling after his birthday or do I need to continue it until the end of the official school year ? When can he start an apprenticeship? Thank you x
Lou - 7-Jan-18 @ 10:51 PM
My ex partner has decided that she is going to withdraw my 5year old autistic son from main stream school and I am not convinced that this is beneficial for him but is there anything I can actually do about it? In my opinion she has no justifiable reason to remove him from school as he has all the support services he needs in his current school and his social communication has also improved vastly since he attended and I feel it is unfair to take him away from all the relationships he's built now over simply not liking the staff at the school when my son seems more than settled there and with those people! I may add that educational assessments carried out by the local authority have proved that my son has learned and retained information since starting school so again I see no need to remove him from the environment when he is learning.
Jim - 7-Jan-18 @ 9:28 PM
Hello I am a single mother of two aged 5&2. I currently live in a area which is actively affected by universal credit. I am looking into homeschooling my children I have done a lot of research and can't see anything that states if universal credit will still pay my housing costs if I'm not looking for work, as I will be a full time .mother homeschooling. I know I will be initiated to child benefit not sure about child tax credit as I am in receipt of universal credit. It cost the tax payer less if my children where homeschooled but I guess that's how the government make money so they give you a unreasonable ultimatum if you home sch you will get no help so will have to work which means you can't home sch or you can send them to sch and they will pay all these extra benefits. When you look at it for what it really is you see first hand the government and local authorities are just business and we are the customer. If we where all to homeschool they would lose nearly 60%ofthere income the other 40% is on parking tickets of course.so my question is if I home school my children how will I pay my rent? Is there any grants or scheme available? Thank you for you time Kind regards
Cash - 6-Jan-18 @ 3:06 AM
Traben - Your Question:
Hi, my son has autism and started secondary school in September. He has been bullied since starting and today he actually got punched in the face! He’s so anxious about going back to school as the school have done nothing to stop the bullying. Can I pull my son out of his school and home tutor him temporarily until I find a suitable special needs school for him?

Our Response:
Unless he's registered with a special educational need, you can home school him. You will need to have plans in case you are not able to find an alternative place elsewhere. Talk to your local education authority about it.
LawAndParents - 15-Dec-17 @ 12:36 PM
My concern with home education is that there seems to be no checksmade to confirm or otherwise that the child is being Given a suitable education. Is my concern justified?
Nigel - 13-Dec-17 @ 11:48 PM
Hi, my son has autism and started secondary school in September. He has been bullied since starting and today he actually got punched in the face! He’s so anxious about going back to school as the school have done nothing to stop the bullying . Can I pull my son out of his school and home tutor him temporarily until I find a suitable special needs school for him?
Traben - 12-Dec-17 @ 9:07 PM
Nads - Your Question:
Hi my daughter is 15, and has been bullied throughout her secondry school life. We have moved her to another school who kindly have kept her in year 10 as she had 6 months off last year through bullying. Unfortunately she is now being bullied at this new school as well. She is depressed, has lost her self esteem and has also wanted to kill herself. This is a worrying time for me as a mother and was wondering if it would be better for me to home school her.

Our Response:
We can't advise on whether you should home educate your daughter, that is a decision you must make as a parent. Do make arrangements to talk to your daughter's current school staff about the problems to see if they can help in anyway.
LawAndParents - 6-Dec-17 @ 3:41 PM
Craig- Your Question:
My son is in the second year of second school but finds it difficult to settle we as a parents try to make him go to school but we find it difficult to get him to go we have been fined once they now want to take things to the next level apart from dragging him to school by false he won't go (witch is child abuse ) how can we sort this out

Our Response:
Your local education welfare officer should be able to help with this. They can do a lot to liaise with the school and other organisations etc
LawAndParents - 4-Dec-17 @ 10:56 AM
My son is in the second year of second school but finds it difficult to settle we as a parents try to make him go to school but we find it difficult to get him to go we have been fined once they now want to take things to the next level apart from dragging him to school by false he won't go (witch is child abuse ) how can we sort this out
Craig - 3-Dec-17 @ 1:45 AM
Hi my daughter is 15, and has been bullied throughout her secondry school life. We have moved her to another school who kindly have kept her in year 10 as she had 6 months off last year through bullying. Unfortunately she is now being bullied at this new school as well. She is depressed, has lost her self esteem and has also wanted to kill herself. This is a worrying time for me as a mother and was wondering if it would be better for me to home school her.
Nads - 30-Nov-17 @ 4:51 PM
Caz - Your Question:
Hi my daughter of 12 is having issues with bullying at school I am currently working with the school to address these issues but so far since September things have not improved my question is my children were under social services until April this year then they closed the case but if I try home school are social services going to try and get involved and bully us around I'd be really grateful of some detailed advice via email thanks

Our Response:
We 're sorry but we can't answer individual questions by email. Usually home schooling is straightforward but if a child is registered with special educational needs the LEA mayeither refuse or insist on some continued assessment etc. The situation may be similar if your child has been regsitered with social services.
LawAndParents - 29-Nov-17 @ 10:39 AM
Hi my daughter of 12 is having issues with bullying at school I am currently working with the school to address these issues but so far since September things have not improved my question is my children were under social services until April this year then they closed the case but if I try home school are social services going to try and get involved and bully us around I'd be really grateful of some detailed advice via email thanks
Caz - 28-Nov-17 @ 12:04 PM
After numerous, various issues with my 10 year old (year 6) son's primary school, we have decided that we would like to home educate him. We have already applied to high school but do not yet know if the application is successful (he has 2 older siblings already at the school). Can the secondary school of choice refuse to admit my son because he has been home educated and not taken his year 6 sats? If the school does want him to take the sats, where and how would he sit them?
Beaver - 26-Nov-17 @ 5:26 PM
Can i start home schooling at 16 to surport a business i want to do in the future.
Music - 25-Nov-17 @ 7:41 PM
I want to take my 9 year old out of school, he started a new school in September due to changing area and now he is getting bullied and developing a very low self esteem, breaking down to me in the evenings, slowly becoming a different child and I can't bear to see it any longer. What steps do I need to take so I can homeschool him I'm willing to do the school work with him that they would just t home
Cmum2 - 13-Nov-17 @ 8:56 PM
Hi my daughter refuses to go to school because a teacher picked on her. She is scared of any one who is professional. We decided to home educate her but the local authority has refused us to do so as they believe we are not capable of providing a suitable education for her age and ability. She still remains on the school register even though I have sent the school a letter and wrote a letter to the education board explaining what I plan too teach her. Please help what Can I do?
Lou - 8-Nov-17 @ 2:06 AM
Hi, I’m Anna I’m 16 years old 3 years ago I used to be homeschooled I dropped out of school because of bullying, I previously went to college I went went 3 months and dropped out as I was getting picked on again I was wondering can I stay homeschooled still I’m 18? If I’m doing work experience as well?
Anna - 7-Nov-17 @ 7:28 PM
Mandy - Your Question:
Deregister him from college as he has to stay in education until he is 18. Can he just leave further education and go straight to work? I'm under the impression that he "has" to stay in some form of education.

Our Response:
After school leaving age (June following a 16th birthday), a child must either: stay in full-time education, for example at a college; start an apprenticeship or traineeship or spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training
LawAndParents - 6-Nov-17 @ 10:59 AM
Deregister him from college as he has to stay in education until he is 18. Can he just leave further education and go straight to work?I'm under the impression that he "has" to stay in some form of education.
Mandy - 3-Nov-17 @ 10:11 PM
Mandy - Your Question:
My son is 16 and goes to college 3 days a week, on the other 2 days he works for a building firm, he is studying construction at college, he failed his maths and English can I still de register him, any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Our Response:
De-register him....from what?
LawAndParents - 3-Nov-17 @ 3:25 PM
My son is 16 and goes to college 3 days a week,on the other 2 days heworks for a building firm, he is studying construction at college,he failed his maths and English can I still de register him, any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Mandy - 3-Nov-17 @ 1:12 PM
James - Your Question:
Hello, me and my wife just got married and are expecting our first child in 6 months. I am certain I want to home school. Is there a publicly released minimum standard that the LA will assess your child's HE provision by? I want them to start Kumon Maths and English. I excelled at it when I was younger and I know it would be perfect for homeschooling. My concern is whether I have to teach them more than just Maths and English and expand into other subjects? (I do hope to teach them science, geography and history alongside Maths and English).

Our Response:
The law only states that the responsibility for a child's education rests with his or her parents and that a child must receive an "efficient" and "suitable" education. A suitable" education is generally accepted as one that "primarily equips a child for life within the community of which he is a member, rather than the way of life in the country as a whole, as long as it does not foreclose the child's options in later years to adopt some other form of life if he wishes to do so".
LawAndParents - 1-Nov-17 @ 12:37 PM
Sundas - Your Question:
Hi,I have two children, aged 5 n 9, they are currently at full time school however I would like to give homeschooling a go and see if it works for us, lije for about six months initially, would that be a possibility? Like if I decide later on tgat they are better off at school, would I have the option of getting them back in?

Our Response:
You would have to discuss this with your school and local education authority. They may not hold a school place open for 6 mothns just in case you decide that home educating is not working.
LawAndParents - 30-Oct-17 @ 12:02 PM
Hello, me and my wife just got married and are expecting our first child in 6 months. I am certain I want to home school. Is there a publicly released minimum standard that the LA will assess your child's HE provision by? I want them to start Kumon Maths and English. I excelled at it when I was younger and I know it would be perfect for homeschooling. My concern is whether I have to teach them more than just Maths and English and expand into other subjects? (I do hope to teach them science, geography and history alongside Maths and English).
James - 30-Oct-17 @ 10:04 AM
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