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Regulations On The Home Schooling Of Your Child

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 22 Feb 2021 | 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.


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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My 2 kids 8,10 both have ehcps. Both have language disorder only. I put in for home schooling told school to remove from their role and contacted local County Council EHE who said that I just was waiting for school to send them a form saying it'd been done then I do form saying how I planned on schooling. However school called emergency ehcp review, fine. It was school, kids case worker and myself for 2 hrs they basically said that kids were better off at school because if something were to happen to me my husband who has learning disabilities wouldn't be able to teach them. He has 2 City and guilds. My 10 yr gets angry and physical when school is even in topic my 8yr wets the bed.School basically said better off being taught by professionals. Only ehcp requirements are 1 to 1, met.. 2 kids to 2 parents. Started home schooling and kids asking to do more! Seriously! Plan on putting in again but want to tick all the boxes first. Only way I can think school can stop me from home schooling is if they say its unsuitable. Is this right? What can I do to stop this? Help please
Sue - 22-Feb-21 @ 11:46 PM
I deregister my 4 year old from reception because she was being bullied. she is a special needs child and there has been too many incidents at school. I am enjoying home schooling her and she is doing so well too. I would like her to go to school so my question is how do apply to a different primary school for her? Do I need to go to back to her first school and ask them to apply for a transfer or do I go I just approach the local authority? many thanks
Machy - 28-Nov-20 @ 4:51 PM
Worried - no you can not withhold child maintenance just because your child is home-schooled. You pay maintenance towards food and other essentials. You don’t live with your ex do you? So how do you know your child only plays xbox? That’s very unlikely. Home-school lessons can follow any timetable they are not the same as school and have to be suitable for the individual child. If you are worried about the child and not just your money, talk to your ex.
Happy Seven - 13-Nov-20 @ 2:05 PM
Hi my son is currently home educated by my ex-wife.He is nearly 16 years old and tbh doesn’t do anything and can barely read and write.He has no learning difficulties the ex simply wanted to home school all the kids and this last one is in the others shadow and therefore hasn’t made the effort (not encouraged either) to look at their future and what education they have. I have always been opposed to home education however I am now conscious that I am about to start paying child maintenance to my ex to support my son in continuing to Xbox all day.Is there anyway I can force her into doing some educating by saying I won’t pay child mainentance anymore as he isn’t in full time education (I know FT education can be counted as home schooling, but playing Xbox is NOT home schooling).Advice?
Worried - 3-Nov-20 @ 1:40 PM
Hi my 12 year old son as got realy bad angsitty everytime he nows he's got to go to school he's sick every day and he dosent eat anything all day up school he carnt stand school when he comes homes he tells me he wonts to die so he dosent have to go to school I don't now how I can home school him
Tracy Ruddock - 5-Oct-20 @ 10:14 PM
I would like to home school both my children aged 8,10 until i find a local school as i am relocatingis this possiblemany thanks james
Jim - 27-Sep-20 @ 5:59 PM
In response to: "Hi I am seeking some advice as I separated from my child's father when was newborn duento domestic abuse." I am in a similar situation, except that I am now in court proceedings (yet again). Cafcass are to be involved due to the animosity and the HE question. There are many useful sites out there that inform you of the law. Some barristers are not knowledgeable enough and I have found myself educating both mediators and legal parties so I have been studying this. My one piece of advice is to ensure that you have a case for it to be best for the child - not for the parent to HE but the benefits it will give to the child. Be positive - I disagree with the way that the current education system is run, but will promote the positives in HE - one to one tuition, at their own pace, keeping them enthused, and promoting outdoor learning in ANY subject. Flexible learning that can occur at any time and about anything. I don't know if this will work but I do feel that this is the best way to go.
#stoptheabuse - 25-Sep-20 @ 4:25 PM
Hi, Can I withdraw my child from school if Im relocating to india in few months. Im currently on dependent Visa and planning to educate my child back in India from next year. Currently my daughter is 5 years old. Due to coronavirus issues I do not want to send her to school. Currently she is attending a local school here in the UK. Is there any other legal issues or formalities that needs to be completed before I withdraw my child from school? Please help.
Jez - 25-Sep-20 @ 10:58 AM
Hi I've a special guardianship order with full parental responsibility for a 14yr old and would like to home school her due to bullying in school is this possible and what do I need to do?
Linnie - 14-Sep-20 @ 12:51 PM
Hi there my son has a disability, he officially left school this year, he only had to attend once a week when he was there it was alternative provision school, now he’s 16 nearly 16 we’ve decided collage is going to be to much for him, and decided to home school him until he is 18, do I have to contact any one about this or just go online and complete the free courses with him ? Many thanks
Sj - 8-Sep-20 @ 4:37 PM
These rules seem to suggest that if a child’s parents decide on home schooling before said child’s fifth birthday, there are no rules whatsoever that the parents need to comply with... Our neighbours, who don’t work, have two children, both school age, neither has ever gone to school, and their “home schooling regime” consists solely of play time, all day, every day. They don’t have lessons or learning periods of any kind and are decidedly behind the level they should be considering their age, both in terms of social skills and knowledge. They do not have any special needs. Surely this is neglect on the parents’ part? Surely this can’t be legal!
Portia - 2-Sep-20 @ 12:27 PM
Am I allowed to assist in home educating my grandson as my Enlish degree could benefit his learning ? Also,which subjects are compulsory at secondary school level.
Minerva - 24-Aug-20 @ 10:38 PM
Hi ..i have recently de registered via email and letter about a week ago to the school in regards to starting Home School.The school have not replied and im hearing in differant home school groups some schools choose to ignore the de reg lettersHow do i legally go forward iff their is no reply.Thankyou
Lucy - 20-Aug-20 @ 2:13 AM
Hi. My child is 4 due to start reception, registered at a school. I want to homeschool for many different reasons but I have a social worker on CP plan. They were talking about stepping me down in October until they heard about my decision. Making it clear its my choice but implying if I choose to HE we probably won't step down.. First reason being socialising I explained I'm part of many groups where I can meet up and do educational days out etc. So then it popped in if my child isn't at school they won't be able to see her as much so they can't do their job basically so now I'm thinking what the hell do you think goes on at home.. They've been involved for 14 months now we've been through alot losing our baby for the second time and alot of stuff has happened but not once have I ever put my child in any situation where they're at risk harm or neglected in any way shape or form. I went through it all as a child I would never ever let my children feel anything like I did. It's really frustrated me and now I don't know what to do. I feel like my rights have been stripped and I don't have a choice but I'm really uncomfortable with her going in September it's not something I want and I'm her mum surely it's my choice whether I have SS involved or not.
K - 14-Aug-20 @ 8:02 PM
Hi I am seeking some advice as I separated from my child's father when was newborn duento domestic abuse.After a long court battle in gained contact. My child and myself want tohome educate permanently from September but he is disagreeing and has dismissed the idea and said Inam not allowed to make a decision without him agreeing. I raised this with him in the hope he would listen about the best interests and needs of my child but he hasnt. Is there any advice I could be given please? As home education is the best route but another court battle is not.
L - 29-Jul-20 @ 7:48 PM
In reply to Hik, if your child is not registered at a school or registered to start in September you do not need to let anyone know that you plan to home ed. However, if a school has them registered to start in September you need to write to the head teacher to let them know your child will be home educated.
B - 21-Jul-20 @ 8:10 AM
Hi there I am looking for an advise in regards to home schooling my child, my daughter is turning 5 in August. I have not register her in school yet. Due to this corona virus issue I don’t feel safe for her to attend school, how should I go about it. Do I need to inform my council authorities now.
Hik - 23-Jun-20 @ 4:08 PM
This is a long one and ive a lot of Qs..... Mare 92. I have the same question as you regarding my exhusband. Also where do you get resources to home educate? Do you make an outline plan for the "year"? Do you have certain goals you set to achieve each week/term? How many of you home ed an 8 year old... Y3 currently going to y4? How do i find groups with similar age children.... My 8 year old really wants to be home educated and it's something i wanted to do from day 1 due to my boy being my miracle child and being born at 27 weeks.... However i worked full time and he went to a private nursery until he was 4 and he started reception. My son is following a similar path to me at school whereas hes very bright... He has very few friends and was quite miserable before school shut 12 weeks ago. Hes thriving in the home environment and is a lot cleverer than school was telling me he was on last parents evening. I feel school spends no time getting to know him as an individual and they teach him in the wrong style for his learning style. hes quite a quiet boy and he listens and analyses behaviour same as i do (nlp family) . He gets overshadowed by the loud ones or the ones who need more attention a lot. The people he levetates towards have little clicks and he gets pushed out a lot and I think that home ed is our way forward.... Another part of my dilemma is.... My daughter is 4 and due to start reception September this year. Shes been to various settings, i.e. Private nursery, and has been in preschool since she was 2 at one school and started her current school when she turned 3. She desperately wants to go to "normal school" as she calls it as she doesn't understand what school truly is and also she doesnt understand that what we've been doing since march isnt what home ed would usually be like.. Any advice??
Lou-Bea - 13-Jun-20 @ 3:25 AM
Hi do you have ways that I can convince my ex that our child would be better taught at home than beginning school? I myself was until I was 12 and I believe I very much gained more from that. Jess
Mare92 - 6-May-20 @ 9:35 PM
My son has been Home Schooled by his mother since he was eligible for school so he has never attended a regular primary school. He is now nearly nine years old and yet his level of education especially in Mathematics is equivalent to about a six year old. His physical writing abilities are deplorable for a child of his age. Overall he is years behind with his level of education for a child of his age. I have mentioned this to his mother on several separate occasions yet she is either ignoring my genuine concerns or replying saying she is doing a good job of which I can clearly see that he is failing. Just to point out myself and his mother are not together. What can I do or who should I contact in order to get him independenly assessed?
Musicman66 - 24-Apr-20 @ 9:26 PM
So I know my usernames weird but I have a question... what if a parent isn't homeschooling a child?
SiriLol - 24-Mar-20 @ 1:11 PM
Hi. I’m in year 8 and I have a lot of time off due to migraines that I was diagnosed with around the age of 3. My migraines cause me to not be able to attend school due to the environment and my anxiety because of it. I was wondering if I was to talk to my mum to become home schooled as I miss out on a lot of education that is needed at my age. I have missed a lot of school since a young age and feel it would be best If I was home schooled so I would no longer miss out on my education as it is important to me. Would it be the best thing to do for my future and to become educated enough to get a good job or to go to university when I get older. I feel like it would do me good as I would be more educated as I would not have to worry to go into the environment of school with my anxiety which causes me more migraines and to miss out on more school.
Libs - 9-Mar-20 @ 9:43 PM
My son has dyspraxia and I feel the school is not up to speed or equipped to deal with this there is nothing in place for him apart from a shared 1-1
Mummyn - 23-Feb-20 @ 12:03 PM
My son is really stressed out at school he started to get migraines he's had lot time off school due to being poorly so we both sat down and had talk about homeschooling and we are going to give it to
Brad - 20-Feb-20 @ 10:19 PM
my child is deperate to be homeschooled however we don’t have enough money to pay for a tutor and i work a full time job, is she allowed to do online homeschooling if i regularly check her progress and what she’s doing?
Cx - 11-Feb-20 @ 11:06 PM
Reply to ‘don’ It’s perfectly legal for you to home school your 4 year old. Children are not legally required to attend school until they are 5 years old and even then you can opt for home schooling. However, bear in mind that if you decide not to send your 4 year old to school now and then enrol them later on, they will enter their age appropriate year. This can mean your child not only starting a new school but also entering an already established peer and friendship group. Hope this helps.
Kernow - 7-Feb-20 @ 7:03 PM
My daughter is picked on something awful and she's unhappy now. Can I home school her for the rest of year 6 until she goes to high school? It's what she wants.
Cmum - 7-Feb-20 @ 2:12 PM
Hi i was just wondering if it is.illegal.to homeschool my 4 year old in the.uk
don - 7-Feb-20 @ 8:51 AM
Hi im in year 7 and i like scjooolbsjdbdjbdjsb
Cadi - 24-Jan-20 @ 5:21 PM
Hi ...my daughter is in year 8..and through out her school life she as never had many friends not because she's not liked but because she's just felt happy in a small circle..she's been under mental health for a few personal reasons...this past 3 months she's been bullied school have talked to the other children (these was her closest friends) there parents have been informed and still they have not left her alone she's is very unhappy and I have to walk her to school every day due to her being alone. She suffers anxiety and worries alot. She's had plenty of time of due to this and feel it will just never end. I don't really want to send he to another school as I'm scared she just won't settle or it will happen again and I don't drive so she won't be on the door step if anything happens. Im thinking of home education for her...but have no idea where to start? Or if I'm doing the right thing.
Clairegomez83 - 14-Jan-20 @ 10:57 AM
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