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Regulations On The Home Schooling Of Your Child

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 13 Nov 2017 | 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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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
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?
Sundas - 27-Oct-17 @ 2:25 PM
Cha - Your Question:
Can you home school for the period of your annual holiday to avoid a fine for absences

Our Response:
No, most schools will not allow this. You usually have to withdraw a child from school to home educate them, or come to some agreement with the school that you home education part time on a permanent basis. A school probably won't accept you home schooling for 4 or 5 specific weeks each year!
LawAndParents - 18-Oct-17 @ 2:57 PM
Can you home school for the period of your annual holiday to avoid a fine for absences
Cha - 17-Oct-17 @ 12:38 AM
abi - Your Question:
I work full time and I am a single parent can I home school my child if my family can provide supervision for her?

Our Response:
As long as suitable education is being provided, anyone can home education their child.
LawAndParents - 9-Oct-17 @ 12:57 PM
i work full time and i am a single parent can i home school my child if my family can provide supervision for her?
abi - 8-Oct-17 @ 5:50 AM
I have a daughter who is 8 in about a couple weeks,her mum is meant to be home schooling her but what my daughter has told me she doesn't do much just lets her go on are tablet and look for things on Google She can't read or do any maths Is there anything I can do
Just-me - 6-Oct-17 @ 12:15 PM
Caringparent - Your Question:
Hi my daughter is 13 she is learning from gcse books I brought and does many dance and has many qualifications from a collage in London and passed them. She is homeschooled due to bully's she was at the point of hitting them. But this is not her she is learning well from home. I have got a letter that the LA after six months want to come to my home and see what's going on. I'm I in my right to say no to come to my house as I feel this is wrong

Our Response:
The local authority can ask youinformally ask about the provision you are making for your daughter's education. You do not have to allow them to visit but if you don'tthe education authority may assume this means that you aren't making the necessary provisions and could take action.
LawAndParents - 3-Oct-17 @ 11:25 AM
Grace- Your Question:
I am being suffering from the symptoms aspurgers autism and I'm 12 nearly 13 years old,my mum says it's illegal to take me out of school to be homeschooled and I also have anxiety and depression.I honestly know homeschooling is best for me.What I'm trying to say Is basically is it illegall to take me out of school??

Our Response:
It's not illegal but your parents will need to notify your school and should have a plan for your education, whether that means they educate you themselves or employ a tutor. Please do try and talk to your school's welfare officer or pastoral care teacher. They may be able to help find you some additional support in or out of school.
LawAndParents - 2-Oct-17 @ 10:11 AM
Hi my daughter is 13 she is learning from gcse books I brought and does many dance and has manyqualifications from a collage in London and passed them. She is homeschooled due to bully's she was at the point of hitting them. But this is not her she is learning well from home. I have got a letter that the LA after six months want to come to my home and see what's going on. I'm I in my right to say no to come to my house as I feel this is wrong
Caringparent - 30-Sep-17 @ 10:30 PM
Maggie - Your Question:
My daughter is currently in Yr 11. She is suffering from Anxiety and has only been in school for a few short days on and off since March of this year. I am concerned about her GCSE's next year and feel the only way she will be able to learn is by being home schooled. She is seeing CAMHS at the moment but they have not said this would be an option. Do you think they should be offering this as an option ? Thanks.

Our Response:
CAMHS can't offer homeschooling as an option. If a parent feels a child should be homeschooled, the parent should make sure arrangements are in place (private tuition or parental tuition) to do so. CAMHS are there to help assess any emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties that your child may be experiencing and suggest treatments etc
LawAndParents - 29-Sep-17 @ 10:32 AM
I am being suffering from the symptoms aspurgers autism and I'm 12 nearly 13 years old,my mum says it's illegal to take me out of school to be homeschooled and I also have anxiety and depression.I honestly know homeschooling is best for me.What I'm trying to say Is basically is it illegall to take me out of school??
Grace - 28-Sep-17 @ 10:20 PM
Hi Can my son start an apprenticeship on the day he turns 16 he is home schooled
Han - 28-Sep-17 @ 7:21 PM
My daughter is currently in Yr 11. She is suffering from Anxiety and has only been in school for a few short days on and off since March of this year. I am concerned about her GCSE's next year and feel the only way she will be able to learn is by being home schooled. She is seeing CAMHS at the moment but they have not said this would be an option. Do you think they should be offering this as an option ? Thanks.
Maggie - 27-Sep-17 @ 11:30 AM
Nataliah Yabbey - Your Question:
Hi Im trying to decided on weather or not to home school my daugther. She is 6 years old and has been experiencing many different behavioural issues at school since nursery. I think home schooling is the best option for her but would like some guidance on what and how is the best way to home school a 6 year old as I want her to grow up with the best education possible.

Our Response:
We can't give individual guidance. You must discuss this with professionals e.g teachers and behavioural specialists. There is a lot of information about home schooling on the internet if you decide to go down that route. The law says that you can home school your child as long as they not SEN statemented.
LawAndParents - 20-Sep-17 @ 10:56 AM
Hi Im trying to decided on weather or not to home school my daugther. She is 6 years old and has been experiencing many different behavioural issues at school since nursery. I think home schooling is the best option for her but would like some guidance on what and how is the best way to home school a 6 year old as I want her to grow up with the best education possible.
Nataliah Yabbey - 18-Sep-17 @ 9:55 PM
Mark - Your Question:
Hi my partner has withdrawn her daughter from school in the view to currently home educate, the view of withdrawing from the current school was because l they were not meeting the child's medical needthe daughter is 9 and has been around domestic violence and when at school as a result of being around the domestic violence she struggled with social situations in school at playtimes and with teasing and messing around with school friends, she has done numerous interventions at the school and it didn't really make a difference as she understood how to complete the tasks set during these activities.She has no major issues in relation to her leariningShe has numerous medical issues stated below:she has eczema which during the school day she has to apply cream on her arms and legs 3 times during the school day, this was being made difficult for her to do as she had been doing this at the back of the class room, she has anaphylaxis but to an unknown allege so she is classed as ideopathic and carries an epi pen she is allergic to eating pineapple and kiwi, and has asthma and has a blue and purple inhaler for this.She has morning medication to battle hayfevier and due to her low emmune system she has many precaution medication every morning including nasal spray and eye drops daily.myself and parented felt the school were not assisting her in making these medical issues easier during school, as a result if all of these issues, she had been getting very upset and didnt want to go to school as she didn't feel comfortable and felt different within her class. While currently my partner has written a letter to state to take her off the schools register, does this mean she is off a register completely and can't go to a primary school as it is stated that her education was being provided by my partner or can we look for a different school that may help her to adjust to coping with all the social anxiety and her medical issues??Also my partner is worried that any school will have the view that these social issues and medical issues are not serious issues and the school may not take her seriously and the same poor provision may happen again.Any advise would be apriciated

Our Response:
Can you contact your LEA and ask them for advice on finding a new school that meets her needs? You can home school in the interim.
LawAndParents - 18-Sep-17 @ 12:43 PM
Hi my partner has withdrawn her daughter from school in the view to currently home educate, the view of withdrawing from the current school was because l they were not meeting the child's medical need the daughter is 9 and has been around domestic violence and when at school as a result of being around the domestic violence she struggled with social situations in school at playtimes and with teasing and messing around with school friends, she has done numerous interventions at the school and it didn't really make a difference as she understood how to complete the tasks set during these activities. She has no major issues in relation to her learining She has numerous medical issues stated below: she has eczema which during the school day she has to apply cream on her arms and legs 3 times during the school day, this was being made difficult for her to do as she had been doing this at the back of the class room, she has anaphylaxis but to an unknown allege so she is classed as ideopathic and carries an epi pen she is allergic to eating pineapple and kiwi, and has asthma and has a blue and purple inhaler for this. She has morning medication to battle hayfevier and due to her low emmune system she has many precaution medication every morning including nasal spray and eye drops daily. myself and parented felt the school were not assisting her in making these medical issues easier during school, as a result if all of these issues, she had been getting very upset and didnt want to go to school as she didn't feel comfortable and felt different within her class. While currently my partner has written a letter to state to take her off the schools register, does this mean she is off a register completely and can't go to a primary school as it is stated that her education was being provided by my partner or can we look for a different school that may help her to adjust to coping with all the social anxiety and her medical issues?? Also my partner is worried that any school will have the view that these social issues and medical issues are not serious issues and the school may not take her seriously and the same poor provision may happen again. Any advise would be apriciated
Mark - 15-Sep-17 @ 11:20 PM
Stink - Your Question:
My 13 year old niece is home schooling herself. Her mother works and so my niece is home alone from 0830 till 1400, 5 days a week. She uses the key stage learning guides but does not attend any home school groups, so gets no social interaction, and does not have a tutor. She is Left alone with the responsibility of self guided learning. Please advise. I feel this is so wrong. It is a huge expectation for a 13 year old to self educate yet the Education authority has condoned it.

Our Response:
There really isn't much you can do about this. If you say your niece is being neglected, you are opening the door to further investigations, social services etc. You could try contacting your local LEA just to see if they're willing to do anything?
LawAndParents - 15-Sep-17 @ 1:47 PM
My 13 year old niece is home schooling herself. Her mother works and so my niece is home alone from 0830 till 1400, 5 days a week. She uses the key stage learning guides but does not attend any home school groups, so gets no social interaction, and does not have a tutor. She is Left alone with the responsibility of self guided learning. Please advise. I feel this is so wrong. It is a huge expectation for a 13 year old to self educate yet the Education authority has condoned it.
Stink - 14-Sep-17 @ 12:59 PM
Zobo - Your Question:
Hi I have move house and my daughter is on a waiting list for two schools around the new area.I have informed the head at my daughters old school she will not be retuning as it is unrealistic that I could bring her to that school from where we have moved and that in the meantime I will start home schooling her. What else do I have to do to inform the correct people? What if her current head dosnt pass on this information I sent him in an email? Regards Zoey

Our Response:
You do not have to inform anyone else but if you're looking for a new school of course you must apply via the Local Education Authority.
LawAndParents - 12-Sep-17 @ 12:19 PM
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