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Regulations On The Home Schooling Of Your Child

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 22 Feb 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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Sassi - Your Question:
I'm thinking of taking my 14 year old son who has ADHD and is suffering with anxiety issues out of main stream school and home schooling him. He is so unhappy, angry and unmotivated in school and this is affecting his health causing sleeping problems, weight loss and stomach pains. He has no support from school and is unable to be on medication due to weight problems. I really am starting to feel that I have to think what's best for him his health and us as a family. Any advice in how to start this process would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
Our advice is to read around, join forums to speak to others who already home school, see what the other options are etc. If you're happy that the only solution is to home school, then you should inform yourschool's head teacher that you are withdrawing him from schol. You will probably find that your education authority is helpful and may be able to point in the direction of appropriate resources etc.
LawAndParents - 23-Feb-17 @ 2:37 PM
I'm thinking of taking my 14 year old son who has ADHD and is suffering with anxiety issues out of main stream school and home schooling him. He is so unhappy, angry and unmotivated in school and this is affecting his health causing sleeping problems, weight loss and stomach pains. He has no support from school and is unable to be on medication due to weight problems. I really am starting to feel that I have to think what's best for him his health and us as a family. Any advice in how to start this process would be greatly appreciated.
Sassi - 22-Feb-17 @ 8:42 PM
Hi, We are seriously thinking about home educating our year 9 daughter due to socialisation concerns at her state school. If we were to home educate her until she takes her GCSE's in year 12 and hopefully passes them would there be a problem with her applying to a college and then taking her A levels for the next two years at a college ( so home educating would end), subject to her GCSE grades of course? Many thanks
Rich - 20-Feb-17 @ 10:49 PM
Hi can anyone also advise on if a child with needs has been taken out of school, until a new place can be found for them. Can the support staff be forced to go to that child's home and look after him for a few hours a day if child is still on role.? Because there are all sorts of health and safety issues and can leave us open to allegations
Mogwai - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:23 PM
Hi I'm currently looking at maybe homeschooling my 8 year old. He hasn't settled into his current school there is a massive communication breakdown he's so unhappy. He feels as though he never gets listened to properly or they misinterpret what he is trying to say. Any info plz.
Corina - 13-Feb-17 @ 9:46 PM
My daughter of 8is getting bullied everyday have been to school and reported it on numerous occasions not been resolved I'm thinking of homeschooling need advice on how to start thisDOG
Beth - 9-Feb-17 @ 3:09 AM
My daughter is in year 8 has never settled at school and gets bullied. Very anxious and unhappy, can I homeschool her and work. Can we get the curriculum online?
Pilch - 6-Feb-17 @ 7:32 PM
Hi My 16 year old daughter is being home schooled by myself .shes due to sit her gcse .but i cant find a college in bideford or barnstaple north devon where she could dit them .would you know where i can find out new to all this .also she suffers with depression and anxiety. Also does she have to sit gcse soon .or can she take them at a later date .thanks
Lee - 30-Jan-17 @ 6:25 AM
My daughter is in year 7 and really wants to be homeschooled but I really don't have the time. She said that she can do it over-line which I am fine with but can't find any courses for her. She really doesn't like school and gets nervous everyday before going. She keeps asking to be homeschooled but have no idea how to do it and how to set it all up. Need adobe immediately please. Thank You
Izzy - 22-Jan-17 @ 9:21 PM
Hi my 14 year old daughter as been bullied so bad at school to the point that she as been put on medication for anxiety she is so unhappy with school I was thinking home schooling maybe the right answer for her as we have tried and tried where would we start if home schooling is the right answer
T - 8-Jan-17 @ 9:18 PM
Hi, I am seriously considering taking my 6 and 4 year old sons out of mainstream education. I currently work in the same school as my children and feel that the pressure they are put under to succeed is to much, and the amount of assessments that they already have to do at this young age is ridiculous. I feel that by home schooling them myself it would be better for them as a whole person and they would achieve more and be happier learning out of the school environment. I think the school concerntrates on statistics and what the school can achieve rather than the needs of the children. However I am concerned about the social aspect of home schooling and my children not being socialised with other children of there ages. Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks Gem
Gem - 28-Dec-16 @ 4:17 PM
Hi ,my son taking gcses in May this year. 16 on Xmas day. Struggling badly and hates school. Bright and can do science and math well. Can I take him out and he has to study at home and go in just for exams?
Rosie moo - 9-Dec-16 @ 10:30 AM
Hi, I am looking to educate my daughter at home. She has a muscle disorder which affects her physical ability but mentally she's is a very intelligent little girl. What kind of route should I take and who do I need to inform as she is only 2 and a half at the moment and I don't intend on enrolling her into a nursery etc
Sana - 8-Dec-16 @ 2:50 PM
Sophie - Your Question:
My two children aged 9 & almost 7 are having endless amount of rubbish with bullies, my 9y/o has started making herself sick an we've had to involve police over the bullying. I was homeschooled an want to home school my children too. Have you any advice for me please?

Our Response:
You'll find lots of information about how to homeschool on the internet, from your local education authority and from the various exam boards. The information about what you need to do to remove your children from school is in the above article.
LawAndParents - 30-Nov-16 @ 11:57 AM
My two children aged 9 & almost 7 are having endless amount of rubbish with bullies, my 9y/o has started making herself sick an we've had to involve police over the bullying. I was homeschooled an want to home school my children too. Have you any advice for me please?
Sophie - 29-Nov-16 @ 9:29 AM
Hi After some advice please, my 13 year old daughter is so unhappy at school, her grades have dropped and we are looking into home schooling, what would I need to do? How will she get school and do exams etc, any help and advice will be greatly appreciated Many thanks x
B831 - 25-Nov-16 @ 8:14 PM
Tjwwww - Your Question:
Hi my daughter is 13 and is having a lot of issues in her current school to do with bullying and is finding herself very unhappy and crying some nights when she gets home. I want to remove her from her school asap to be homeschooled as we both agree that would be beneficial for her learning and future. Are there any legal processes or do I just have to write to the head teacher ?

Our Response:
As the article says, you need to inform the school's head teacher.
LawAndParents - 23-Nov-16 @ 2:45 PM
Hi my daughter is 13 and is having a lot of issues in her current school to do with bullying and is finding herself very unhappy and crying some nights when she gets home. I want to remove her from her school asap to be homeschooled as we both agree that would be beneficial for her learning and future. Are there any legal processes or do I just have to write to the head teacher ?
Tjwwww - 23-Nov-16 @ 12:27 PM
My daughter is 9 has Aspergers she is a school refuser and constantly gets upset my son is 7 and has spd but is waiting on a autism assessment he has now became anxious every Sunday and makes himself be sick in the hope he won't have to go to school I am seriously thinking of home educating them both can anyone give me some pros and cons to home tutoring thank you :)
Leah - 21-Nov-16 @ 9:47 AM
Jr - Your Question:
My daughter is six years old and attends a special needs school. I have serious concerns for her safety after she was able to leave the school play area and was found outside main entrance by a none staff member. Staff were unaware of her absence.Appropriate action was taken however recently there have been more issues with lack of supervision and this time my child has left the classroom undetected ( the classrooms have an adult height handle to prevent this but door was left open). Whilst this is not as serious as previous incident it raises my anxiety and places doubts over whether enough has been done to rectify the situation.I plan removing my child but there is not currently a place at another school.Given she has special needs how likely is LEA to refuse my intention to temporarily home school until a place becomes available at an alternative school?Thanks

Our Response:
Would it not be easier and better for your daughter, to ask the LEA to investigate your safety issues first?
LawAndParents - 17-Nov-16 @ 1:53 PM
My daughter is six years old and attends a special needs school. I have serious concerns for her safety after she was able to leave the school play area and was found outside main entrance by a none staff member. Staff were unaware of her absence. Appropriate action was taken however recently there have been more issues with lack of supervision and this time my child has left the classroom undetected ( the classrooms have an adult height handle to prevent this but door was left open). Whilst this is not as serious as previous incident it raises my anxiety and places doubts over whether enough has been done to rectify the situation. I plan removing my child but there is not currently a place at another school. Given she has special needs how likely is LEA to refuse my intention to temporarily home school until a place becomes available at an alternative school? Thanks
Jr - 16-Nov-16 @ 6:18 PM
Tracey - Your Question:
Hi my son is year 11 and I'm really struggling as my son really detests going to school can I home school him and he goes in occasionally to the school or can he start college early

Our Response:
He will not be allowed to only attend school "occasionally". If you find another school that will take him, he could move schools. Most colleges are for 6th form age and above.
LawAndParents - 15-Nov-16 @ 2:42 PM
My son is 15 and in year 11 and us being bullied at school this has happened 2 times now and was dealt wiv but is now started again and school r doing nothing. My son doesn't wanna go school again now and my questions are can I take him out of school, does he need to go there to do exams or can he enrol in local college and do them
woodsey - 14-Nov-16 @ 4:26 PM
Hi my son is year 11 and I'm really struggling as my son really detests going to school can I home school him and he goes in occasionally to the school or can he start college early
Tracey - 14-Nov-16 @ 3:02 PM
Em - Your Question:
My four year old was getting bullied at his primary school and came home with a black eye I put in writing to the head teacher that I would be removing him from the school with immediate effect he is already waiting for a place at a new school and has an appointment to go look around is there anything his old school can do like fine me ect. for taking my son out of school even though I have put it in writing

Our Response:
As long as you have informed them, you can remove your child from school. The local authority may want to be reassured that you have provided an alternative means of education though.
LawAndParents - 3-Nov-16 @ 12:35 PM
My four year old was getting bullied at his primary school and came home with a black eye I put in writing to the head teacher that I would be removing him from the school with immediate effect he is already waiting for a place at a new school and has an appointment to go look around is there anything his old school can do like fine me ect.. for taking my son out of school even though I have put it in writing
Em - 3-Nov-16 @ 7:40 AM
Cls231111 - Your Question:
My partners son (10) has just come to live with us. We cannot get him in any local schools. His previous school said they will send a home learning pack. What do I need to do about his Sat's? He is in year 6. Any advice gratefully received.

Our Response:
You local council and your step son's previous school should be able to help with any resources and SATs entry information. Make sure you keep pushing your local authority to try and get him into a school near you.
LawAndParents - 1-Nov-16 @ 2:02 PM
My partners son (10) has just come to live with us. We cannot get him in any local schools. His previous school said they will send a home learning pack. What do I need to do about his Sat's? He is in year 6. Any advice gratefully received.
Cls231111 - 31-Oct-16 @ 11:51 AM
loz - Your Question:
My son was going to bad ford colege an incident happened and was removed from the school who do I contact to get him back to school he's 17 year old last time I poke to the education I was told he could have home tuition but I've heard nothing from them and ive lost the contact number so can't get touch with them

Our Response:
Look on the internet for the number of your local council. They should be able to tell you how to get in touch with your education authority.
LawAndParents - 21-Oct-16 @ 10:16 AM
Wells38 - Your Question:
Hi , my son is in year 6 and has been unhappy at his school for some time mainly with being bullied / picked on. I have spoke to the school on many occasions however the school has gone down hill over the years and have only just managed to get a new head teacher after 2 years ! My question is I'm wanting to pull him out to home school him till secondary school as his confidence and learning is suffering and fill its not worth the stress for him to start another school for such a short period. Will I be able to keep our place for our choice of secondary if we do this. Thanks for your time.

Our Response:
Check with your local education authority - sometimes the offer of secondary place is based on feeder school.
LawAndParents - 20-Oct-16 @ 12:43 PM
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