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Regulations On The Home Schooling Of Your Child

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 1 Nov 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.


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 12 year old is at high school and doing very well in all the top sets for all classes, she suffers from anxiety and the school were being great with this until this Sept when it turned to an academy school, now they seem to be going out of their way to cause her more anxiety. Im a single parent who works part time on a low income. Im considering home educating her but am worried that i may not be able to, time, resources ect. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Penny - 1-Nov-18 @ 4:43 PM
Do I need permission to take my child of the school to take my child out of school in New Jersey?
Ely - 1-Nov-18 @ 2:15 AM
Hi I'm looking at home schooling my 15 years old she is in her last year but is very depressed due to bullying is there a set amount of hour a that has to be done with this
Stacey - 31-Oct-18 @ 7:41 PM
Hello my disabled daughter has many health issues and so is of school from time to time she is a twin altho she copes really well in a mainstream sch she is currently in a wheelchair and the school have no one to help her get around am I legally allowed to home school her she's in her final year if so where do I start to get the correct work she needs please
Snazzy - 21-Oct-18 @ 2:33 PM
I've been homeschooling for 3 weeks now and my son is fully enjoying it, my ex (not husband) has put in a court order to try and stop me homeschooling what are my rights?
Emma - 19-Oct-18 @ 11:01 PM
My son started School in Sept aged 4 and a half and so far in the 5 weeks there he has been bitten,headbutted strangled and had his hair cut by one specific pupil,this week he retaliated by biting the child back and has been punished by being excluded,the other child has had no punishment at all. l now want to take my son out and home ed him where can l go for info and what do l have to do.
Cat - 11-Oct-18 @ 11:55 PM
My sons 6 and has been in reception class for 2 years he's just gone in to year one and he's just getting his one on one and a plan. Iv put his name down for a place in a school that could meet his needs but there's a long waiting list. The school he's at right now is telling me he isn't coping well in school and he's only just gone back in September they keep saying they need more funding to help them out so I'm thinking of home schooling my son but I don't know where to go to get information.
Christine - 2-Oct-18 @ 5:17 PM
I am thinking of home schooling my child. If I wish to withdraw my child from school is there a best time to do it such as halfway through a term or the end of a term or can it be done anytime? Thank you. I
Chellie - 1-Oct-18 @ 9:17 AM
I need to home school my 11 year old he should have started secondary school a couple of weeks back but due to awful circumstances has not been able to, We are moving from England to Wales to start a new life but do not know when hopefully really soon, I do not want to keep him out of education so need to home school him to get to a level where he can join year 7 when we get there! What do I do? Are there packs or anything I can order?? Really do need Help our whole world has fallen apart
Dotty76 - 22-Sep-18 @ 10:12 PM
My mum is homeschooling my brother and wants to know what age he can stop being homeschooled.
Phoebe - 21-Sep-18 @ 10:15 PM
i know a mother who has taken her children out of school to home school , the kids do not get any education at all the youngest is 10 and he can not even spell his own name , the kids are always using foul language and as thick as 2 short planks ,, i think that home schooling should be policed a lot more than it isn't - the mother of these kids is just a lazy mother who just can't be bothered to get her kids to school on time so home schooling is the way to go , i think this is well out of order ,,
kevwain - 19-Sep-18 @ 12:52 PM
Alicia87 - Your Question:
My sister has chosen to homeschool her son from September next year. My son is the same age, would she also be allowed, legally to homeschool my son too ?

Our Response:
As long as you are providing a suitable education for your child, this would usually be considered acceptable.
LawAndParents - 12-Sep-18 @ 10:00 AM
My sister has chosen to homeschool her son from September next year. My son is the same age, would she also be allowed, legally to homeschool my son too ?
Alicia87 - 11-Sep-18 @ 2:40 AM
I need advice I'm 12 years old and my twin sister bullies me at home and at school and it's effecting both my social life and my education and I wish to be homeschooled but my mother won't allow it. Is she Wright not to take me out of school Or should I do it so my education may improve
Madz - 10-Sep-18 @ 6:27 PM
My daughter is 15 years old and wantsbto drop out of school. She has been struggling with several battles against mental health and we have discussed dropping out of school. We think this would be the best decision for her but am not sure how to go about it
Ania - 4-Sep-18 @ 3:24 PM
Cat - Your Question:
Am considering the possibility of Home eding my 5 yr old with ADD and was wondering if there's any statutory number of weeks education have to provide for him.

Our Response:
The rule is that parents should ensure their child receives a full time education from the age of 5. Full time education is usuallyregarded as more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience.
LawAndParents - 3-Aug-18 @ 3:43 PM
Bluejeans - Your Question:
Hello, My son has always been home-educated and has now reached 16 yrs of age. We haven't made a decision what he will do next year, whether to go to college or carry on home education. Do I have to inform Child Benefit, every detail of his education, including that he will take exams at end of year? Thank you.

Our Response:
Everyone receives a letter when a child turns 16 to ask if they are continuing education etc. You should let Child Benefit know soon if your child is considering 12+ hours or more per week of further education from September (this can include home education). See here for further details
LawAndParents - 3-Aug-18 @ 2:09 PM
Am considering the possibility of Home eding my 5 yr old with ADD and was wondering if there's any statutory number of weeks education have to provide for him.
Cat - 1-Aug-18 @ 8:41 PM
Hello, My son has always been home-educated and has now reached 16 yrs of age. We haven't made a decision what he will do next year, whether to go to college or carry on home education. Do I have to inform Child Benefit, every detail of his education, including that he will take exams at end of year? Thank you.
Bluejeans - 1-Aug-18 @ 1:15 PM
Hi, can anyone give me a bit of advice please?!I want to home school my son but his dad doesn't agree. We are not together any more but I'm wondering if and how. He could stop me from home schooling? Thanks in advance
ellakerisha - 9-Jul-18 @ 11:24 PM
My daughter is 27th on the waiting list for the School we wanted She gone up 2 places in a month!! The schools she’s been offered ,I wouldn’t send my worst enemy’s children there letterlone my only one So my only option now is to have her tutor that’s she’s been with for 2-3 years Home School her. Anyone that could give me any info on how many hours per week this is?? Is it the same as School hours 9-3:30 Would be very helpful Many thanks
Lou lou - 17-Jun-18 @ 8:51 PM
At the moment i recieve maintenance payment from my ex partner who is 15yrs old. We have a private agreement for payments. I home tutor our daughter, due to mental health problems & difficulties attending school. Will i still be entitled to maintenance payments untill she reaches 19yrs of age?
Dawn - 24-May-18 @ 7:31 PM
Emmie.. you have just wrote my whole day today 7yold daughter has asd adhd.. she’s has been excluded for 2 days! They can’t cope with her and I’ve said this for a while I feel that this today has proved me rite.. I am wanting to pull her out and get a ehcp myself.. by law can I just pull her out??? And home Ed her while looking for another school?? Thank you hope someone can help x
Bec - 17-May-18 @ 12:43 AM
Hi. My daughter is 7 and I've just made the hardest decision to de-register my daughter from school and home school her around part time work. I have had absolutely no support from her school neither does she have any ehcp in place even though her consultant and mental health team have said this is necessary. My daughter has severe adhd anxiety and panic attacks and is also on the ASD pathway waiting list. My daughter is relieved I've made this decision as every day and night has been a constant struggle of tears and outbursts. Because children with adhd and autism have no obvious signs they have a disability, schools often choose to ignore their diagnosis. Has anyone else experienced this type of behaviour and lack of support for their child? I'm really interested to know and would also take comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in this emotional world! Many Thanks.
Emmie - 15-May-18 @ 4:27 PM
After many disagreements with my children's school I have been home educating since jan 18. I have asked repeatedly for my children's school work so it was an easy transition for them and me to continue their education. I am about to have a stage 2 meeting with the school governors as the schools responcewas to photocopy random and illegible copies of my children's work, which upset my children greatly. My question is who owns my children's school work? as the schools state it is within their discretion but I believe they are being deliberately obstructive. If anyone can give me a legal president then I would be grateful. Many thanks
Karen - 25-Apr-18 @ 11:55 PM
Hello I myself have a medical condition with my tummy that causes terrible stresses every morning, sometimes I struggle to leave the house in the morning.I do manage to get my child to school however on occasions I have been a few minutes late. There was only one day I could not get her in at all due to illness of mine so I decided to keep her at home.The learning support teacher called round to 'help' and for the next few weeks along with my own parents they got my child into school whilst I was trying a new medication. my parents don't live nearby so its not realistic for them to take her everyday. plus I am not comfortable with other people taking my child to school, as I want to experience it.I have been bombarded with comments from the school such as you will be fined everytime you are late, you will face prosecution and we need to monitor Isabella to make sure she is not effected. (I am not entirely sure what they mean here - I have a medical condition with my tummy no other issues) My husband has found a new job so he can be at home twice a week and the plan was that he would take her in two days and I can do every other day although it will be very difficult for me. However we received a letter again stating if late or absent we could face prosecution and the social services could be informed. It all seems a little over the top reaction for the only issue is a personal one where as I have difficulty in the morning. My husband and I are thinking seriously of educating my child and her sister at home to remove the stress of not being able to get there and then the threats from the school.I do have guilt feelings that I am taking my daughter away from school but am confident in my ability to provide a better education for her. I just wonder if parents health is a valid reason to homeschool? I am healthy and competent in every other way, just chronic tummy issues that worsen under stress and anxiety. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Positiveparent - 20-Apr-18 @ 10:34 AM
I want to home school my 11 year old because of recurring difficulties with her school. She lives with me because her father and I separated 7 years ago.He wants her to remain at school.Can he prevent me from home schooling her? I would like his support but do not think it will be forthcoming.
Kat - 27-Mar-18 @ 6:04 PM
Hi. My y8 child has autism & Is not coping in school. She has been bullied throughout primary & secondary school. She is unable to cope academically socially or emotionally. If I home school her can she still have an EHCP?She has an opportunity to begin vocational training with horses (she has ability in equine skills) School won't allow her to access this alongside a reduced timetable. Is my only option to home School alongside this vocational training?
Scorpio - 24-Mar-18 @ 4:08 PM
I’m looking to home school my daughter due to concent battle with the school, my younger daughter was diagnosed with autism 2 years ago no ecp in place or any help offered from school just they don’t see it and it must be something at happens at home, they cal soical service on me a number of times when they came out they stated my children are not in need and this is between me and the school, so after months of being upset tearful and feeling like I’m getting no we’re we add a meeting today in which one of the teachers stated that now she been diagnosed she won’t be able to achieve higher education join the army or get a good career to which then went on to state she wasn’t trained or knows how to deal with autistic behaviour we’re are my rights in moving schools or home school really need help
Kim - 21-Mar-18 @ 7:10 PM
My daughter really struggled to fit in at times had no friends this is at senior school she was anxious, stressed and unhappy. I really wanted to home school but she stuck it out at school went through the bad patch or a dark time and came out the other side.didnt happen over night.Some times we can't protect are children from hurt of real life. I spoke to school and kept them imformed not that it Always helped. But sticking it out was horrible at times but it helped her to become a stronger independent person. That taught her she can deal with different situations.Went onto college and is doing great. There is light at end of tunnel. I know this is not the case for everyone i judge no one
Lucy - 12-Mar-18 @ 10:17 PM
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