Under the 1996 Education Act, parents or those with parental responsibility have a duty to ensure that their children of 'compulsory school age' are educated. However, this can be done either by regular attendance at school or 'otherwise'. Obviously for most children this means that they will attend a school, whether state maintained, or independent, but parents are free to educate their children themselves and there is a small minority who choose to do this.
What's required of you
The facts about home education are:
- you do not need to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home
- your child is not obliged to follow the National Curriculum or take national tests, but as a parent you are required by law to ensure your child receives full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude
- any special educational needs your child may have must be recognised
- you do not need special permission from a school or local authority to educate your child at home, but you do need to notify the school in writing if you're taking your child out of school
- you will need to notify the local authority if you are removing your child from a special school
- you do not need to observe school hours, days or terms
- you do not need to have a fixed timetable, nor give formal lessons
- there are no funds directly available from central government for parents who decide to educate their children at home
- some local authorities provide guidance for parents, including free National Curriculum materials
Elective Home Education Strategy
Guidance for parents
For more information please contact us.