There is no need to inform the Child Benefit office that you are Home Educating. They will contact you as your child approaches 16 years of age. Please carefully read the following email from the Child Benefit office. And our notes below it.
Thank you for email received on 6 February 2014 requesting clarification about Child Benefit where a child receives home tuition. Thank you for your patience awaiting a reply
For the purposes of Child Benefit, before the age of 16 a child is considered as being in full time education and therefore subject to all other conditions of entitlement being satisfied,
Child Benefit will be payable up to the provisional exclusion date (the provisional exclusion date is the Monday following the 31st August of their 16th year). Between January and June of the child’s 16th year (this may be before their 16th birthday in some cases) form CH(A)297B accompanied by CH FTE notes are issued. These forms are issued to establish whether the Young Person (YP) will continue in education beyond the provisional exclusion date. Customers only need return the form if the YP is continuing in further education, or if the YP starts work or training before the provisional exclusion date.
In the case of a YP who is home educated, this should be reported on the CH(A)297B and will prompt the issue of form CHFTE4. The CHFTE4 will request the required information relating to the child’s course of education to determine entitlement to Child Benefit.
The requirements for entitlement to Child Benefit are specified in Regulation 3 of the Child Benefit (General) Regulations 2006:
2) The condition is that the person—
(a) is undertaking a course of full-time education, which is not advanced education and which is not provided by virtue of his employment or any office held by him—
(i)which is provided at a school or college; or
(ii)which is provided elsewhere but is approved by the Commissioners;
To ensure that the condition is satisfied, decision makers need to establish the following:
· It is a course of education – Does the course have a curriculum? The course should be made up of scholastic instruction; but legislation does not prescribe that the course must lead to a qualification. Students should be able to demonstrate progress through a curriculum that is set, however it is accepted that in some cases there may not be a set curriculum.
· The course is ‘non-advanced’ – if the course is not ‘advanced’, by definition it must be ‘non-advanced’
· The education is ‘full time’ – The young person will spend more than an average of 12 hours a week during normal term time receiving tuition or instruction, undertaking supervised study, examination or practical work etc
In addition to this, Regulation 3 also specifies that where a child is educated at a place other than a school or college, there is no entitlement to Child Benefit if the education did not start before the age of 16.
(3) A person is not a qualifying young person by virtue of paragraph (2)(a)(ii) unless he was receiving the education referred to in that paragraph as a child.
Therefore home education must have started before the child’s 16th birthday to retain entitlement to Child Benefit past the provisional exclusion date.
Where home education starts after the child’s 16th birthday there is no entitlement to Child Benefit.
Thank you for contacting us and for giving me the opportunity to explain the situation.
Right so ….. our advice is to make sure you get the appropriate forms, our experience is that not all staff know about them.
You have to satisfy their requirements, which may seem daunting and you may have to use terminology you’ve not used before when describing the education.
If you say that the education is full time, provided, instructed and overseen by you as the Home Educator as per the 1996 Education Act.
Describe the education, even autonomous learning can be explained as a curriculum for the sake of the forms. Such as xxx’s education takes place for a minimum of 12 hours a week, covering Maths, Science and ICT at GCSE level, with full time supervision and instruction.
A few families have been turned down because of either not having the correct form, or by not explaining the education adequately. They do not need to know the ins and outs, just enough to satisfy their criteria.