Information about Home education (useful to print and keep handy).
Produced by the UK Home Education Group (March 2013)
FOR ENGLAND ONLY
There is no obligation upon a Home Educating parent to inform the Local Authority or register with them. Nor is there any legal duty to fill in the EHE (Elective Home Education) forms. The parent’s only duty is to write to the school to deregister. If the child has never been registered at a school there is no duty to inform the LA (2.4 below).
Local Authorities have a duty to establish the identities of children not receiving an education (see 2.6 below). If a child that has never been to school (under the radar) and comes to the attention of the LA it is good practice for an EWO or CME officer to write to the family rather than doorstep them. Informing the officer that they are Home Educating should be adequate and the families details should be passed onto the EHE team. Home Education is not the remit of EWO/CME and therefore no further discussion is needed. The family are not obliged to meet the EWO/CME/EHE nor let them into their home or meet the child.
Home Education should not be used as a reason to contact Children’s Services (social services) nor should opting not to meet the LA or allow access to the home or child. (section 73 below).
Home Educated children missing out on the social aspect of childhood is a myth. Most Home Educated children are in touch with other local children and attend regular activities. Home Educated children’s socialisation is more natural and similar to the way adults socialise than schooled children.
Home Educated children are not to be monitored, evaluated or assessed by the LA (2.7 below), they are the parent’s responsibility (2.1 below). Unless the LA has a reason to believe an education isn’t being provided, then they may only make informal enquiries. The family are never obliged to allow access to the home or to meet the child (3.6 below), opting to not allow these ultra vires requests is not to be used as a cause for concern.
Home Educators are not expected to recreate school at home (3.13 below)
The Education Act 1996 states that education is compulsory (not school) for any child aged 5 to 16 years:
Section 7 of the Education Act: it is the parents responsibility to provide an education which is suitable to her age, ability and aptitude as well as being full time.
The Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities state:
2.1 The responsibility for a child’s education rests with their parents. In England, education is compulsory, but school is not.
2.4 Parents may decide to exercise their right to home educate their child from a very early age and so the child may not have been previously enrolled at school. They may also elect to home educate at any other stage up to the end of compulsory school age. Parents are not
required to register or seek approval from the local authority to educate their children at home.
2.6 Local authorities have a statutory duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996, inserted by the Education and Inspections Act 2006, to make arrangements to enable them to establish the identities, so far as it is possible to do so, of children in their area who are not receiving a suitable education. The duty applies in relation to children of compulsory school age who are not on a school roll, and who are not receiving a suitable education otherwise than being at school (for example, at home, privately, or in alternative provision).
The guidance issued makes it clear that the duty does not apply to children who are being educated at home.
2.7 Local authorities have no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis.
3.6 Some parents may welcome the opportunity to discuss the provision that they are making for the child’s education during a home visit but parents are not legally required to give the local authority access to their home
3.13 Parents are required to provide an efficient, full-time education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child. There is currently no legal definition of “full-time”. Children normally attend school for between 22 and 25 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but this measurement of “contact time” is not relevant to elective home education where there is often almost continuous one-to-one contact and education may take place outside normal “school hours”. The type of educational activity can be varied and flexible. Home educating
parents are not required to:
teach the National Curriculum
provide a broad and balanced education
have a timetable
have premises equipped to any particular standard
set hours during which education will take place
have any specific qualifications
make detailed plans in advance
observe school hours, days or terms
give formal lessons
mark work done by their child
formally assess progress or set development objectives
reproduce school type peer group socialisation
match school-based, age-specific standards.
Revised statutory guidance for local authorities in England to identify children not receiving a suitable education, 2009.
Section 73. When raising awareness with partner agencies it is useful to remind them that parents may lawfully educate their children at home. ………Education of children at home by their parents is not in itself a cause for concern about the child’s welfare.