The Legal Bit – England & Wales
You are legally allowed to Home Educate – as long as your child is not on a school role (you will need to deregister the child if they attend a school).
It is the parents responsibility to ensure a child is educated, this can happen in school or elsewhere. Home Educators are not legally expected to recreate school at home, nor expected to follow a Curriculum.
Other relevant legislation and Government guidance:
Section 7 of the Education Act 1996:
Duty of parents to secure education of children of compulsory school age.
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
(a)to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(b)to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
R v Secretary of State for Education, ex parte Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass School Trust. Judicial review 1985, The Times, 12 April 1985
Mr Justice Woolf said: ‘Education is suitable if it primarily equips a child for life within the community of which he is a member, rather than the way of life in the wider country as a whole, as long as it does not foreclose the child’s options in later years to adopt some other form of life if he wishes to do so.
Section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996:
If it appears to a local education authority that a child of compulsory school age in their area is not receiving suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they shall serve a notice in writing on the parent requiring him to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving such education.
The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 s 8 (1) (d):
(1) The following are prescribed as the grounds on which the name of a pupil of compulsory school age shall be deleted from the admission register—
(d)in a case not falling within sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph, that he has ceased to attend the school and the proprietor has received written notification from the parent that the pupil is receiving education otherwise than at school;
Harrison & Harrison v Stevenson. Appeal 1981 Worcester Crown Court (unreported)
The Judge defined the outcomes of a suitable education as 1. to prepare the children for life in a modern civilised society; and 2. to enable them to achieve their full potential
Statutory guidance and departmental advice
Home Educated Children On receipt of written notification to home educate, schools must inform the pupil’s local authority that the pupil is to be deleted from the admission register. Schools should not seek to persuade parents to educate their children at home as a way of avoiding excluding the pupil or because the pupil has a poor attendance record. Schools and local authorities should not seek to prevent parents from educating their children outside the school system. There is no requirement for parents to obtain the school or local authority’s agreement to educate their child at home.