Deregistration / Withdrawal from school
- Deregistration letters can be handwritten, typed or emailed.
- ALWAYS get proof, whether it’s a receipt from the school, proof from the Post Office or an email receipt.
- We recommend following up an email with a hard copy in the post.
Mainstream schools in England and Wales
- You MUST send a letter to school telling them that you no longer need the school place (see sample letters) because you are taking responsibility for your child’s education by Home Educating.
- You are not obliged to give any notice and can take the letter in as you pick your child up on their last day, or on the morning of the first day they don’t attend.
- Please be aware that once you have sent the deregistration letter your legal duty is complete – you are not obliged to chase the school up for confirmation or to inform the LA of your intent.
- The school MUST remove the child’s name immediately.
- The school will pass your details to the EHE team at the LA.
- Sometimes schools do not understand Home Education and may try to convince you it is a bad idea. Some may say things like it will be detrimental to the child, or that it is illegal. Please feel confident that it is legal and in most cases it will not harm your child’s development. You are not obliged to discuss your decision with the school.
- This is the same process even if the child has an EHCP in mainstream school (some schools will try to tell you otherwise).
- If your child has never been enrolled in a school you need not inform anyone of your decision.
- If your child is due to start/already enrolled in Nursery or Reception you must inform the school (and often useful to let admissions know) that you do not need the place any more, you are not obliged to inform them as to why.
- If your child is under 5 years old you can just inform the school you no longer require the place, no reason is needed except that your child is not of compulsory school age and you have decided not to utilise the place.
- If your child attends a fee paying school you do not have to deregister, you do however have to inform the school the date the child will stop attending (make sure you are in-line with any contract/agreement you have agreed with regards to fees).
- If the school refuse to remove your child’s name then they are breaking the law. You have fulfilled your legal duty by sending the deregistration letter, but if you wish to you can send a letter in (see samples) explaining the law to them.
Mainstream Local Authority run schools in Scotland
- Once you have made the decision to Home Educate, you need to write to your local education department requesting consent to withdraw your child from school (see sample letters). You MUST include information about your intentions and how you will provide an education, without this it is likely that your request will be declined.
You do not need to officially withdraw or notify the LA that you are Home Educating if:
- your child is leaving p7
- school has closed
- your child attends a school in another authority from the one you live
- if they attend a private school
- have never been registered at a school
- you move to a new LA area
- Consent to withdraw should not be unreasonably withheld. However, it is important that your child continues to attend school until you have permission in writing. This can take around 6 weeks.
Special Schools ( Not needed in Scotland )
- You are expected to write to the LA, asking for consent for your child to be removed from the register of a special school.
- It is recommended that in this letter you describe how Home Education will cater for their special needs. There is a sample letter HERE.
- Your child must continue to attend until consent is given to deregister, if your child is too ill to attend then we advise you seek a doctors note.
Over the last year or so the government has recommended to schools that they offer a meeting with families who are considering home education. Their document does not say this should delay deregistration. This meeting is to confirm that the decision to home educate has been thought through. Unfortunately some families deregistered due to COVID but didn’t understand what home education entailed. These meetings are rarely beneficial as schools claim the child will be neglected, won’t socialise, will fail, won’t be able to access exams etc, all of which is not true. It is clear most do not understand home education.
This offer of a meeting is optional, if you are confident with your decision you can tell school just that and that you do not require a meeting.
Deregistration is an instruction, not a ‘we are thinking about it’ and should be actioned on the day the letter states.
Unfortunately many schools and LAs are now refusing to deregister immediately, claiming they legally have to offer a cooling off period. This is not correct. In fact they are breaching their legal duty if they do not deregister with immediate effect.
If your school or LA are refusing to deregister with immediate effect you can use our template letter to remind them of their duty HERE.