We can not take responsibility for the accuracy of this information as Universal credit changes happen quickly and often quietly so please clarify the below information if in doubt. Below we address Universal Credits and Home Education.
Home Educators are tied to the same rules as a schooled family, you will be expected to work. However the job centre are not allowed to tell you to use school as a child care option. We suggest not mentioning Home Education to the JC as we hear all too often people have their claims cancelled, or extra demands placed on them, this is due to the staff not understanding what Home Education is. You can look for evening work or daytime work etc, what ever suits you the best. There are Home Ed friendly child minders out there to look after your child whilst you work (remember Home Education isn’t school hours or days).
Post 16 also entitles you to claim UC as Home Education is an approved educational option. We would suggest you use terms like full-time, supervised, non-advanced study when describing the provision. Usually you would need to be in receipt of Child Benefit. You will need to inform UC in the september after turning 16 that they are continuing with Home Education.
If you have issues please refer to the Freedom of Information (FOI) requests we have done, as they quote relevant policy.
Here is part of their response regarding Job Seekers Allowance:
‘The Department can confirm that that the Jobcentres cannot suggest school as appropriate child care to a home educating parent claiming job seekers allowance when offered a job.
There are flexibilities within the JSA regime to cater for the needs and personal circumstances of parents whilst they are looking for paid work of 16 hours or more per week, including those who wish to educate their child(ren) at home.
Additionally, lone parents may restrict their availability for jobs to their child’s normal school hours until the child is 13. Parents who educate their child(ren) at home are therefore treated in the same way as all other parents.
The Jobcentre would not expect a parent leave a child alone at home whilst they go out to work. People will need to demonstrate that they have made genuine efforts to locate childcare, this will provide parents who educate their children at home with protection if no local services that meet their needs are available.
The extracts of instruction attached as Annexes 1 to 4 advise when a Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant can restrict their availability if they have caring responsibilities for a child and how those restrictions should be applied to their availability for work.’
There is a government consultation about proposed new EHE (England) guidance. We will be producing a guide ASAP to help you respond, so no need to rush in.
For now, have a read, BUT DO NOT PANIC ABOUT THE PROPOSED CHANGES: