Where to start
Home Education can mean something different to every family.
You could have planned to Home Educate before the children were born, or it could be a decision made when deciding on a school, or as a last resort due to bullying or special needs not being met. Sometimes the school system just isn’t right for you or your child, and sometimes families choose to Home Educate because they like the idea of it. There is no right or wrong reason, it is a legal option, one we can take at any time.
Home Education is an option for any family, regardless of social status, income, parent’s education, special needs or religion. If you want to Home Educate, and are confident that you can provide an education that is full-time, suitable to your child’s age, ability and aptitudes and can suit any special needs they may have, then there’s nothing stopping you. (Details on how to: deregister/withdraw).
You will see in the FAQ, that we answer many of your questions, but please do contact us if you are still unsure of something.
It can be scary…..
Making the decision to Home Educate can be daunting, but be assured that there is plenty of support out there, lots of families that have been in your situation, many activities and loads of information.
Some concerns that families have are addressed in the FAQ, so please do have a read. Throughout the website you will find information on the process of pulling your child out of school (deregistration/withdrawal), deschooling, Home Ed styles, the law, day-to-day information and resources and much much more.
We would like to point out that making the choice to Home Educate can be made at any time, it also doesn’t have to be a ‘forever’ decision. For many reasons some Home Educators find that their child going in to school is the better option. Whether it is because they wanted to Home Educate for the primary years, or they decide to Home Educate through the exams. Some families find that one child loves Home Ed yet their sibling is happier in school. There is no right or wrong way. If you wish to find a school place we suggest contacting the admissions team at your LA/ELB.
Chat to parents already Home Educating
You will find a group for your area on Facebook, or maybe Yahoo groups. It’s important to use the term Home Education rather than Home Schooling when searching otherwise you will find USA based groups rather than UK.
Always in writing.
There is no legal duty on Local Authorities to check up on us, no duty to monitor or assess. As Home Educators you are legally responsible for ensuring your child receives a full-time education suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and to any special needs they may have.
So you will find throughout this website that we encourage you to keep correspondence in writing with the LA. This avoids any unnecessary hassle and stress from meeting their sometimes ultra vires demands. Some parents feel the need to meet with the LA; if you wish to, and would like someone else present, please do get in touch and we will help find someone local.
Whilst Local Authorities have no right to demand evidence from you about the provision, it would be considered sensible to provide them with a brief report about the what you do. Some LAs respect the families choice to have no contact, others demand visits… if you require support please do CONTACT US.
You’ll find deregistration letters, letters opting out of LA visits, letters in response to an LA asking for information and a sample of a short report you could send as information about the educational provision. You will also find a checklist for writing about your educational provision to send with your withdrawal request if you live in Scotland.
Home Educators are not expected to follow the curriculum, or to follow a school timetable, and Home Education quite often looks nothing like school. There are so many options available to us, so many things to do and try, so many places to go, books to read, people to meet.
The first thing to do:
Once you have made your decision to Home Educate, legally you need to DEREGISTER/WITHDRAW from school. The school then inform the Local Authority (LA) or Education & Library Board (ELB). (Check the process for deregistration for your part of the UK, or if your child is in a Special School). If your child has never been to school then there’s no need to inform the LA.
You will find lots of useful information in the comprehensive FAQ covering everything from the law, to working while Home Educating, to what is expected of you and what isn’t! And everything inbetween.
This information leaflet has been designed to inform those in England and Wales, involved with children, quickly and succinctly, the laws pertaining to Home Education and explaining the rights of the parent and the role of the LA.
Useful for when an EWO comes knocking and knows little about Home Education, or if Social Services show up asking questions.
As schools get annoyed at losing the funding for a child, or neighbours notice children not in school, or a GP thinks they have a duty to make a report, there is an increase in Social Services referrals being made, and carrying out initial assessments. They are rarely anything to be concerned about, usually explaining to the social worker about Home Education is enough to settle their concerns.
Please do not worry.
The information in this section aims to be informative for those in this situation.