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Deregistration from school

In England, when you want to remove a child from the school roll in order to home educate you need to go through the deregistration process. This involves writing to the headteacher or proprietor of the school.

Sample deregistration letter England

(also available as downloadable document - see menu)

Here is a suggested brief de-registration letter for those deregistering a child from a school in England. It doesn't need to be long or give any reasons for your decision or any details about your plans. If you have had a friendly relationship with the school you may like to add a note of thanks or give reason for your decision, but this is not necessary

Your address
The Date
Head teacher's Name

Dear Mr Taylor

Re: Catherine Jones (date of birth)

After careful consideration I/we have decided to withdraw my/our daughter from school as she is now receiving education otherwise than at school. Please delete her name from the register in accordance with Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 8(1)(d) 2006.

Please will you confirm receipt of this letter and inform us of the date that our daughter’s name was removed from the register.

Yours sincerely etc.

It is advisable to include the reference to the Pupil Registration Regulation as there have been instances of schools failing to know or obey the law, imagining wrongly that they have some discretion over whether or not to "allow" de-registration. Local authorities are not entitled to stipulate that the home education must be "approved" before the child's name can be taken off the school register. We also advise that your withdrawal letter be sent by post rather than solely by email.

The relevant regulations in England are The Pupil Registration Regulations (England) 2006.

Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 8, 2006

Under regulation 8(1)(d), a 'school-age' pupil's name is to be deleted from the admissions register if:

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.

No Delay in Removing Child's Name from Register:

The 2006 Registration Regulations do not permit a delay in removing the child's name from the school roll. Please read 12 (3) on pages 6-7 of the statutory regulations. In the case of pupils who are being taken out of school for the purpose of being home educated, the "ground for deletion" is met under paragraph 8(1)(d) when " the proprietor has received written notification from the parent that the pupil is receiving education otherwise than at school." It should be noted that the 2006 statutory regulations specify that these are the necessary and sufficient "ground for deletion" under 8(1)(d).

Paragraph 12(3) reads as follows:

(3) As to the contents of the admission register comprising particulars relating to a pupil whose name is to be deleted in accordance with regulation 8(1)(d), (e),(g),(i) or (m), the proprietor shall make a return to the local authority for every such pupil giving the full name of the pupil, the address of any parent with whom the pupil normally resides and the ground upon which their name is to be deleted from the admission register as soon as the ground for deletion is met in relation to that pupil, and in any event no later than deleting the pupil’s name from the register.

Government Guidance says No Requirement to Obtain Agreement from School or Local Authority

163. School 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 schools and local authorities agreement to educate their children at home. Further information on local authorities’ role in home education is available on teachernet.

Special Needs children in Special Schools

Although regulation 8 (1) (d) effectively allows deregistration on demand, it does not apply to children who have been placed by the LA in special schools. Regulation 8(2) provided that in this situation a child cannot be deregistered without the LA's consent. This restriction is meant to protect the interests of more vulnerable children by ensuring that their special needs are met. But using it to make it harder to home educate such children could be interpreted as discrimination and prejudice. Section 7 of the 1996 Act makes it clear that the right to "otherwise" education extends to children with special needs.

A sample letter which could be used in this instance is shown below.

Director of Education
Anytown Borough Council
Education Department
Full Address and Post Code


Re - (Child's name - date of birth - special school attending)

We are writing as the parents of the above named child, who is a child for whom the LA currently maintains a statement of special educational needs and who is a registered pupil at (name) Special School, (address).

After very careful consideration, and following amicable discussions with staff and teachers from the above named school, we have now decided to take full responsibility for providing for our son's education, 'otherwise than at school' in accordance with section 7 of the 1996 Education Act.

We therefore seek the consent of the Local Authority to allow (child's name) name to be deleted from the admission register of the school, in accordance with Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 8(2) 2006. Once consent has been given we will provide our son/daughter with an efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability, aptitude and to his special educational needs.

We look forward to consent for (child's name) name to be deleted from the admission register being given to the proprietor of (name) Special School in the very near future and request that confirmation of such action be forwarded to us within the next 14 days.

Yours etc


Deregistration from school: Wales

In Wales the Education (Pupil Registration) (Wales) Regulations, 2010 set out the conditions under which a pupil’s name must be removed from the admission register of a school. Under Regulation 8(1)(d), the name of a school-age pupil is to be deleted immediately from the admission register if:

the pupil 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;

Parents of children who have been registered at a school and who begin home education need to inform the school in writing that they are providing education otherwise than at school so that the child’s name can be removed from the register. Parents do not need to ask permission from the local authority to begin home education and, they are under no obligation to inform the local authority of their intention. Under Regulation 12(3), however, the proprietor of the school must report the deletion of the pupil's name from the admission register to the local authority within ten school days.

Parents seeking to home educate children registered at a special school, however, must obtain the consent of the local authority to withdraw their child from the school or, if that authority refuse to give consent, without a direction of the Welsh Ministers. The Education (Pupil Registration) (Wales) Regulations 2010 s8(2). Consent is required in these cases only to smooth the transition to home education for children with complex special needs. The regulations are not intended to be a hindrance to these children being educated at home and any such suggestion would be discriminatory.

Home education in Wales is covered by the Welsh Assembly Guidelines. These refer to the Education(Pupil Registration)Regulations,1995 that originally applied to the whole UK, where deletions from Admission Register are covered under Section 9.(1)(c)


Education Otherwise frequently receives enquiries from parents about home education, often relating to how they should engage with their local authority. This has been particularly concerning for parents since the publication of the Elective Home Education Departmental Guidance for Local Authorities (EHEDGLA), in April 2019.

Education Otherwise, in conjunction with the Centre for Personalised Education charity, has obtained advice from a Queen's Counsel (or QC, a title given to a senior barrister) in order to help us provide accurate information to parents. The QC we instructed specialises in public law and education law, and is a former part-time Chair of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, and a current member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's panel of counsel. The QC also trains lawyers and others in education and public law.

Education Otherwise is revising its information in line with the advice received from the QC. The revised information will be posted on the website when ready. In the meantime, but also as a matter of good practice, parents should of course always obtain their own legal advice if they have concerns over any issues.