If you are considering home educating your child, or have just decided to do so, the following frequently asked questions may be helpful. You can also download our fact sheet for further information.
Parents who home educate have wide ranging levels of academic and vocational qualifications and some parents have no qualifications at all, but are nonetheless able to home educate their child successfully.
Many families find that using a project-based approach covers a wide range of subjects and disciplines, whilst helping to develop essential research skills. Children must, however, be enabled to be literate and numerate, in accordance with their age, ability, aptitude and any special needs they may have.
Parents often worry about how their child will learn subjects for which specialised equipment is used in schools, such as science subjects, but they need not do so, as there are a great many experiments which can be undertaken at home, using basics found in the kitchen, or tool box.
If the child is enrolled at a mainstream school in England or Wales, the parent must send a notice to the school in writing. This applies regardless of whether the child has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (ALN in Wales). Please see below for children enrolled in special schools.
If parents do not live together, the parent with whom the child normally lives must discuss the decision with the child’s other parent, prior to commencing home education. Please see our fact sheet for parents who do not agree.
Consent is requested in writing and may not be withheld unreasonably by the local authority, but it is important that the parent includes in their application details of how they will meet the child’s special needs. The local authority can refuse consent, but must give reasons for any refusal, which the parent can challenge.
If a child is at a special school under a private arrangement, the parent need only notify the head teacher, as with a child at a mainstream school.
If the parent wishes to home educate their child and the child is subject to a school attendance order, they must ask the local authority to revoke the order (or amend it to replace the school with a different school) before the child can be removed from the roll.