Elective home education (EHE)
What is Elective home education?
Elective home education is a term used to describe a choice by parents or carers to provide education for their child or young person, instead of sending them to school full-time and being responsible for providing their education. This is different to education provided by a local authority other than at a school, for example, for children who are too ill to attend school.
What if I choose to start electively home educating my child?
If your child is currently at school, you should tell the school if you plan to educate them at home. The school must accept if you’re taking your child out completely. They can refuse if you want to send your child to school some of the time.
If I choose to educate my child at home, what must I do before I start?
If your child has never been enrolled at a school, you are under no legal obligation to inform the local authority that he or she is being home educated or gain consent for this. However, it is strongly recommended that you do notify your local authority, in order to access any advice and support available. If your child is currently on the roll of a school, you are not obliged to inform the school that he or she is being withdrawn for home education or gain consent for this. However, it is sensible to do so, in order to avoid subsequent misunderstandings as to how you intend to fulfil your parental responsibility for your child’s education.
The school is obliged to inform the local authority of children removed from its admission register and will give home education as the reason, if notified of this by the parent. Parents of children withdrawn from school for home education are not legally obliged to inform the local authority themselves – but again it is sensible to do so, either directly or using any local registration scheme which exists, to facilitate access to advice and support.
Education quality and curriculum
You must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5, but you do not have to follow the national curriculum.
The council can make an ‘informal enquiry’ to check your child is getting a suitable education at home. They can serve a school attendance order if they think your child needs to be taught at school.
If your child has special educational needs (SEN):
If your child has SEN and attends a special school, you’ll need to get the council’s permission to educate them at home. You do not need the council’s permission if your child attends a mainstream school, even if they have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
- Educating your child at home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Home schooling and ‘education otherwise’ | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice
- SEND Local Offer | Education Inclusion – SEND Local Offer (northlincs.gov.uk)
- Home education – childlawadvice.org.uk
- Elective home education: guide for parents (publishing.service.gov.uk)