Information for parents/carers who are considering educating their child at home.
In England, education is compulsory, but school is not.
Elective home education is the term used to describe the educational provision made for children whose parents decide to educate them at home instead of sending them to school.
Parents have a right to educate their children at home and are responsible for providing an efficient, full time and suitable education taking into consideration the child’s age, ability and aptitude as well as any special educational need & disability the child may have.
For some parents the choice of registering with a school or electively home educating is an easy one to make. For others the decision is not so easy; parents need to seriously consider whether elective home education is right for them and their child. Two important questions that parents may wish to ask themselves is am I committed to providing my child with full time education for as long as it takes and will my decision foreclose my child’s options in later years?
Parents can at a later stage decide to register their child with a school after a period of elective home education; an application to a school can be made at any time.
Parents can also opt for elective home education after registering with a school at any age. It is very important for parents to know that schools must not seek to persuade parents to educate their children at home as a way of avoiding an exclusion or because the child has a poor attendance or behaviour record. The decision to electively home educate must be the parent’s and not the school’s. Once registered with a school a child has the right to remain on roll with that school and have their educational needs met and supported.
Sam Lerway, Elective Home Education Coordinator
The Department for Education Guidance for Elective Home Education can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elective-home-education