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Home schooling

Parents are responsible for ensuring their children receive a suitable education. Although most parents choose to use schools, an increasing number are choosing to provide an education based at home.

If the decision to home educate has arisen because of a disagreement with a teacher or school, and the issue has not been resolved following discussions with the head teacher or governors, please contact us before you withdraw your child from school. Officers will be pleased to discuss the options available to you.

By law, parents must ensure their child receives full-time education suitable for his or her age, ability and aptitude. Learning at home need not operate around a tightly structured timetable and is not restricted to the national curriculum. You do not need any formal teaching qualifications.

The steps to take

If your child is below school age, you are moving into the area or you are currently home educating (or in some other form of private education), you do not need to do anything as there is no legal obligation to inform the local authority that you have decided to home educate. But it would be helpful if you sent your details to your local education office.

If your child attends a school or has a place agreed, write to the headteacher to inform them of your decision.  The head will then remove your child's name from the school's admission register and inform the local authority, which will contact you and ask about the arrangements for the home education. An education social worker will ask to meet to discuss your rights and duties and to assess whether there is a genuine intention to educate your child at home.

You may find it useful to keep an informal education diary or for your child to build up a portfolio recording some of the activities and work they have done.

Role of the education adviser

Once the education social worker has confirmed your intention to educate at home, the education adviser will arrange a meeting to discuss with you your educational plans.

The adviser is experienced in working with home educating families, so these meetings are an opportunity to draw upon his or her knowledge of services and support available for home educating families in North Yorkshire.

This will be followed by a written report, including recommendations if appropriate. They will also agree a timescale for subsequent meetings.

The local authority's responsibilities

By law, we have a duty to act if we believe that a suitable education is not being provided. As such, education advisers are entitled to make informal enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home.

An education adviser will make contact with home educating parents to request a meeting.  This is usually held at your home, in order to discuss the education you are providing for your child.  A written report of the meeting will be drawn up, with a copy for parents and the LA.

This page was last updated on 21 November 2013