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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 contacted us to let us know on 01609 780780.

If your child attends a school or has a place agreed, write to the head teacher 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. A family outreach worker will ask to meet you to discuss your rights and duties, provide information 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.

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, our representatives are entitled to make informal enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home.

For more information please contact us on 01609 780780.

This page was last updated on 28 October 2015