Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that:

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable:

(1) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(2) to any special educational needs he may have
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

You may consider electively home educating your child if you feel that their school setting is not meeting their needs, if you cannot secure your preferred provision for them, or if they are being bullied.

Parents don't have to request permission to home educate, but if your child is in school you need to write to the head of the school and ask them take your child's name off the school register. It doesn't make any difference if your child has a statement of SEN, unless it is a special school.  If your child is at a special school you need permission from the local authority to remove your child from school.

Local authorities have a duty to make arrangements to identify children outside school who aren't receiving education but there is no statutory duty to monitor home education on a routine basis. Suitable education is defined in law as education which is suitable to the child's age, ability, aptitude and special needs.

If your child has a Statement or EHC Plan, you do not have to make the provision set out in the statement/plan, but you do have to take account of your child’s special educational needs. As the local authority are not responsible for your child’s education, parents are not eligible for funding (ie cost of tuition) when children are home educated.  

Where a child has a Statement or an Education Health Care Plan and is educated other than at school, EITHER the parent makes the special educational provision OR it is arranged and funded by the local authority. It is extremely rare for local authorities to provide therapies or support (including SALT or OT) once a child is home educated, as parents are deemed to have opted out.

More information on home educating, personal budgets, direct payments and EHCPs can be found by clicking here.


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