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Home schooling

Home Schooling is covered in Section 7 of the Education Act 1996. It 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. You should also write to the Local Authority (LA) if your child has an EHCP (Education, Health, Care Plan) to ask them to amend Section I of the Plan.  If your child is at a special school you do need permission from the LA to remove your child from school. 

Where a child has an EHC Plan and is home educated:

Either the parent makes the special educational provision (Section I of the plan will state that the child is electively home educated) and the LA has no duty to make the special educational provision as set out in the Plan. Parents do not have to make the provision set out in the EHC Plan but they do have to take account of their child's special educational needs. 

Or the special educational provision in the EHC Plan is arranged and funded by the LA.  In this case, Section I will remain blank, because there is no setting to be named. See: (Upper Tier case of Derbyshire CC v EM and DM (SEN) [2019] UKUT 240 (AAC), para 13: a child could not ‘attend’ her home nor could her home be described as an ‘institution’. Accordingly, if there is no school or other institution to be attended, there is nothing to be set out in the EHC Plan under regulation 12(1)(i))

This means that the LA have a duty to ensure the special educational provision is delivered (section 61 of the Children and Families Act 2014).  This might include therapies such as Speech and Language therapy which are classed as educational provision.  

It is extremely rare for local authorities to provide therapies or support (including SALT or OT) once a child is electively home educated, as parents are deemed to have opted out.

In both cases, the LA has a statutory duty to review the EHC Plan every year. 

More information on elective home educating, personal budgets, direct payments and EHCP's please click on the below links - 

Useful links

https://www.gov.uk/home-education
https://www.heas.org.uk/
http://www.educationotherwise.net/
http://edyourself.org/
http://ehe-sen.org.uk/
http://www.he-special.org.uk/content/homeedfaq.php
http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/home-educating-a-child-with-special-needs/
http://www.autism.org.uk/about/in-education/choosing-school/home-education.aspx