Educating your child at home

Education is compulsory in the UK and parents have the ultimate responsibility for educating their child. We believe that a school-based education provides the best possible opportunities for young learners. However, we respect parents' right to choose to educate their child outside of school and will work with them to support each child's best interests.

Home-educated children must receive full-time education from the start date of the first school term following their fifth birthday. This continues until the last Friday in June of the school year in which the child becomes 16. For more information, visit the government's school leaving age web page.

Your choice to home educate

You do not need to get permission to home educate your child; it is your parental choice. If your child is registered at a school you must inform the headteacher of your child's school in writing, before you start home educating. If we become aware that your child is being home educated, we will make informal enquiries to check that you are fulfilling your legal responsibilities.

Planning how you will fulfil your responsibilities and requirements for your child will make the process easier. Part-time or flexi-schooling is a legal option that is at the discretion of the headteacher and governors. The school bears responsibility for the coverage and assessment of the National Curriculum. They may expect that some of the schoolwork is done at home so that your child is not disadvantaged if or when he or she returns to school.

You can find out more in our parents and carers guide to elective home education in Herefordshire.

Home educating children with special educational needs

Children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan who are registered pupils at a special school can only be removed from school with our consent. Pupils with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan who have been registered at a mainstream school can be educated at home providing arrangements are judged to be suitable and meet the child's needs as outlined in the plan.

What you need to know about home education

There is no funding for parents who home educate their children and some children will miss the daily contact with friends at school. You will need to consider the social development of your child, which would be enhanced through sharing activities with other children. You may find it useful to build up contacts with other parents also educating their children at home. Building a wide circle of like-minded friends and contacts with other home educated children allows you to exchange ideas and resources, and you can always explore the possibility of group discounts on entry fees for educational visits. There is also an increasing amount of free learning material on the internet.

Public exams

In order for your child to take GCSEs, you will need to find a registered centre to take the exams - this is usually a school or college. As a home educator you will have to contact individual examination boards to find out how they handle private candidates. You will have to pay for any exam registration fee and assessment of coursework, by an accredited person.

Support and advice from the Elective Home Education (EHE) service

Herefordshire Council's Elective Home Education service offers advice to families who have opted to educate their children at home.

The Parent's plan form:

  • Lets us know that you intend to home educate your child
  • Can help you set out and record a plan for how you intend to meet your child's educational requirements
  • For example, making sure that your child has an education which is suitable for their age, ability and aptitude.

Complete the Parent's plan form

Further resources

Elective home education contact details

For help and guidance on educating your child at home, please contact our EHE Officer.

Telephone: 01432 261584

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