Table of Contents
- Note about Wales, 2012
- How many children are home educated in England?
- How do I find out who is responsible for home education at my local council?
- Can I home educate for a short time if I don't get the right school place?
- What is the average number of home educated children per local authority?
- Do parents need to ask permission to home educate?
- Does anyone check up on home educating families?
- What Does "Referral to Children Missing Education" mean?
- What is "doorstepping"?
- Is there any financial help for home educating families?
- Is the funding system going to be changed?
- What is Alternative Provision Funding?
- How do home educated children take exams?
- What do local authorities think about autonomous education?
- How do I get in touch with other home educating families?
- Can children with special needs be home educated?
- Does it make a difference if children have a statement of special needs?
- What changes is the Government proposing for SEN?
- Can the council insist on seeing home educated children?
- Is there any funding for home educated children?
- What about flexischooling?
- Can home educated children go to college at 14?
- How do children get back into the school system if they have been home educated?
- Can My Child Be Sent Back to School?
- Does the LA Have A Duty To Satisfy Itself About Home Education Provision?
- Do Parents Have to Supply Evidence About Home Education Provision?
Legal Changes for Wales?
Welsh Plans Put On Hold BBC website January 3rd 2013 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-20898475
In 2012 local authorities in England were aware of around 20,842 home educated children. Numbers are steady but not rising. Click here for line graphs showing the trend in numbers, and here for map of home education numbers. Click here for results from Freedom of Information requests on the numbers of home educated children in 2012.
Not all council websites have contact details. Put "name of your council" + "home education" into an internet search box.The job of overseeing home education may be a full-time or part-time post or may simply be passed to someone who is already working in Education Welfare, Alternative Provision, Special Needs or Traveller Education Services. For more detailed information on individual local authorities, click here http://edyourself.org/articles/2013foissenandlocationehe.php
Numbers vary enormously between 1 child and 500+ children. There are 152 local authorities and most local authorities have fewer than 100 home educated children on their books. See the home education map. Click here for pie charts and bar charts and here for line graphs showing home education numbers. In 2012 local authorities in England were aware of around 20,842 home educated children.
No, not in England unless the child is a registered pupil at a special school, in which case the consent of the local authority is required before the child's name can be taken off the school roll. See Taking a Child out of School and Deregistering a Child from School
Local authorities have no statutory duty to monitor parents' home education provision. At the same time, section 436A Education Act 1996 gives local authorities the duty to make arrangements to identify children outside school who are not receiving suitable education. Government Guidelines indicate that the authority should address the situation informally by making inquiries with parents. If it appears that a suitable education is not being provided, the local authority should seek to gather any relevant information that will assist them in reaching a properly informed judgement. Ultimately if the authority is not satisfied that the child is receiving education, it has a duty to begin the process for a School Attendance Order. Suitable education is defined in law as education which is suitable to the child's age, ability, aptitude and any special needs he or she may have. Read more here
Some local authorities tell families that they will be "referred to CME" or "put on the CME list" if they do not co-operate with monitoring procedures. Where a child is said to be educated otherwise than at school, but it appears to the local authority that the child is not in fact receiving education, the authority has a duty to carry out a sequence of steps set out in the Education Act 1996 and further amplified in the revised statutory guidance on Children Missing Education published in 2009.
Click here for Children Missing Education Guidance 2009
Doorstepping is where a local authority employee turns up unannounced, principally to investigate the reason - in the absence of any other information - why a child is not attending school. Families may also be doorstepped in cases where a child has recently been deregistered from school. This is not common but does sometimes occur. The people who carry out the doorstepping will tend to be from "welfare" and may be operating quite independently of the Home Education Team at the Council. The only situation where a social worker is recommended to turn up unannounced is where a child is believed to be at risk of significant harm and alerting the parents ahead of time is believed to be dangerous for the child. Click here for Children Missing Education Guidance 2009 and Home Education and Social Services
The funding page can be found here.
Yes, from September 2013 Further education colleges will be able to enrol 14- to 16-year-olds directly and receive Government funding.
Read more here http://edyourself.org/articles/WolfReport.php#14-16scollege SEN funding is to be changed with the introduction of the High Needs Block in 2013-14.
Read more here http://edyourself.org/articles/allpartygrouphomeeducation.php#followuptonovsen and here http://edyourself.org/articles/funding.php#newguidancefeb2013
Alternative Provision Funding is no longer in operation.
http://edyourself.org/articles/examsfaq.php Home educated young people who wish to take exams do so outside the state school system as private candidates. This involves selecting an examination board with suitable courses and finding an exam centre which accepts private candidates. Home educated young people have a restricted range of options for exams and must find a centre which will assist with GCSE controlled assessment, or find a centre where it is possible to sit IGCSEs.
Read more here here and See our survey of local authority help in finding an exam centre and case studies
We don't have sufficient data to be able to generalise about LAs' attitude to autonomous education. Many authorities simply use template letters and forms which can be sent out by administrative staff.
Read more here http://edyourself.org/articles/autonomousedlocalauthority.pdf
Click here for a map showing local home education support groups and internet lists throughout the country.
Yes. Some parents turn to home education when they have been unable to get their child's needs met in the school system. Other families decide when their children are very young that school is unlikely to meet their needs. Children with special educational needs have an equal right to be educated at home. Read more here.
Having a statement of SEN does not prevent a child from being educated at home. Paragraph 8.96 of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice says "Part 4 should state the type of school the LEA consider appropriate but go on to say that: 'parents have made their own arrangements under section 7 of the Education Act 1996.'"
Read more here and here A new website is being set up with answers to frequently asked questions about home education and special needs in England http://www.ehe-sen.org.uk/
SEN in the Children and Families Bill New SEN and home education FAQ website here http://www.ehe-sen.org.uk/
No, families do not have to agree to meet with the council. Government Guidelines say that "where a parent elects not to allow access to their home or their child, this does not of itself constitute a ground for concern about the education provision being made." See also our page on home education and social services The Government confirmed in 2010 that it was not mandatory to see the child or the home as part of the SEN annual statement review. Read more here
Read the latest here http://edyourself.org/articles/flexischooling.php
From September 2013 Further education colleges will - in theory - be able to enrol 14- to 16-year-olds directly and receive Government funding. Read more here http://edyourself.org/articles/allpartygrouphomeeducation.php#apgfe14-16 and http://edyourself.org/articles/WolfReport.php#14-16scollege including letters to colleges from the Education Funding Agency, April 2013.
Some children are home educated for years and then go into the school system for example to take exams. Other children may only be home educated for a short time for example while waiting for a place at a particular school. Local authorities should be able to advise on the school application process.
Yes, but there is a formal legal process which has to be followed and there has to be a successful prosecution in the magistrates court first. The Council has a duty to intervene where a child is not in school and it appears that the child is not receiving education. The process begins with the Council asking for more information and may eventually culminate in the Council issuing a School Attendance Order.
Read more about School Attendance Orders here
No. This is frequently misunderstood. The authority only has a duty to act if it appears that a child is not receiving education. Government Guidelines recommend that the authority ask parents for some information but point out that this is not the same as a formal request for evidence.
See Introduction to Home Education Law.
No. This is frequently misunderstood. The parent is only required to provide evidence if the authority has issued a formal notice for evidence under section 437 of the Education Act 1996. Government Guidelines recommend that the authority ask parents for some information but point out that this is not the same as a formal request for evidence.
See Introduction to Home Education Law. See also Introduction to Educational Philosophies