Home Education in Wales

New guidance on home education for Wales was issued in May 2023 and can be found here linked from this page. My page on the new guidance is here.

Education Minister Jeremy Miles made a further statement and took questions on June 6th 2023. Points included: guidance does not create a new definition of suitable education; parents’ handbook to be published shortly; evaluation of guidance from summer 2024; aiming to consult on regulations for children’s database [new law] in 2024 with database pilot in 2025; parents and children not obliged to meet the LA although “sensible to do so”.

The Parents Handbook was published in June 2023. My page about the handbook is here.

Wales has had the power to make its own education legislation – separate from England – since 2011.

In early 2024, proposals were published for a Children Missing Education Database in Wales. Read more here https://edyourself.org/wales-cme-database-consultation/ The proposals as currently drafted will have a significant impact on home educated children already known to the local authority, read more here https://edyourself.org/wales-database-impact-children-already-known/ This consultation CLOSED on 25.4.24.

The principle primary legislation for England and Wales is the Education Act 1996. Section 7 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.”

Children Missing Education is covered in section 436A. CME Guidance for Wales is described as “A practical toolkit to help identify children and young people missing education”. Elective home education is on pages 74-76, also page 92.

School Attendance Orders can be found in section 437 to 443 of the Education Act 1996.

Deregistration is the procedure to be followed when a parent takes a child out of school for home education. The legal source is the Pupil Registration Regulations Wales which say the child’s name should be deleted from the roll and the school then has 10 school days to notify the local authority.


The Welsh Government asks local authorities to provide annual information about home educated children which is published in the Autumn. The latest is September 2023.
Anglesey 116; Gwynnedd 165; Conwy 185; Denbighshire 145; Flintshire 245; Wrexham 133; Powys 288; Ceredigion 241; Pembrokeshire 297; Carmarthenshire 739; Swansea 291; Neath Port Talbot 296; Bridgend 176; The Vale of Glamorgan 152; Rhondda Cynon Taff 381; Merthyr Tydfil 59; Caerphilly 222; Blaenau Gwent 214; Torfaen 172; Monmouthshire 123; Newport 249; Cardiff 441

NB Local authorities currently provide more information to the Government than is actually published and various bodies would like to see more data analysis made available. This would not require new database legislation as it would be covered under the existing non-statutory arrangements. The Education Minister Jeremy Miles told the Children, Young People and Education Committee in Summer 2022 that he had commissioned Data Cymru to analyse the annual local authority returns for the reasons why families are choosing home education. See this Committee report November 2022, pages 45-50

ALN in Wales

Wales has its own laws for additional learning needs also known as special educational needs. My page on ALN in Wales can be found here

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