Pupil Registration Regulations 2024


For potential home educators or those advising on home education, what to say to a school, and what laws to quote, if a child is to be taken out of school for home education will change slightly from August 2024. This page deals only with deregistration from mainstream (with or without EHCP) In terms of EOTAS, it will also be a statutory requirement for the school to report 15 days of absence which will prompt the local authority to consider its section 19 duty to make alternative provision.


The law on how a child may become registered with a school and may stop being registered with a school is set out in the Pupil Registration Regulations. For the past 17 years this has meant the 2006 Regulations. The 2006 Regulations have been amended a number of times, most notably in 2016 as explained here https://edyourself.org/school-roll/ When the Regulations were significantly amended in 2016 all the new detail was set out in Children Missing Education guidance, so at the point when the Regulations are replaced, CME guidance will presumably need to be updated with the new references.

In 2022 the government put forward various changes to the 2006 Regulations, confirming in August 2023 the things that would be changed and the things that would not be changed. The final step was taken on February 29th 2024 when the government laid new Regulations before Parliament to come into force on August 19th 2024. I posted about this on my News Page https://edyourself.org/new-pupil-registration-regulations-aug-2024/

For home educators the main concern had been the possibility of requiring permission to deregister from mainstream if the child had an EHCP or Child In Need or Child Protection Plan. The government decided NOT to go ahead with this and it is NOT in the new Regulations; I posted about it on my News Page at the time https://edyourself.org/consent-not-required-ehcp-deregistration-mainstream/

Differences 2006 and 2024 Regulations

The new Pupil Registration Regulations are a mix of new statutory duties plus new wording for existing duties with the aim of making things clearer. New statutory duties include: a duty for school registers to be kept electronically rather than a choice between paper or electronic as now; new standardised attendance and absence codes replacing existing voluntary codes which were felt to be used inconsistently; an extra requirement before Code B approved educational activity may be used; and a new duty on schools to make “a sickness return” notifying the LA if a pupil has missed or is expected to miss 15 days, in order to support the LA’s section 19 duties.

New wording for unchanged law appears in respect of how and when a child becomes a registered pupil. The current 2006 Pupil Registration Regulations say “a pupil is a pupil at the school from the beginning of the first day on which the school has agreed, or has been notified, that the pupil will attend the school” but the new Regulations spell out that the “person with control of a pupil’s attendance at a school” is “a parent of the pupil and also make reference to the “starting day” for the pupil to be admitted to the school. In the vast majority of cases this will be the date agreed between school and parent because the parent accepts the offer of a school place, but if the parent has rejected the offer then the child is only admitted to school as a pupil on the first day they attend (See 2024 Regulations 2 and 4) This is relevant for home educators because once a child is a registered pupil the parent has a duty to ensure regular attendance.

There is also new wording in the 2024 Regulations about pupils coming off the school roll, including deregistering for home education. Three points: 1/ advance notice is not required for parents wishing to take a child out for home education; 2/ the pupil cannot be taken off roll if there is a school attendance order in force and; 3/ permission is not required unless the child is a pupil at a special school. The law has not changed on any of these points.

The current (2006) Regulations say 8(1) The following are prescribed as the grounds on which the name of a pupil of compulsory school age shall be deleted from the admission register – (a) where the pupil is registered at the school in accordance with the requirements of a school attendance orderthat … the order is revoked by the local authority on the ground that arrangements have been made for the child to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude otherwise than at school” (d) he has ceased to attend the school and the proprietor has received written notification from the parent that the pupil is receiving education otherwise than at school”

The 2024 Regulations say9(1) The proprietor of a school must ensure that the name of a pupil of compulsory school age is deleted from the school’s admission register when— …. 9(1)(e) a school attendance order relating to the pupil and naming the school has been revoked by the relevant local authority on the ground that arrangements have been made for the pupil to receive suitable education otherwise than at school”(f) a parent of the pupil has told the proprietor in writing that the pupil will no longer attend the school after a certain day and will receive education otherwise than at school and— that day has passed; and there is no school attendance order naming the school in force in relation to the pupil”

With regard to the first two points identified above ie no advance notice and deletion not allowed if school attendance order, the benefits of the new wording are mixed.

1/ Advance notice has become problematic and potentially confusing or misleading. Parents do not have to give notice in advance and where they do tell the school ahead of the date they intend to start home educating, government guidance permits multi-agency meetings “to ensure the parents/carers have considered what is in the best interests of each child” which could wrongly be experienced as needing to convince professionals before being “allowed” to home educate as I explain here.

The 2024 Regulations – unlike the 2006 Regulations – imply that the child is still attending at the point when parents write to the school. However since the law has not changed parents will for example write on a Monday that their child’s last day was a date in the past eg the previous Friday or if deregistering at the start of a new term, the last day of the previous term. The lawful grounds for deletion would still be met since that day has passed.

2/ School Attendance Order preventing deregistration is clearer in the new Regulations since it appears in the same sentence rather than elsewhere in the Regulations. (It was wrongly argued in Schools Bill debates that parents could just take children out of school regardless of a School Attendance Order)

3/ Deregistration from special school is covered separately here https://edyourself.org/taking-child-out-of-special-school/


There are actually two new sets of Regulations which will run in parallel: The School Attendance (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2024 [LINK] and The  Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2024 [LINK]

This page largely deals with the new Pupil Registration Regulations. The government has published an Explanatory Memorandum for the new Pupil Registration Regulations setting out the main differences between the 2006 Regulations and the 2024 Regulations which you can read here via this page

However, the accompanying Pupil Information Regulations should also be mentioned. These represent a change to the law since for the first time schools will be required to provide information about whether registered pupils have attended or not attended a school session, plus other relevant information about individual pupils. A pilot was set up in 2022 with voluntary reporting from schools; before the pilot, information was often only collected termly. The Explanatory Memorandum can be read here via this page

Both sets of Regulations are made under what is called the “made negative procedure” which do not require approval in Parliament before becoming law. The made negative procedure is confirmed here for the Pupil Registration Regulations and here for the Pupil Information Regulations.

Related Pages