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Elective home education

Elective home education (EHE) is when a parent or carer decides to educate their child at home.

The responsibility for a child’s education rests with their parents. In England, education is compulsory, but school is not.

Parents have a duty to secure a suitable full-time education for their children according to their age, ability, aptitude and to any special educational needs. The majority of children receive their education at school. Some parents choose to educate their child at home, which can be for a number of reasons.

See our frequently asked questions section below and the Department for Education's Elective Home Education Guide for Parents to find out more. 

Useful organisations and resources can be found in our support for home educating directory below by viewing all services in this category.

Do I have to tell the local authority that I'm home educating?

If your child is registered at school you will need to de-register them by sending a letter to the head teacher informing them that you wish to educate your child at home.

If your child attends a special school you will need permission for them to be removed from the school roll. However this does not apply if your child has an education, health and care plan and is on roll at a mainstream school.

The local authority will then contact you to ascertain some basic information and information on the education provision for your child. The local authority will normally be in touch once a year to check that you are still home educating and your contact details haven’t changed.

Does Staffordshire County Council provide any funding?

Parents who choose to educate their children at home take full financial responsibility, including bearing the cost of any public examinations.

What about exams and qualifications?

If you wish your child to take exams, and they are not legally obliged to do so, then it’s possible to work for them at home.

They may have to go to an examination centre to sit papers and you will have to pay the costs involved.   It is advisable to check with the individual examination centre the type of examinations they can offer private candidates.  IGCSE’s are the examinations that are usually accepted as the young person sits the examination at the end of the course.

See our download section for a list of Staffordshire Examination Centres accepting private candidates.

What about children with special educational needs?

If a child has special educational needs the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 2015 states the education provided at home must be “suitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude and SEN.”

Parents of children who have elected to home educate may feel that their child has special educational needs.

For further advice you can contact:

Parents can request an education, health and care needs assessment (EHCNA). To do this contact us on 0300 111 8007

See the Department for Education's Elective Home Education Guide for Parents for more information.

Where do I go for further information?

There are many websites that provide information for anyone considering EHE – some websites are provided below. You may also find information about local home educating groups on Yahoo and Facebook.

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