Please note that all guidance in relation to education is based on laws and guidelines in relation to England. If you live in Wales, N. Ireland of Scotland please find the relevant Sen Code of Practice in my blogroll on the RHS of the page.
Many parents may feel, for a variety of reasons, that home education is the most suitable form of education for their child.
- Their child may be a persistent school refuser.
- The anxiety that school provokes in their child may make life at home impossible to manage.
- Parent’s may feel that school attendance is damaging their child’s emotional well-being.
- Parent’s may simply prefer the option of home education.
The law states that a child must receive an education but it does not state that the education must be delivered in a school.
Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 provides that: “The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable – (a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and (b) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.” Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities
Parent’s do however have a duty to inform their child’s school of their intention to home educate and to request that their child’s name is removed from the school roll. For a child attending a specialised provision the parents would need to seek approval from their local authority. The local authority should give permission unless they have very good reasons not to do so. Please find information about deregistering your child and template letters at Education Otherwise
Parents may chose to follow quite a structured approach to learning or may choose to unschool or to even radically unschool their child. All of these options are legal as long as the child’s SEN needs are being met and that he/she is learning, even if the learning is solely taking place through play, following their own interests and/or day trips.
According to the SEN code of practice p.g. 214 councils should work closely with parents and should fund the SEN needs of home educated children where it is appropriate to do so.
10.30 Under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 parents have the right to educate children, including children with SEN, at home. Home education must be suitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude and SEN. Local authorities should work in partnership with, and support, parents to ensure that the SEN of these children are met where the local authority already knows the children have SEN or the parents have drawn the children’s special needs to the authority’s attention. Local authorities do not have a duty under section 22 of the Children and Families Act 2014 to assess every home educated child to see whether or not they have SEN. The high needs block of the Dedicated Schools Grant is intended to fund provision for all relevant children and young people in the authority’s area, including home-educated children. Local authorities should fund the SEN needs of home-educated children where it is appropriate to do so. Guidance is available to local authorities from the Department 215 for Education on funding provision for home-educated children
Parents are not obliged or required to provide the specific provision stipulated in an EHCP or Statement because this is only relevant to the named placement, which should be a suitable school, should the child return to school or if the local authority has concerns that the child is not receiving a suitable education at home. Education Otherwise and p.g.215 (10.35) Sen code of practice
This is how I presented my case to my LA regarding the suitable provision that I would be providing for my daughter. Proposed Statement of SEN
The LA do have a statutory duty to annually review your child’s statement or EHCP. Ensure that they do this because if your child decides to return to school not having a current statement or EHCP in place can cause massive delays. p.g.215 (10.32)SEN code of practice
We have seen massive improvement by radically unschooling our child but I do accept that this may not be deemed suitable or even possible for all. It is also worth noting that home education does not need to be permanent and your child can return to school at any time.
If you are experiencing difficulties in home educating your child due to your local authority not complying with the Sen Code of Practice guidelines then you can complain to your local authority. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can complain to your Local Government Ombudsman Local Government Ombudsman
For more information on home educating please visit Education Otherwise and Elective Home Education – Guidelines for Local Authorities and SEND Code of Practice
For advice on suitable strategies within education please visit Videos 6, 7, 8 and 9 by Neville Starnes, Education and handling strategies by Phil Christie, National Autistic Society – PDA Educational Strategies and Education booklet by Positive PDA