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 children with SEN are simply unable to access an education either at school or anywhere off site. Some children may simply be too anxious and therefore to unwell to even leave the home. In these circumstances some parents may feel that de-registering their child and electively home educating may be the only option.
However, there is another option that is open to parents. If both the parents and the local authority agree that the child’s needs would be most appropriately met by educating the child within the home, then this can be facilitated.
Under these circumstances the local authority remains responsible for ensuring that the child’s SEN needs are met and that the child receives a suitable education. Therefore, the child remains on roll but is classed as educated at home or offsite.
This is explained in the Sen Code of Practice p.g. 215
10.31 In cases where local authorities and parents agree that home education is the right provision for a child or young person with an EHC plan, the plan should make clear that the child or young person will be educated at home. If it does then the local authority, under Section 42(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014, must arrange the special educational provision set out in the plan, working with the parents. Under Section 19 of the Act, a local authority must have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of the child and his or her parents, or the young person.
What if the council refuse this request?
You can challenge the above aspects of your child’s EHCP if you are unhappy with them. You may decide to try mediation or if you do not want to go to mediation or if mediation has already been tried and failed you may decide to appeal to the SEND Tribunal
In some cases you may be able to take your local authority to Judicial Review but you would need to appoint a solicitor to do this for you.
If you have the available finances or you are eligible for legal aid it may be beneficial to appoint a specialised SEN solicitor to guide you through the process as soon as you begin experiencing difficulties.
The following solicitors specialise in SEN but you would need to contact them directly in order to ensure if they accept legal aid. Also I cannot guarantee the quality of these services.
For more advice on SEN please visit IPSEA, Send code of practice , SEN SOS and National Autistic Society – Helpline – Educational Rights
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