Some parents choose to educate their children at home, for a variety of reasons. As the Local Education Authority (LEA), we support the right of parents to educate their children at home and have very few rights to intervene.
What should you do if you want to educate your son or daughter at home?
If you want to educate your child at home you should inform the headteacher of your child's school who should then inform us. If your child has never attended school, you should inform us of your decision to educate your child at home.
What are parents' responsibilities?
Your responsibilities as a parent are clearly set out in Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 which states:
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
There is no rule about what a suitable education might be but it should prepare your child for life in a modern society and allow your child to reach his or her full potential. It should offer:
- a broad and balanced curriculum
- english, mathematics and information and communications technology (ICT)
- opportunities for physical, social, spiritual and cultural development.
The phrase "full time" can be interpreted differently, since a child's education at home is often on an individual basis. A suggestion of a minimum of three hours per day has been offered. You should consider the need for any young person to have formal qualifications for any future role in life.
What if my child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs?
Where a child has special educational needs, we have a duty to carry out an assessment of a child's needs and, where appropriate, prepare a 'statement of special educational needs' setting out how these needs will be met (Education Act 1996, Section 323). We must ensure that the special education provision in the statement is made for the child unless you have made suitable arrangements (Education Act 1996, Section 325).