Quick-Guide: Elective Home Education

This Quick-Guide provides information on the law and practice on elective home education, and how it may provide an alternative to permanent exclusion An exclusion that results in the young person being removed from the school register and barred from the school’s campus indefinitely. .

The local education authority has a duty to make education available for children within their area who would otherwise be out of school under s19 Education Act 1996. However, it is the parents’ duty to ensure the young person actually receives that education.

People with parental responsibility for a young person can opt out of the provision made available by the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. through the process known as elective home education.

If someone elects for home education, they bring the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. ’s duty to make provision of education available for that young person to an end, and the young person’s name will be removed from their school’s register.

This Quick-Guide covers:

  1. The responsibilities of the person with parental responsibility;
  2. The powers of the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. to end elective home education.

1. Responsibilities of the person with parental responsibility

There is no established standard of education that families must satisfy to qualify for providing elective home education. This means that young people do not need to learn specific subjects or content, have a certain number or length of school day or undertake exams.

However, parents do have a duty at s7 Education Act to cause the young person to:

receive efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude; and to any special educational needs he may have; either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

In most circumstances, people with parental responsibility who elect for home education do not have a duty to report that fact to the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. . The exceptions are at Regulation 8 of the 2008 Pupil Registration Regulations, which require the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. 's involvement where the child is attending school made under local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. special arrangements, or where a child is already subject to a type of order called a “school attendance order”.

2. The powers of the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. to end elective home education

S.436A of the Education Act 1996 directs every local education authority to have systems in place to identify all people of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered with a school, and who they cannot confirm are receiving suitable education in some way other than at a school.

Whilst the family has no duty to report their decision to the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. , in many cases the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. will become aware anyway. Schools have a duty to report all permanent exclusions to the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. , by the time parents elect for home education as an alternative, it is likely that the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. will become aware of this fact because, otherwise, they will want to know how the permanent exclusion An exclusion that results in the young person being removed from the school register and barred from the school’s campus indefinitely. was resolved. In addition, schools have a duty to report deletions from their register to the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. . Where they are aware that this is due to elective home education, they will probably provide this reason with the notice.

The local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. can then contact the parents to ask them to provide information on what provision is being made for the young person. There is no duty on the parents to respond. However, in 1980 the High Court A Court that hears cases of judicial review A type of court case in which a judge is asked to review the decision of a public body An organisation that performs a public function with public funds. Includes schools (includes academies and free-schools, but not independent or private schools), CAMHS, the local authority and the police. and correct errors in decision making. . It has a range of powers to order a public body An organisation that performs a public function with public funds. Includes schools (includes academies and free-schools, but not independent or private schools), CAMHS, the local authority and the police. , such as a school or independent review panel, to rectify an error in their decision making. heard the claim of Phillips v Brown. In its decision, the Court found that the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. will be reasonably able to assume that, if a parent simply ignores a request for information, it is justifiable to conclude that suitable provision of education is not being made. This is confirmed at paragraph 6.5 of the government’s guidance to local authorities.

If the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. makes this assumption, they could then use their power at s.437(1) of the Education Act 1996 to give notice to the parents, and demand confirmation within 15 days that suitable provision is being made. In most cases, local authorities would have a duty to do this.

Then, the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. will order the parents to register the young person with a school by a power given to them at s. 437(3) of the Education Act 1996, if two conditions are met:

  1. That the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. is not satisfied that the young person is receiving suitable education; and
  2. The local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. thinks that ordering the child back to school will result in them receiving a suitable education.

If a parent or guardian receives such an order, they should seek advice from a lawyer as soon as possible.