Information for schools
Elective Home Education (EHE) Guidance for Schools
The law relating to Elective Home Education
Parents have a right to educate their children at home (Section 7 of the Education Act 1996).
Parental rights and responsibilities
Parents may elect to home educate at any stage up to the end of compulsory school age. This is a personal decision that schools should not be influencing or suggesting. Parents are not required to register or seek approval from the local authority to educate their children at home (except children on roll of a special school), however, they are required to give written notification of their intention to home educate to the school so their child can be deleted from the school roll. If a child is registered at a school as a result of a school attendance order the parents must get the order revoked by the local authority by providing evidence of a suitable education before the child can be de-registered.
Parents must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility. Parents must also ensure their child receives suitable full time education for as long as they are being educated at home.
Providing a full-time education
There is no legal definition of full-time education. There is no expectation for home education to cover the same hours as a school day. The type of educational activity can be varied and flexible. For example, parents are not required to teach the National Curriculum or sit public examinations.
Local Authorities’ responsibilities
The LA has no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis. However, the LA is required to intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education. The LA has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. However, the LA does not have the power to enter the homes of, or otherwise see, children for the purposes of monitoring the provision of EHE.
If you have any concerns as to the suitability of the educational provision or with respect to safeguarding, please contact the EHE team at Babcock LDP. The EHE team is commissioned by Devon County Council to provide this service.
Professional Lead for Elective Home Education / Children Missing Education
Email: Emma.Hitchins@babcockinternational.com Tel: 01392 287255
Elective Home Education / Children Missing Education Officer
Email: Georgina.Bennett@babcockinternational.com Tel: 01392 287230
Process for removing a child from school roll to home educate
- Parent(s) wishes to home educate*
- Was the child placed on roll under a school attendance order? - Child cannot be removed from roll
- Is the child on roll of a special school? - Approval is needed from the 0-25 team before removal from roll
- This needs to be confirmed in writing by email or letter / signed School Exit Interview form from the parent/carer with parental responsibility
- Once this has been received the EHE Safeguarding Pupil form should be completed and returned with a copy of the parent’s instruction to the EHE Service - . The child can then be removed from the school roll
Frequently Asked Questions
How do we inform the Local Authority that a child is going to be home educated?
Schools need to complete the EHE Safeguarding Pupil form and return it to the EHE Service, along with a copy of the letter / email from parent and / or School Exit form.
Where can we find the EHE Safeguarding Pupil form and School Exit form?
The EHE Website at www.babcockldp.co.uk/EHE (Information for schools folder) When do we need to complete the EHE Safeguarding Pupil form? This form should be completed and returned to the EHE Service before removal from roll.
Who should complete the EHE Safeguarding Pupil form?
The Designated Safeguarding Lead. If the child has additional needs input from the SENDCO will also be required.
What should we do if the child has an Education Health Care Plan?
If the child is attending a mainstream school you will need to inform the 0-25 team of parents’ decision to home educate.
If the child is on roll of a special school parents are required to seek permission from the Local Authority before a child can be removed from the school roll. Under these circumstances you will need to inform the 0-25 team and EHE team but you cannot take the child off roll. A home visit will be conducted by the EHE SEND Adviser to assess the suitability of the proposed home education provision. A report will then be submitted to the 0-25 team to inform their decision as to whether or not the child can be taken off roll.
Is it possible for a child who went on roll as a result of a School Attendance Order to become home educated again?
No, it is a legal requirement for the child to remain on roll of a school.
Do both parents have to give permission for a child to be removed from roll to home educate?
Permission is only required from one parent; this would be the parent with whom the child resides. In cases where the decision is disputed by the other parent this would need to be challenged in the family courts.
Do we need to do a MASH enquiry if there are any safeguarding concerns?
Yes, it is crucial that schools share their safeguarding concerns before the child is removed from roll with MASH (if the child is suffering or is likely to be suffering significant harm). It is important that MASH is made aware of the decision to home-educate. A copy of the MASH referral form should be sent to the EHE Service. In cases where the family then choose not to engage with the EHE team, we will also submit a MASH enquiry.
What happens when a child who is subject to a multi-agency plan or early help becomes home educated?
In cases where the lead professional is from within the school, you will need to consider who is best placed to take on this role. It will need to be someone who has regular contact with the family. If there is a designated Social Worker you should inform them that the child is going to be home educated.
Are home educated learners still able to access services offered by the School Nursing Service?
Yes, the School Nursing Service is able to provide support to home educated children. If you consider the child would benefit from support from SNS, a referral should be made to SNS indicating they are going to be withdrawn to be home educated and outlining the support / need identified.
Do we need to inform the child’s GP?
Knowing that a child is being home educated and the reasons for this can help to ensure a GP provides appropriate support if required. You will need to seek permission from parents before doing so.
What is the purpose of the School Exit Interview? Do parents have to attend?
The purpose of the School Exit Interview is to ensure parents are clear about their responsibilities when home educating. It also provides the opportunity for schools and parents to discuss the reasons for home education and ensure it is the right decision for the child. There is no legal requirement for parents to attend a meeting. However, if they decide not to, schools should send parents’ a copy of the School Exit Interview form and record this on the EHE Safeguarding Pupil form.
School Exit Interview Form
To be completed with parents when a child is removed from school to become home educated
EHE Safeguarding Pupil form
Designated Safeguarding Lead to complete and submit to EHE Service before taking a child off roll
Local Authority Guidance - January 2020