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Home Ed - legal bits

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on March 16, 2007 at 3:52:38 pm

Home Educators Legal Questions.




Working together using this wiki



This item is a work in progress; think of it as a shared online whiteboard. Add, edit, improve... If you have a question you can put it here for other home educators to answer.(Questions and answers relevant to England, Wales, NI are invited.)


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  • Members of the home education community and supporters are invited to work on this item.




  1. See the Elective Home Education Legal Guidelines here.



Note to editors and readers: The deregistration section of EHELG2 has not been updated to account for the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006.




Q. Does my Child have to go to school?


A. As the parent/guardian of a child, you are responsible to ensure that they receive a suitable education. However, as you are here, you probably already know that school is not compulsory. This is true unless your child is the subject of a School Attendance Order. Education, however, is compulsory between the ages of five years and sixteen years. You may have noticed, or even suffered yourself from the commonly held and simplistic view that school=education/education=school. It ain't necessarily so!!




Q. Do I have to inform anyone?


If your child is a registered pupil at a school and you want to home educate you do not need anyone's consent unless the school is a Special school. You do however need to inform the proprietor of the school, in writing, that you are providing your child with an educaton otherwise than at school and ask that the child's name is removed from the register on the same date.

You do NOT have to inform the LEA - that is the head teachers legal obligation not yours!


If your child is registered, under arrangements made by the local education authority (LEA), at a Special school the consent of the LEA is required before the child's name can be removed from the register. That consent should not be unreasonably withheld and a parent can appeal to the Secretary of State if the LEA does not give consent.


If your child is not registered at any school then you do not have to inform anyone of your intention to home educate.

This may happen, for example, when:


your child has only just reached the age for compulsory education;


your child has left primary school and is not registered at a secondary school;


you have just moved home into a new area,  your child has been removed from their previous school register but is not registered at a school in the new area.


In these instances it is essential, if you think there is any possibility it may have happened, to make sure that your child has not been registered at a school against your wishes - eg at a secondary school where you have been offered a place you don't want or at a primary school that feeds from a nursery your child attends.






Q. Do the LA have the right to monitor what we are doing?






Q. My LA wants a "home visit."


A. Some families say they find this useful, however, you might want to read "What is Wrong With Home Visits?" here.




(this page is the result of the opinion and experience of home educators and is to the best of our knowledge and understanding true and appropriate. However, it does not constitute professional legal advice.)


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