Deciding to home educate

Most parents think before taking the step to educate at home, and it is worth considering the issues below before a final decision is made:

  • pressure should never be put on you as parents by a school to remove your child from a school to avoid formal exclusion. Or because your child is having difficulty with learning or behaviour. This practice is sometimes called ‘off-rolling’. It is unacceptable, and if pressure of this sort is put on you by any state-funded school you should inform the local authority
  • if you are considering home education for your child due to a disagreement with the school or a teacher, talk to the teacher concerned. Or speak to the head teacher if appropriate, before you make your decision. This is particularly important for children in Years 9, 10 and 11 who are already preparing for public examinations
  • educating a child outside the school system will need a major commitment of parents’ time, energy and money.  There is no financial help for home educators. Some expense will be incurred, including resources and any exam entries
  • attending school is about more than just schoolwork. Many of the lessons learned are about how to get on with other people and developing other skills
  • think about the curriculum you will provide, and whether it will allow your child to reach his or her potential
  • is your home suitable for undertaking teaching and learning. Think about noise, space and the general environment. If a home educated child wishes to return to school at some point, progress to post-16 education/training or take public exams, you will need to think about how to prepare them for this
  • home educated students can sit examinations as external candidates. They may not be able to sit the same GCSEs that have been studied in school. It is important to take advice on this before removing a child from school, especially if they are in Years 9, 10 or 11
  • part-time provision may be available at College for some home educated pupils in Year 10 and/or Year 11. This is only if home education has been assessed as suitable for at least 12 months before the start of the course in September. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, and the application is agreed by the LA’s EHE Panel. This is not an alternative to school, as provision is part-time and only a limited number of vocational courses and/or GCSEs are available. This is unlikely to be a suitable option for students with an EHCP
  •  if you remove your child from a school to educate at home, but then change your mind, there is no guarantee that a place would still be available at the school your child left.