Elective home education is often referred to as 'education otherwise' in Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 which states:

  • "It shall be the duty of the parent of every child of compulsory school age to cause her or him to receive efficient full-time education suitable to her/his age, aptitude and ability (and to any special educational needs she/he may have) either by attendance at school or otherwise".

This means that parents/carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child is educated but this does not have to be in school.

Educating your child at home

Guidance for parents

Deciding to educate your child/children at home is a major step which takes up a considerable amount of your time, energy and money. It is hoped that these guidance notes will help you decide whether you can provide an education at home for your child/children. Before making a decision, you will need to:

  • ensure your child/children will be provided with a broad and balanced education "suitable age, aptitude, and ability"
  • consider your ability to be able to prepare your child/children for entry for national examinations
  • allow for the costs involved in providing for books, visits, tutors, access to specialised facilities and exam fees
  • make provision for the non-academic benefits provided by the school environment such as, joint activities, group work, and friendship.

You might be thinking of home educating because of problems being encountered at school with staff or other pupils, or because your child is not attending school on time or regularly. Sometimes children ask to be educated at home because of problems they are encountering in school. If your child is enrolled at a school, seek to resolve the issues first by speaking with school staff.

Please note that registering your child as electively home educated does not speed up the admissions process.

Accessing education in school

If you no longer want to educate your child at home and want to access education in a mainstream school, you will need to apply for a place at your preferred school using the Admissions process.

Contact Attendance and Pupil Support Service