Elective Home Education (EHE), is the term used by the Department for Education (DfE), to describe the education provided by parents or carers at home, rather than providing education for their children by sending them to school.
The local authority seeks to build positive relationships with parents who home educate by establishing mutual understanding, trust, and respect.
The following information is for all home educating families and may also be useful for parents who are thinking about home educating for the first time.
Things to consider
Educating your child at home is a big decision and will require a great deal of your time and energy, but complete engagement in your child's education can be a beneficial and satisfying experience for you and your children.
If you are considering home education for the first time, it may be worth considering the following:
You will not receive any financial assistance. Expenses could include:
- costs associated with teaching resources
- access to the internet
- learning materials
- the cost of taking exams if you want your child to gain qualifications.
As it may be difficult for one person to teach a broad range of subjects, you may also need to consider if you will need to pay a tutor for some or all of the education.
Going to school is not simply about lessons and exams.
Friendships, socialising with other people, development of communication skills and learning from a range of teachers sharing wide ranging interests and experiences may be missed.
If you are home educating you should try to meet with other home educating families to see if there can be opportunities for children to socialise with other children their age. We would recommend you talk to your child about how they feel about home education in this wider context.
If you want your child to return to school at any point or wish to take exams like GCSEs or A-Levels, you need to think the preparation this will require.
If you remove your child to electively home educate and then wish to return your child to school then depending on whether the school is full depends on whether your child would have to go to a different school.
Recommendations for learning
You will need to provide a full time, efficient education that is suitable for the child's age, ability and aptitude. You do not need to be a qualified teacher, but by working together with your child you can identify how and what your child wants to learn to equip them for their future
If your child has special educational needs, the education must meet these needs. If you think your child has special educational needs you can Contact us for advice.
The education you provide should prepare your child for life in our modern society and enable them to progress towards reaching their full potential. You don't need to follow the National Curriculum but think about how your child will develop a range of skills, for example:
- observation and awareness
- problem solving
- creative and imaginative
- personal and social
We recommend you consider some elements of the core subjects, for example Maths, English, Science and ICT but how and what you choose is your decision.
As a guide, children who go to school attend for 190 days a year, and the following weekly teaching hours are recommended by the Department for Education:
- 21 hours for 5-7 year olds
- 23.5 hours for 8-11 year olds
- 24 hours for 12-16 year olds
How to get started
If your child is already at school and you are committed to electively home educate your child, we advise you to write to the Headteacher of the school through letter or email to inform them of your decision.
Ask for the child's name be taken off the school roll, and give them a specific date that they should remove your child from the register.
The school will inform us that you are going to be responsible for educating your child.
We will then make contact with you to make informal enquiries as to how you will provide education for your child.
If your child has never been registered at school, you don't have to do anything, but we encourage you to contact us so we can keep you up to date with information and events you may be interested in. "Local authorities have a duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to make arrangements to establish the identities of children in their area who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise." (Children Missing Education. Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities September 2016)
Relationships with the school
If your child is on a school roll and you have had a disagreement with the school, this should not be the sole reason to take your child out of school and educate them at home.
In these instances, please speak with the Headteacher or contact us to help you broker a resolution to the situation that is acceptable to you and in your childs' best interest.
If you are feeling pressured into starting home education or feel you have no other option but to do so, again speak to us so we can provide you with support.
How we're involved
We will make informal enquiries around the home education you are about to undertake. We will aim to work positively and supportively with parents to ensure that a suitable provision is provided and that it is in the best interest of the child to continue with this provision.
The Local Authority recognises that there is no legal requirement to visit the home or meet the child being educated. However, parents may welcome the opportunity to discuss the provision that they are making for their childs' education either through a telephone call, visit to their home or a mutually convenient location.
We also recognise that home educating parents may adopt a range of approaches to home education and use a variety of philosophies and methods. Therefore, the EHE Team will give a reasonable timescale for parents to develop their provision and then further contact will be made.
The EHE Team will contact parents, usually within four weeks, to offer informal advice and guidance on EHE and to inform the parents about the Local Authority's processes in relation to EHE.
Where parents decline a home visit, the EHE Team will offer to meet the parents at an alternative venue or through correspondence. We will inform parents of alternative appropriate ways of satisfying the Local Authority that a suitable, efficient, full-time education is being delivered. This may be in the form of a report and examples of work or evidence from a third party confirming a suitable provision is provided.
When considering provision, the EHE Team will expect provision to include the following characteristics, as described in DFE guidelines:
- Consistent involvement of parents or other significant carers - it is expected that parents or significant carers would play a substantial role, although not necessarily constantly or actively involved in providing education
- Recognition of the child's needs, attitudes and aspirations
- Opportunities for the child to be stimulated by their learning experiences
- Access to resources/materials required to provide home education for the child - such as paper and pens, books and libraries, arts and crafts materials, physical activity, ICT and the opportunity for appropriate interaction with other children and other adults.
If you are asked for additional proof of home education, the Local Authority will write an official letter confirming a family's home educating status to enable them to make use of discounts offered on amenities and resources.
Once the EHE Team has established that provision is suitable and efficient, we will aim to make contact on an annual basis.
We are not able to offer:
- Learning materials or teaching
- Work experience arrangements
- Recommendations for individual tutors
Local Authority responsibilities
Although the legal duty to ensure children receive an education falls on parents, local authorities are also under a number of statutory duties. These include:
- A duty to make arrangements to enable them to establish the identities, so far as it is possible to do so, of children in their area who are not receiving a suitable education. The duty applies in relation to children of compulsory school age who are not on a school roll, and who are not receiving a suitable education otherwise than being at school, for example, at home or privately. (Section 436A of the Education Act 1996, inserted by the Education and Inspections Act 2006).
- A duty to take action if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education. If it appears that a child of compulsory school age in an authority's area is not receiving suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they are required to take action (section 437(1) Education Act 1996).
- A duty, under section 175(1) of the Education Act 2002, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Local authorities must act upon any concerns that a child may be at risk of significant harm, in accordance with its child protection procedures. Where a child is not seen for long periods of time, this may prompt discussion between various safeguarding agencies.
- As parents you are under no legal obligation to respond to informal enquiries requests around home education, but if you do not, the local authority is entitled to conclude from the absence of any response that it appears that your child is not receiving a suitable education.
- If we cannot establish through informal enquiries what education is being provided then this could lead to Legal action to enforce school attendance
Some local colleges offer courses to young people who are home educated. They may require a child to be home educated for a specific time and some may contact us to confirm whether we are aware that you are home educating. You can speak to the 14-16 provision managers about your expectations and what they have to offer.
- Calderdale College - 14-16 Courses
- Barnsley College - 14-16 Provision at Barnsley College
- Leeds City College - Somerville House
- Bradford College - 14-16 year olds
From September 2021, there will be a pilot 14-16 programme which will be run through Kirklees College (Huddersfield centre) for a few year 11 young people who are home educated. Access to this provision will be determined through this Service and Kirklees College. If the pilot is successful in supporting the education of home educated young people, then more places may be made available in coming academic years. Contact us for further information.
If you want your child to take exams, such as GCSEs, your plan must include the year your child will sit exams, deadlines for applying, and where they will take them. You will need to be familiar with the details of the correct syllabus to follow.
Many subjects also have coursework, which will need to be marked by someone the exam board has approved.
Some families choose to enter their children for International GCSEs (IGCSE's). These are ideal for those wanting to study by distance learning. IGCSE's offer a practical way forward for those studying at home as assessment is by written exam at test centres world-wide.
- IGCSE vs GCSE: What's the difference?
You will also need to contact an exam centre directly and register your child for the exams. You will be responsible for all the fees.
When submitting a young person for exams, if over 14 years old, then a Unique Learner Number (ULN) is required. If you require information on how you can obtain a ULN for your child, please contact us.
Entering or returning to school education
If you no longer want to educate your child at home and want to access education in a school, you will need to apply for a place at your preferred school using the Admissions process.
If you want your child to access education in a school during the school year, then you should read Changing school during the school year and complete the application form.
If your child has special educational needs (SEN) you can still educate them at home, whether they have an education, health and care (EHC) plan or not. If your child has an EHC plan, we have a duty to make sure the child's needs are met, and that you make suitable provision, including for your child's special educational needs.
However, if your child goes to a special school, you will need permission from us before you can take your child out of special school and start home educating them.
If you are thinking of elective home education as an alternative to your child being taught in School then we would strongly recommend you discuss this with the school and your SEN caseworker before confirming your decision.
If you still want to go ahead then we recommend a meeting take place in order for your child's EHCP to be reviewed and amended.
You can explore the possibilty of a personal budget to deliver the support required as described in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
- Policy and guidance
- Additional information
If you are not happy with the service you have received or feel that your issues have not been resolved after discussing them with the team. You can follow the complaints procedure:
- Email EHETeam@kirklees.gov.uk
- Phone 01484 221919