Elective Home Education
January 2022 – Elective Home Education
Elective Home Education
On 20 October 2020, the Department for Education published advice for parents considering Elective Home Education (EHE), ‘All you need to know about home-schooling and elective home education.’
This series looks at the key points in this advice. Further information and resources can be found on our website. For further help contact our Information, Advice and Support line on 0117 9897725.
What is Elective Home Education (EHE)?
EHE is when a parent chooses to have their child educated outside of the usual full-time at school. Parents assume responsibility for making sure their child receives a full-time education other than at school.
In October 2020, the Education Select Committee launched an inquiry into Elective Home Education.
The inquiry will look at whether current arrangements enable home educated children to access efficient, full-time and suitable education or whether further measures are necessary in order to facilitate this.
It will also explore the impact of COVID-19 on home education, and any particular needs arising from the pandemic that need to be addressed.
The responsibility for a child’s education rests with their parents. In England, education is compulsory, but school is not.
Section 7 Education Act 1996 sets out the duty of parents to secure education of children of compulsory school age:
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable –
(a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(b) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
Elective Home Education (EHE) requires parents to take full responsibility for their child’s education, including all associated costs (such as exam fees).
Schools do not have to provide any support to parents that have withdrawn their child for Elective Home Education (EHE). The children will not be enrolled at the school, relieving the school from any duties to ensure support is provided.
Local Authorities (LAs) support is discretionary, including support for a child’s special educational needs.
Parents can choose to home educate their child. If this is what is right for them and their child this can be a positive step but:
Parents should not be placed under pressure by schools to electively home educate their child. This is a form of ‘off-rolling’ and is never acceptable.
If you feel under pressure to keep your child at home and educate the child yourself rather than sending them back to school full-time, we recommend you discuss this with your LA.
If you think Elective Home Education (EHE) might be in the best interests of your child, the Government expects your Local Authority (LA) to coordinate a meeting with you involving your child’s school and social workers where appropriate.
The Government advice states:
‘We strongly recommend you meet with your LA to consider whether EHE is appropriate for your family and your child before you decide whether to withdraw them from their school’s roll.
Where a pupil is withdrawn from school for EHE, there is no obligation for the school to keep that place open. If the parent wishes to return their child to school, they may not be able to return to the same school.’
Legally, you don’t need to register or get approval from the Local Authority (LA) to educate your child at home, unless your child is at a special school.
For children attending a special school you will need to seek permission from the Local Authority if you wish to remove them from the school roll and home educate.
Children or Young People with EHC Plans
If your child has an EHC plan, you may be able to home educate. You must tell the school and the Local Authority and they must review the EHC plan every year to make sure your child’s needs are being met.
Choosing Elective Home Education (EHE) means, the LA no longer has a legal duty to secure any special educational provision which was specified in the child’s EHC plan. The parents are expected to make their own suitable alternative arrangements.
Is your child or young persons’ current educational placement not working?
You may wish to amend the EHC plan to set out a different special educational provision and/or name a different school rather than attempting to take on home education without support.
EOTAS – Education other than at school
Education Otherwise Than at School (EOTAS) is when a school or college is not appropriate for the child or young person, and the LA arrange for any special educational provision which the child or young person requires to be delivered somewhere other than in a school, college or early years setting.
This can be important for a child or young person with an EHC plan. If an EHCP specifies, ‘education otherwise than at school’, the LA is responsible for ensuring that the special educational provision, including therapies such as Speech and Language therapy are secured and funded.
Once a child is educated at home, Local Authorities may make enquiries as to how suitable the education being provided is. If, on receiving written notice, a parent fails to satisfy the enquiry, the LA may issue you with a School Attendance Order.
A School Attendance Order can require you to register your child at a school that the LA names. If you don’t follow what’s set out in School Attendance Order you can be taken to court. The court may make an Education Supervision Order.
For further information, see our useful resources section below.
What is the difference between ‘home learning’ and ‘Elective Home Education (EHE)’?
Home learning is currently happening during COVID-19 lockdown measures, where Children and Young People (CYP) are supported and encourage to use resources as suggested and provided by the Government, Local Authorities and Education settings. This is to support CYP to continue with their education that would have been provided within educational settings.
Elective Home Education is a choice made by parents to educate their CYP outside of the general full-time schooling available by educational settings.
Elective Home Education further resources:
How can I contact my Local Authority?