By law, children of statutory school age must receive education. Parents (or carers and legal guardians) have the responsibility to ensure they do so. Most parents choose to send their child to school but a small number exercise their right to provide the education themselves. This is known as Elective Home Education.
The education provided (whether at school of as part of elective home education) must be suitable to the child's age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs s/he may have.
When parents elect to educate their child otherwise than at school, they take on the full responsibility of ensuring their child receives a suitable and efficient education. Elective Home Education allows parents to educate their child as they see fit. For instance, they can teach their child themselves or pay for private tuition at home or elsewhere.
The legal position on what home educating parents must do is less than clear. Please see Elective Home Education and the Law.
A decision to begin elective home education is a difficult one. The council advises parents to consider the following points:
- Do they have the right skills to teach their child to the right standard now and into the future?
- Do they have the resources (for instance books, apparatus and IT facilities) to help the child learn as much as they might?
- What are their long-term plans? Do they intend the child to attend school again later? If so, how will they make sure they cover the right curriculum to the right level to enable this to happen?
- Do they want their child to take exams? If so, are they able to cover the syllabus to the right level? Where will the child take exams? How will the examination fees be paid?
- How will the child receive social development and how will friendships be developed?
Further information on Elective Home Education.