Elective home education (EHE) is the term used by the Department for Education (DfE) to describe parents’ decisions to provide education for their children at home instead of sending them to school. This is different from home tuition provided by a local authority or education provided by a local authority other than at school


All parents have a duty to ensure that their children receive an efficient, full time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude. This can be done by either regular attendance at school or otherwise (under section 7 of the Education Act 1996).

The law allows children to be educated at home instead of parents sending them to mainstream school.

Parents are able to exercise their right to home educate their child from an early age and so the child may not have been previously enrolled at a school. They may elect to home educate at any other stage up to the end of compulsory school age

Withdrawing your child from school 

Before parents educate their child at home it is advisable for them to speak to their school and/or the Education Welfare Officer to be able to work together with parents to get the best educational outcome and to ensure they are making the correct decision, fully understanding their responsibility, therefore,  before a decision you need to consider:

  • The responsibility for a child’s education rests with the parents and they will assume full financial responsibility, including the cost of materials , equipment, exams, external assistance used such as tutors, parent groups or part-time alternative provision. Consider the costs.

  • Think about how you will educate at home, do you have a plan, it takes a lot of time and commitment 

  • Think about the social aspect for your child they may miss their friends at school or taking part in activities with them.

 you can find more advice on GOV.UK educating your at home 

The City of Doncaster Council aims to ensure parents are making informed decisions to home educate children and prevent it becoming a temporary solution to a problem, whilst providing appropriate support to find a solution to a problem.

Remember that 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 unacceptable, and if pressure of this sort is put on you, you should inform the local authority.

If you decide that EHE is the option you want to take you must inform your child's school in writing with your child's details, address and the date you want to remove from the schools admission register, the school will then notify APWS that your child off roll. Once removed from the register they cannot be re admitted you will have to apply via admissions. Your child will return to the school they came off roll from as per Doncaster's Local Agreement, unless there is a good reason for them not to.  


  • parents must obtain the consent of the local authority to de-register pupils placed at a special school under arrangements made by a local authority. Where a child is registered at school as a result of a school attendance order parents must ask the Local authority to revoke the order.

  • You do not need the council’s permission if your child attends a mainstream school, even if they have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

When the LA becomes aware that parents have elected to home educate, parents at the start may not yet be in a position to respond fully to the LA enquires. Therefore, initial contact will be made which gives reasonable timescales, advice, and guidance. Alternatively, they may wish to give a report to the LA in order to let them know what progress their child is making. It will be up to the parent to demonstrate to the local authority that the child is making sufficient progress

The legal duty of Local Authority (LA) is concerned only with children who appear not to be receiving a suitable education a LA might make informal enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home. ‘... parents will be under no duty to comply however: ‘it would be sensible for them to do so.’

The LA will seek to gather any relevant information that will assist reaching a properly informed judgement. This could include:

  • Contacting parents requesting any further information they wish to provide which explains how they are providing a suitable education.
  • Parents being given the opportunity to address any specific concerns that the authority has.
  • some parents may wish to discuss the provision they are making for the child’s education during a home visit, or at a mutually convenient and neutral location instead
  • Parents might prefer, for example, to write a report, provide samples of work, have their educational provision endorsed by a third party (such as an independent home tutor) or provide evidence in some other appropriate form.
  • Children are welcome and encouraged to attend any meetings and make contributions to the information provided. It is important to the LA that the views of the young person are sought and listened to.

 ‘If informal contacts do not resolve the position, then the 1996 Act provides a framework for formal action to ensure that a child does receive suitable education’.

Whilst there are no statutory duties in relation to the routine monitoring of the quality of home education, under Section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, LAs shall intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education. This section states:

“If it appears to a local authority that a child of compulsory school age in their area is not receiving suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they shall serve notice in writing on the parent requiring him to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving such education”.


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Last updated: 11 April 2024 12:01:23

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