Educating your child at home

Parents have a responsibility to make sure that their child receives a suitable education. Most children attend school for their education, but parents have the right to educate their child at home, called elective home education (EHE).

Most parents choose to send their children to school to be educated, but you are legally entitled to educate your child at home:

  • you don't have to be a teacher, operate to a timetable or follow the national curriculum (although you can if you wish)
  • if your child has never been to school or you are new to the area you don't have to inform the local authority
  • if your child is registered at a school or an academy - you must send a letter to the headteacher informing them that you wish to educate your child at home
  • the local authority will then contact you to discuss the expectations around a suitable education

Please note:

  • where a child is registered at a school or an academy as a result of a School Attendance Order, parents must ask the local authority to revoke the order
  • where a child is placed at a special school under arrangements made by the local authority, we will ask the school to remove the child from the school register upon receipt of the necessary confirmation of contact details and educational provision

If you would like to talk to someone about your decision to EHE your child, or you would like any further support and advice about any information on this site please contact the Attendance & Pupil Welfare Service on 01302 736504 or email EHE@doncaster.gov.uk

FAQs

Below are the most commonly asked questions about home education.

Do I have to be inspected or monitored?

Local authorities have no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of EHE on a routine basis, but it does have a duty to ensure every child receives a suitable education appropriate to their age, ability & aptitude.

When we become aware that you are home educating your child, we will contact you to ask for some basic information such as child's name and date of birth as well as your preferred contact details.

We will also ask you for a brief outline of your home education. You do not have to provide this but it will help us confirm that your child is not missing from education. Providing we have no concerns we will normally be in touch once a year to check that you are still home educating and that your contact details have not changed.

If you move house or your child starts school we would be grateful if you could let us know.

Do I have to meet with the Local Authority Officer?

It is entirely up to you. If you would like the Officer to come and talk to you about your child's education, to give you support or advice then please contact us and we can arrange a meeting at your home or at another venue.

Does the council provide any funding?

No. Parents who choose to educate their children at home must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility, including the costs of any public examinations.

As a parent, what are my rights and responsibilities?

Parents are required to provide an efficient, full-time education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of their child.

The type of educational activity can be varied and flexible. It is recognised that EHE parents are not required to:

  • teach the National Curriculum 
  • provide a broad and balanced curriculum 
  • have a timetable
  • have premises equipped to any particular standard 
  • set hours during which education will take place 
  • have any specific qualifications 
  • observe school hours, days, terms 
  • give formal lessons 
  • mark work done by their child 
  • reproduce school type peer group socialisation 

How do I get advice on exams?

Parents who choose to educate their children at home must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility, including bearing the cost of any public examinations.

It can be very difficult for parents to find examination centres, so this needs to be organised well in advance. Many families contact local schools, private tuition centres or colleges as a place to sit exams. Many parents choose to follow distance learning examination courses or you could employ a private tutor. Again, it is advisable to research costs and available support before you begin. Please contact the LA for further information.

When can my child officially finish their education?

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training, requiring them to continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 and until their 18th birthday from 2015. Young people can choose how they participate in post 16 education. There is no change to the definition of statutory school age.

More detail regarding this can be found on the following page: Participation and Transition Service

Where can I get support on careers advice?

Doncaster Council's Participation and Transition Service will offer access to relevant careers information, advice and careers guidance to support young people make a positive transition into learning post 16. The service will offer support to young people educated at home who are age 14+. For those young people who have special educational needs and disabilities the Local Authority will ensure it fulfills its statutory duties to undertake, where applicable, the Section 139a assessment (Education & Skills Act 2008).

The Local Authority will publish careers information on the following website: Doncaster Connect2u

How do I get advice on childhood immunisations?

Specific advice regarding childhood vaccinations should be sought through your own GP, however the NHS has provided the following information on childhood immunisations which may help:


Doncaster Council is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Is it possible for my child to do work experience?

There are strict guidelines about the employment of children and young people of compulsory school age. This included both paid and unpaid work, or if the child is assisting his or her own parents in their business, working for a relative or a major company.

To find out more what jobs a child can or can't do relating to age, hours of work and employment permit applications, please visit the following web page:


Work experience, rather than employment, has to be arranged by an educational establishment so cannot be undertaken by home educated you people.

What about my child's social life?

EHE children are just as likely to be part of the social and cultural life in their area as their peers that attend school. Many also meet regularly with other home educators for museum, gallery, theatre and other visits as well as for play.

Can I access the School Library Service?

Families that wish to access the School Library Service can do. The cost of this service is £50 per year per home educator. If you are interested in accessing this further information can be obtained by contacting Schools Library Service on 01302 737991 or email literacyteam@doncaster.gov.uk.

Further information about Doncaster Library Services can be obtained at:

Can I access the School Nursing Service?

RDASH is offering access to an E-clinic for young people who are home educated. This gives young people the opportunity to communicate with a school nurse about any health concerns they may have.

Contact:

You may also like to take a look at the EHE Doncaster Facebook page which provides information about events and activities throughout Doncaster.

Last updated: 04 March 2021 12:51:21