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
- 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
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?
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?
More detail regarding this can be found on the following page: Participation and Transition Service
Where can I get support on careers advice?
The National Careers Service is a free careers service for young people aged 13 and over in England. Advice and guidance can be accessed via the telephone and online. The National Careers Service provides confidential advice and guidance to help young people make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities.
You can also access local support via the START in Doncaster platform.
How do I get advice on childhood immunisations?
Is it possible for my child to do work experience?
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:
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?
Further information about Doncaster Library Services can be obtained at:
Can I access the School Nursing Service?
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- tel: 01302 736504
You may also like to take a look at the EHE Doncaster Facebook page which provides information about events and activities throughout Doncaster.
Downloads & Resources
- EHE Policy January 2020
- Download (50KB - DOCX)