The role of the Local Authority in home education
The Local Authority has a responsibility to best know who is being home educated. When we are notified that you are home educating, we will contact you via post or email to send a welcome letter, a welcome booklet and information from the NHS regarding vaccinations that your child is entitled to that are normally given in school.
The Local Authority is here to support you in your home education, not to judge or inspect. We are happy to support parents in the early stages of their home education by signposting them to resources, activities, websites and home education groups. We can do this via a home visit, virtual visit, email or phone conversations, whichever works for you. Alternatively, we can meet in a public place such as a cafe for an informal chat.
We offer all home educating families an annual visit as a minimum. We may come and see/speak to you to see how you are progressing and offer further assistance if this is required. As a result of the pandemic, we have continued to offer virtual visits but are now also conducting home visits where requested.
We cannot insist on a home visit and we will communicate with our home educating parents in a variety of different ways. However, where parents choose not to engage with us and there are concerns that the child may not be receiving a suitable education, we may need to take further action.
Providing a suitable education
We have a duty to act if it appears that home-educated children are not receiving a full time, efficient education that is suitable for the child's age, ability and aptitude.
We will contact you to discuss your approach to education, and ask you to provide a range of examples that demonstrate a suitable education including:
- resources you are using
- examples of work and logs to record learning
- activities your child has engaged in
- time dedicated to educate your child
You are not obliged by law to respond, but we may take matters further if we do not receive a response, particularly if we have reasonable grounds for considering that a suitable education may not be being provided. Usually we work with families to address any concerns informally. We will write to you about the concern and give you the opportunity to adapt the education being provided and offer you support to do this. We will then look to see that these recommendations are being followed through – a home visit may be the best way to undertake this, but we can be flexible to a families needs.
If suitable education is still not being provided, you will be advised to register your child at a school and be informed of school places available in your area.
As a last resort we may consider issuing a School Attendance Order (SAO), which will name a school for your child to attend. Failure to do this could result in the matter being taken to court.
Elective Home EducationAddress: Friargate