Choosing to educate your child at home, what you need to know
Perhaps your child finds social situations difficult, and struggles to interact with their peers and make friends. Maybe you feel that your child’s current school is not meeting their needs and that you could provide a more appropriate education at home.
If you are considering educating your child at home, it is important to understand what it actually entails before you make any decisions. Home educating is a huge responsibility, and parents should be aware that if this route is chosen then they are legally responsible for the education of their child.
If your child has an EHC plan (EHCP), you still have the right to educate your child at home, and your local authority will continue to be responsible for maintaining and reviewing the plan for as long as it remains in place. Your LA has a duty to review your child’s EHCP at least annually.
If you do decide to educate your child at home, the education must be suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and any special educational needs must be taken into account.
Although not a legal requirement, it is a good idea to let your Local Authority know that you are educating your child at home so that they understand why your child is no longer attending school, and they may be able to provide you with some appropriate support.
Home educating will give you much more flexibility in terms of delivery, which may appeal if your child finds the traditional way of teaching too rigid. You may choose to make the most of community-based learning opportunities such as trips to historical places, parks, art galleries etc, teaching your child ‘at home’ for just part of the time. Parents are not required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, and do not have to follow the National Curriculum.
You will most likely want to make sure that your child will still have opportunities to meet other children and develop their social skills, so you may find it useful to identify extra-curricular activities in your local area that you could build into your timetable, including school clubs and social groups.
If you decide that your child will take exams, these will be based around the National Curriculum and you will need to make necessary arrangements to actually sit them. You will need to familiarise yourself with changes to the curriculum to ensure your child is well prepared - you may even decide that your child should return to school to help prepare for them.
For more information and resources, visit your Local Authority’s ‘local ‘offer, or visit https://www.gov.uk/home-education.