Parents who educate their children at home must legally provide them with a ‘suitable education’. This means that your child must receive an education that is suitable for their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.
It’s your choice
Parents have a choice whether to educate their child at school or at home. If your child is registered at school you will need to send a letter to the head teacher informing them that you wish to educate your child at home. The school will inform us and we will request some information regarding the arrangements you propose to put in place. Although you do not have to give us this information, it will help us confirm that your child is not missing from education.
The Elective Home Education Guide for Parents (see ‘useful documents’ below) contains a wealth of information and a list of organisations and resources that are independent of the Local Authority. We aim to engage with families who have withdrawn their child from school to home educate in a mutual respectful way and we have an Elective Home Education Adviser who is integral to that process. Providing we have no concerns we will be in touch from time to time to check that you are still home educating and that your contact details are the same. If you move address, your child starts school or you would like to register your child with our service, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may decide to engage private tutors or other adults, or to enrol your child at a tuition centre to assist you in providing a suitable education, but there is no requirement for you to do so.
Deciding to home educate your child means that you will be responsible for all aspects of their education including their social and emotional development, as well as taking on full financial responsibility for their learning e.g. pay for any books, equipment, stationery, trips or tutors you choose to use. If you want your child to sit public examinations, you will need to bear the cost of entering them as private candidates.
We are happy to offer advice and support to our home educating parents as often as needed and we recognise that routine reviews/monitoring are not a legal requirement.
If you are already providing education at home or you are thinking of doing so, please contact us and we will work with you by offering advice and guidance and signposting you to resources, organisations and information to support the delivery of suitable education.
Statutory duty of the local authority (LA)
Section 436A of the Education Act 1996, places a specific duty on LAs to establish (as far as it is possible) the identities of children who are neither registered at a school nor in receipt of suitable full-time education. As part of this duty we have effective monitoring and tracking procedures and we work and share information with partner agencies where necessary.
If the LA deems the education being provided is unsuitable, we will work with you for a reasonable amount of time to support and advise you in your efforts to improve the education. If after this period of time of seeking to resolve the situation the education is still deemed unsatisfactory, the LA has a duty to act under s437 (1) of the Education Act 1996 and will begin the process of issuing a School Attendance Order (SAO).
There may be safeguarding and child protection issues in relation to any child whether registered at a school or home educated. We have a statutory duty to share any such concerns with Children’s Social Care.
Information and support for home educating families
If you would like to talk to someone about elective home education or if you would like to arrange a visit, please contact us:
Phone: 020 7527 3747
We would also like you to give us your thoughts on developing the service to home educating families and would encourage you to communicate with us.
If you would like any further support and advice about any information on this site, please contact us. Islington’s Elective Home Education service is here to support not inspect.
222 Upper Street
London N1 1XR
Phone: 020 7527 3747