Elective home education
Information for Parents on Elective Home Education
Home education is an option that families from many walks of life consider to meet the needs of their children. There are many different styles of home-education and parents/carers are free to use the method which is right for them and their children.
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council has produced guidance notes to offer information to parents/carers who are considering or have decided to educate their children at home.
Educating your child at home
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council respects and accepts the right of parents to educate their children at home.
These guidance notes offer information to parents who are considering or have decided to educate their children at home.
Neath Port Talbot CBC has an Elective Home Education Support Officer who works with parents who are home educating their children.
*Parents will also refer to those with parental responsibility e.g. carers.
Why home educate?
Home education is an option that families from many walks of life consider to meet the needs of their children. There are many different styles of home education and parents/carers are free to use the method which is right for them and their children.
What does the law say about educating your child?
The Education Act 1996 states that the parent of a child of compulsory school age (5-16 years) has a legal duty to see that their child receives “efficient full time education, suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he/she may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”
There is no definition of ‘efficient’ and ‘suitable’ in the Act, but education has been held to be efficient if it achieves what it sets out to achieve, and suitable if the education prepares the child for life in modern society, enabling the child to achieve his/her full potential.
The Act gives parents the right to educate their children of compulsory school age at home if the education is suitable to the age, ability, aptitude and any special educational need of the child.
As the Local Authority, Neath Port Talbot CBC has a duty to ensure that all children receive a suitable education, and as parents educating your child otherwise, you would need to provide information about the education you provide for your children.
This information could include:
- a discussion of the educational aims with a Local Authority representative
- providing samples of the child’s work
- providing information on a child’s educational progress over a set period
- providing a programme of work
- providing lists of books and other materials used
- naming any other people used in the child’s education
- providing evidence in any other appropriate form e.g. writing a report
Notification of decision to educate at home
If your child is registered at a Neath Port Talbot school then you must write to the Headteacher informing him/her that you intend to educate your child otherwise than at school. The school will then remove your child’s name from the school register.
As the Local Authority, although you have no duty to do so, it would be helpful if you inform us at:
School and Family Support
Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
1st Floor Civic Centre
If your child is of pre-school age (below 5 years) then you do not have to do anything. However, we would, as the Local Authority, appreciate notification of your intentions to educate at home.
Contact from the LA after your child’s name is deleted from the school roll
- You will be sent an initial contact letter and information sheet to complete
- You will receive a letter offering an appointment for a home visit with the Elective Home Education Support Worker
- The home visit is an opportunity to discuss the education you are providing at home for your child and to provide any support and guidance you may require
- Following the initial home visit, visits will be offered once a year
- If the LA has some concerns about the education you are providing, more frequent visits will be requested in order to offer advice as to any remedial action that needs to be taken and to monitor the situation
Most problems will, hopefully, be sorted out but if the LA continues to remain unsatisfied then the LA has the legal powers to require you to register your child at a named school.
Children with Additional Learning Needs (ALN)
Parents’ rights to educate their child at home apply equally where a child has additional learning needs (ALN). This right is irrespective of whether or not a child has a statement of ALN.
If a child who is receiving elective home education has a statement of educational needs, the LA has a duty to ensure that the child’s needs are met. The statement must remain in force and the LA must ensure that you are making suitable provision. If your arrangements are suitable, the LA is relieved of its duty to arrange the provision specified in the statement. If, however, your attempts to educate your child at home result in provision which does not meet your child’s needs, then you are not making ‘suitable arrangements’ and the LA may need to arrange provision in school. Even if the LA is satisfied, the LA remains under a duty to maintain your child’s statement of educational needs and review it annually.
The Programme of Study
If parents decide to educate their children at home, there is no financial assistance from the LA.
The LA’s Elective Home Education Support Officer will be able to offer advice on curriculum planning, sources of learning materials and links to other home educators and support groups.
Parents who educate at home, have considerable freedom in planning their child’s education. They do not have to observe school hours, days or terms, follow the National Curriculum or take any compulsory subjects.
If wish for your child to take GCSE examinations or to re-enter the school system at some later point, then the requirements of the National Curriculum will need to be borne in mind.
What is the National Curriculum?
The National Curriculum is the Government’s guidance to schools and parents on the provision which would help to make up a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum.
The core subjects are English, Maths, Science and ICT. Other subjects which may be offered to create a broad and balanced curriculum could include: History, Geography, a Modern Foreign Language, Technology, Art and Design, Music, etc.
National Curriculum information can be found at www.wales.gov.uk
Children do not have to wait until year 11 to take GCSEs. There are a number of distance learning organisations that can provide all the work and preparation for the exams but you will need to find a centre that will allow children to sit the exams as external candidates.
If you are considering education your children outside of school, then you are advised to take into account the large amount of energy, time and commitment which it requires.
Please do not remove your child from school simply because you have had a disagreement with the headteacher. If this is the case, arrange to meet with the headteacher to discuss any problems. You may also contact the School and Family Support section of the LA.