Schools, education and childcare Educating your child at home

Elective Home Education (EHE)

Choosing home education

Some parents decide not to send their children to school and educate them at home instead.

Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children receive a ‘suitable’ education; one that prepares them for life in modern, civilised society and enables them to achieve their full potential. The parent is responsible for providing an education that's both suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child and any special needs they may have. 

It is both legal and acceptable to choose to home educate your children. Where parents have chosen to do this, we want to make sure that they have access to good information so that they can offer the most positive experience possible. We believe this is best achieved where parents and the council recognise each other’s rights and responsibilities and work together: "The state shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions." 

Compulsory school age

All children have a right to education while they are of compulsory school age: this is counted as:

  • From: the start of the next school term after their fifth birthday
  • Until: the last Friday in June of the school year in which they become 16. 

Home education and the law

Education is a right for every child and we recognise that parents have the right to choose to educate their child at home.

Under the government's new Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) policy, young people are required to participate in education, training or work-with-training until they turn 18.
If you already (or plan to) home educate, you will need to continue providing a suitable education through to the end of compulsory school age.

See our Elective Home Education Policy for further details.

What you need to know

Educating your child

Home educators don't need any formal teaching qualifications to educate your child at home. it is up to you what to teach; you can focus on what interests your child, you don't need a timetable and are not obliged to follow the National Curriculum - but you may if you choose to. The focus should be making sure that your child's needs are met in relation to their age, ability and aptitude.

Our EHE Team will contact you to establish that the education you're providing is suitable. See our policy pages for more detail about the process, and links to useful groups and online services.


If you want your child to gain qualifications it's possible to study for GCSEs and other courses at independent exam centres or online. Some further education colleagues will accept home educated children on part-time courses.

You will be responsible for paying the costs involved and will need to take your child to an exam centre to sit the papers.

Next steps

If you are interested in home educating you can request a voluntary registration form by emailing the team:

Attend the Elective Home Education on-campus event on the 22 June 2023

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