Home education

Educating your child out of school

If your child is a registered pupil at a school, you must write to the headteacher explaining what you intend to do and giving the date that your child will stop attending the school. A telephone call is not enough as your decision needs to be conveyed in writing. You need do no more than this.

If you have decided to educate your child out of school because you are not satisfied with the school in question, we recommend that you contact the headteacher or a member of the Education Support, Behaviour and Attendance Service to discuss ways to resolve your concerns before you take your child out of school.

If you decide not to take up a place allocated at a school, you must notify the admissions team and then contact the headteacher of the allocated school or contact the Education Support, Behaviour and Attendance Service Service.

If your child is not a registered pupil at a school maintained by the Children's Services Authority (CSA), we recommend you contact the Flexible Learning Educational Support Service (FLESS).

Your responsibilities if you take your child out of school

Your first responsibility is to make sure that you have made arrangements for your child to receive an education that meets the statutory requirements. This means that any arrangements you make must provide efficient full-time education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of your child. This includes any special educational needs that your child might have.

You do not have to provide the National Curriculum which all CSA-maintained schools provide, but any education you do provide should be broad, balanced and suitable to your child's needs.

Finding out more

If you're thinking about educating your child at home, it's a good idea to talk to other parents who are already doing it. Families usually keep in touch to exchange ideas and let their children socialise.

You can find more information, and other parents, through Education Otherwise

What will the Children's Services Authority do?

If your child is registered at a school, the headteacher will make sure that the Children's Services Authority (CSA) knows about your decision. They will also inform the Flexible Learning Educational Support Service (FLESS) and the Education Support, Behaviour and Attendance Service.

Your child's name will be removed from the school register from the date you plan to educate your child at home as indicated in your letter.

If your child is registered at a special school, your child's name cannot be removed from the register until the CSA gives its consent. It will give this consent when your child's caseworker is satisfied that you have made suitable arrangements to educate your child out of school.

FLESS oversees arrangements for children being educated outside school. If the school has asked the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to discuss with you your reasons for withdrawing your child from school, this officer will contact you to arrange to visit you at home. They will discuss your decision with you, explain what your responsibilities are and tell you about how the CSA will assess the arrangements you have made.

After this, and in all other situations, you will be contacted by a member of FLESS.

If you would like to see further information, please see the FLESS Local Offer.