All parents have a duty to ensure that their children receive an efficient, full time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise (under section 7 of the Education Act 1996).
However, the law allows parents to educate their children at home instead of sending them to school.
Parents may decide to exercise their right to home educate their child from a very early age, so some children may never have been enrolled in school. Others are withdrawn from mainstream school at various stages up to the end of compulsory school age.
We want the home educated child to have a positive experience by developing productive and supportive working relationships with parents and by working together to ensure the best educational interests of the child.
If you want to withdraw your child from mainstream school
If your child is in mainstream school and you’re considering withdrawing them to home educate (also known as elective home education), we advise you to talk to your child’s school and the education welfare officer about the merits and drawbacks of taking your child out of mainstream education.
If you choose to educate your child(ren) at home, you accept ‘full responsibility’ for their education. Once your child has been removed from the admission register, they can't be re-admitted without you reapplying through school admissions. It may not be possible for your child to be placed at the school of your choice.
We recommend before making a decision on home education that you:
- consider all the issues very seriously. It's a great responsibility that requires a considerable commitment of time and energy.
- plan what you intend to do with your child before making a decision. Consider the costs involved.
- be aware that your child may well miss the social side of school, especially contact with other children and joint activities.
- are aware that no grants are available to help with home education. You will be responsible for an costs of materials, equipment, examination fees and so forth.
If you’ve chosen to educate your child at home because of issues with the school they’re at, you may find it beneficial to discuss these further with the school to see if these can be addressed. You could also consider moving your child to another school. The Education Welfare Service can support you with these arrangements.
Once you've decided to withdraw your child
Once you’ve made a definite decision to withdraw your child, you must inform your child’s school of your intention to withdraw your child from school to educate them at home. We ask that you do this by letter which should include your child’s date of birth, address, your telephone number, and the precise date of withdrawal.
The school will inform the Education Welfare Service of your intention to educate your child at home and the date on which your child’s name will be deleted from the school’s admission register.
You can find more information in our Advice and Guidance on School Attendance for Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Children.
Call: (01226) 773545
Write to: Education Welfare Service, PO Box 634, Barnsley, S70 9GG
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5pm and Fridays from 8.30am to 4.30pm
You can also contact the Education Welfare Officer through your child’s school