Schools and education

Our role in home education

We wish to promote a good relationship with all home educators in York and therefore we are happy to offer support and advice where necessary.

Responsibility for educating a child at home

Parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their child is educated. Some parents choose to educate their child at home instead of at school.

Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act states:

"It shall be the duty of the parent of every child of compulsory school age to cause him or her to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his/her age, aptitude and ability (and to any special educational needs he/she may have), either by attendance at school or otherwise."

An 'efficient' and 'suitable' education is not defined in the 1996 Education Act but 'efficient' has been broadly described in case law as an education that 'achieves that which it sets out to achieve', and a 'suitable' education is one that 'primarily equips a child for life within the community of which he (or she) is a member, rather than the way of life in the country as a whole, as long as it does not foreclose the child’s options in later years to adopt some other form of life if he (or she) wishes to do so'.

We have some responsibilities and powers under both the 1996 Education Act and 2002 Education Act to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and to intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs

Parents of a child who have an Education and Health Care Plan or Statement of Special Educational Needs can educate them at home. However, if the child is on the roll of a special school, the child’s name may not be removed from that school register without our consent. Consent may not unreasonably be withheld.

We have a statutory duty to undertake an annual review of special educational needs also for those who are home educated. As part of this review we assess whether the plan or statement is still appropriate, requires amendment or may no longer be maintained.

De-registration or informing the Local Authority

If a child is registered at a school, the parent must formally write to the headteacher advising them that they are taking responsibility for their child's education by educating them at home. They should request that the child is taken off the school's roll;.if the parent does not request this, they may be prosecuted for their child's non-attendance.

Providing a child is not a registered pupil at a school, the parent is not required to seek permission to educate 'otherwise' or to take the initiative in informing the Local Authority. This does not mean that you can't contact us if you wish to; in this case we will put your child's name on our Elective Home Education register and communicate with you where necessary.

Also see

School Services

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551554