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Elective Home Education

BCP Council is committed to working with the community of Electively Home Educating families so that all children have fulfilled lives and bright futures.

What is Elective Home Education?

Parents or carers may choose to take responsibility for providing their child’s education instead of sending them to school. This is called elective home education (EHE) and BCP Council recognises that choosing to Electively Home Educate is a parent’s right.

BCP Council and Elective Home Education

BCP Council has a duty to be satisfied that all children are receiving a suitable education and that includes those being Electively Home Educated.  The Government’s Department for Education provides guidance for parents and local authorities in relation to EHE and this advice can be found here:

Department for Education guidance for parents and local authorities

BCP Council has a policy on Elective Home Education and this can be found here

Is Elective Home Education right for your child?

Every parent has the legal responsibility for ensuring that their child receives “an efficient, full-time education suitable-

(a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and

(b) to any special educational needs he/she may have,

either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”

(section 7 of the Education Act 1996)

In making the decision whether or not to Electively Home Educate, it may be helpful to consider these questions:

  • What does your child think about EHE? Do they want to leave school and be educated at home?
  • Can you provide an efficient, full-time education suitable for your child’s age, ability and aptitude?
  • Do you have the time and ability needed to educate your child at home?
  • Will you be able to engage your child in learning?
  • Can you take on the full financial responsibility?
  • Is your home suitable for teaching and learning? Is there enough space? Is it quiet enough?
  • What would happen if you are not available to provide suitable full-time education for a short or long period?
  • How will you choose what to teach your child and how to teach it?
  • What is the long-term goal of the education and will your child sit exams such as GCSEs?

If you would like to talk to someone at BCP Council about deciding to Electively Home Educate your child then email: ehe@bcpcouncil.gov.uk giving us your contact number and we will get in touch. Our aim when speaking to you will be to help you make the right decision for you and your child, considering your own unique circumstances.

You could also contact one of the local Home Educating support groups and up to date contact details for these groups can be found through a simple Internet search.

Once you’ve made the decision to Electively Home Educate

If your child is already enrolled at a school, you must tell the headteacher in writing that you want to take them out of school to educate them at home. They’ll tell us when you do this.

We’ll then contact you to check some basic information, such as your child's name, their date of birth and your contact details. We’ll also ask you for a brief outline of your home education plan.

If we are satisfied, as far as is reasonable, that your child is getting a suitable education, then we aim to get in touch with you annually. We’ll check you are still home educating your child, and that we have the right contact details. If you move house or if your child starts school please let us know as soon as possible. Depending on your circumstances and your preferences, our annual contact could be though a home visit, a conversation via telephone or video call, or by email.

Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If your child has an Education Health Care Plan, the school will tell our Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Elective Home Education (EHE) teams when you withdraw your child from school. If your child is attending a Special School, you’ll need to let the school know you want to home educate your child. They will then tell our SEN team who will contact you to find out how your education plan will meet your child’s needs. The EHCP will be reviewed annually.

Your child should still attend school until you have spoken to the SEN team and they have agreed to your plan.

Deciding to Return to School based Education

At any time, you can decide to stop home educating and send your child to a school for their education. However please remember there may not be a place immediately available at your chosen school. If you want your child to return to school (or to attend school for the first time), please contact the School Admissions Team.

Further points to note about Elective Home Education

  • When you choose to Electively Home Educate your child you take on full responsibility for any associated costs e.g. employing a private tutor
  • If you decide to employ a tutor either as a paid service or through someone who volunteers to help out – make sure they are safe to work with children e.g. they have a full Disclosure and Barring Service Clearance (DBS)
  • Make sure your child has opportunities to make friends and socialise and look after their physical and mental well-being – joining activity clubs like sports groups or creative groups can help with this
  • If you want your child to sit an exam you will have to arrange this yourself – you can contact local schools, private tuition centres and/or colleges to see whether they can help with this
  • You can ask a school if your child can be taught there part-time but schools do not have to agree to this.
  • If you want your child to have work experience, be aware that child employment regulations apply to children who are electively home educated.
  • Apprenticeships are not available for compulsory school age children.

Contact for further information

If you have any further questions, or would like to discuss any aspect of EHE, please email ehe@bcpcouncil.gov.uk and someone from our EHE team will be pleased to respond.