Skip to content

We use cookies to make the site simpler. By continuing to use this site and closing this message you agree to our use of cookies.Find out more about cookies

Close alert

Elective home education (EHE) information for parents

Education is compulsory, but going to school for education isn't. Most people choose to send their children to school to be educated but you're legally entitled to educate your child at home.

You don't have to be a teacher. Most home educators have no formal teaching qualifications. You may well be learning alongside your child. 

You don't have to operate like a real school. You can work on what you want, when you want to.  You don't need a timetable and you don't have to follow the national curriculum, although you can if you want to.

Social life for your child

School isn't the only way children access social activities. Many home educators meet up regularly to play, visit a museum, art gallery or theatre. You'll notice less peer group pressures and your child can enjoy the company of both younger and older children. 

Home education for children with SEND

You can home educate children who have special educational needs and/or disability (SEND). You will need our permission if your child is at a special school so that we can take them off the school roll. 

We will continue to hold a review for any child who has an education, health and care (EHC) plan, no matter where they're educated.

Exams and qualifications for home education

Your child does not legally have to take any exams. They can still take exams and you can help your child work towards them at home. You may need to take your child to an examination centre to sit the exams and you'll need to pay the associated costs. 

You need to identify an exam centre where your child can take the exams before they start the course. 

Let us know if you're home educating

You need to deregister your child if they're registered at a school. Send a letter to the head teacher to let them know you want to educate your child at home. The school will let us know and we'll contact you to find out some basic information. 

Will you be inspected or monitored if you home educate?

We'll contact you to ask for some basic information if we know you're home educating your child. This will be basic information like your child's name and date of birth. We'll also ask for a brief outline of your plans for home education. You don't have to give us this, but it will help us confirm that your child's not missing education. As long as we don't have any concerns, we'll normally keep in touch with you once a year to check that your child's circumstances and details haven't changed.

Elective home education (EHE) visiting officer

You don't have to meet with an EHE visiting officer, but we'd encourage you to. They know a lot about home education and can give you advice about resources and local opportunities for your child. Their main role is to make sure your child is getting an education, so they want to give you all the support they can.

Funding for home education

If you choose to home educate you must be prepared to take full financial responsibility for it. This includes the cost of any public exams. 

Help or local support for home education

The level of support for home education depends on where you live. Find details of some local groups and national organisations.

Deciding to send your child to school after home educating

You can apply for a school place for your child whenever you want. Your child is still entitled to a school place if you decide that's what you'd like to do. 

Groups and resources for home educating

We don't endorse any of these groups and organisations, they're for information only. Let us know if you'd like to suggest other useful organisations we could include in this list. 

Local home education groups

These are some of the local groups who can support and advise you if you decide to educate your child at home:

National home education groups

These are some of the national groups who can support and advise you if you decide to educate your child at home:

Get resources to home educate

These organisations offer resources for home education:

  • CGP books
  • Letts revision
  • Oxford Home Schooling: distance learning college offering courses from key stage 3 and above
  • IXL: complete curriculum coverage of maths and English from reception to year 13
  • Khan Academy: free interactive site for maths
  • EdPlace: subscription site with worksheets based on the national curriculum from key stage 1
  • National Extension College (NEC): offers distance learning courses, including GCSEs and A levels
  • World Wide Education Service: assists families with the education of children aged 3 to 14 years
  • InterHigh Education: offers a complete secondary school education on the internet
  • Muddle Puddle: independent site focusing on learning for 0 to 8 year olds
  • Primary Resources:free resources for downloading covering all areas of the national curriculum
  • TES: register for access to free resources
  • Parents in Touch:information, links to suitable websites and downloadable worksheets
  • BBC Bitesize:interactive website covering all areas of the national curriculum
  • Twinkl: free, printable resources for all areas of the curriculum for early year 
  • Conquer Maths:free diagnostics, lessons and tests available
  • 3A Tutors Ltd: private tutorial college and independent exam centre based in Bristol

Home tutoring and education services:

General advice groups:

  • Advisory Centre for Education (ACE): national charity providing advice and information for parents
  • Ansbury (used to be known as Connexions): principal provider of expert independent careers guidance for young people and adults in Dorset

Examining boards:

Elective Home Education (EHE) administrator

Name: Kate Williams
Email: ehe@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305 224762
Full contact details for Elective Home Education (EHE) administrator

Rate this page

Have some feedback?

Your feedback

This form is to report content that is wrong, or any issues or feedback you have about the web page.

Contact us if you want to get in touch about a council service instead.

All fields are required.

Leave your email address so that we can provide a response.

This helps us direct your feedback to the appropriate council.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.