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:
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