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Education at home

Find guidance and legislation about home educating children.

What is Elective Home Education (EHE)?

Parents have a duty to make sure that their children get a full-time education. In accordance with the Education Act 1996, this should be:

  • Suitable to their age, ability and aptitude.
  • Suitable to any special needs they may have.
  • Either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

Parents can meet this by:

  • Making sure that their children attend school regularly, also by:
  • giving suitable education through another provider;
  • educating their children at home.

Things to think about before you choose to home educate a child

We fully support your right to home educate children. There are some key areas to consider before you decide if it is right for your family.

  • Is it right for your child/children? Make sure you are making the choice because you strongly believe in the ethos of home education. Do not make the decision as a reaction to:

    • A disagreement at school;
    • or because your child is not attending school regularly for whatever reason.

    In these cases, it is best to talk to the school Governors/Education Welfare Service to resolve the issue.

  • Do you have the time, energy and money to support your child's home education? There is no funding or financial support from us if you choose to home educate.
  • Do you feel that you can deliver or facilitate an education "suitable to their age, aptitude and ability"? Are you able to make sure an education that will clearly show a measurement of progress?
  • How do you intend to ensure your child can still have access to social experiences and friends?

Do you want your child to sit external exams, such as GCSEs? Whilst this is still possible when home educating, you need to be sure that you can deliver the necessary curriculum. You must cover the cost of any exams, which can be expensive.

Starting the process

If your child goes to a school, you must:

  • Put your intention to Home Educate in writing to the Head Teacher and state:
    • the date you want them to be removed from the school roll;
    • and that you intend to home educate.
  • The school will notify us. We will then contact you to discuss your choice and offer any information and advice.
  • After the initial contact, we will offer home visits or informal meetings in an alternative location. This is usually once every 12 months depending on your individual needs and wishes.
  • If your child went to a mainstream school before being home educated, the school will notify us. Your de-registration letter and necessary paperwork will be sent to us.

We also like parents to complete an:

Before you complete the form, please see: Elective Home Education - Privacy Notice.

Available support

You (parent or carer) accept that you are fully responsible for their education. This includes any financial implications and their academic achievements.

Note: There is no funding for home education. Our officers can offer impartial advice and information through our contact with home educating families.

If your child has never attended a mainstream school

If you want to Home Educate them from the start, you do not to have to tell us.

Note: We strongly encourage you to complete an:

This will put your child on the home education register. You will then be told about any support, such as immunisations and events for home educated children.

Sitting external exams

If you want your child to sit external exams, such as GCSEs, only Woodhouse Grove (Bradford) can offers this.

For more details, visit: Private or External Examinations.

Educating your child part-time at home and in school

This is known as 'flexi-schooling'.

It must be agreed with the Head Teacher of the school you want your child to attend part-time. It is the Head Teacher's decision.

Early entry to college

Home Education is not a fast track to a college place. Calderdale College expect that a student has been home educated for at least 12 months.

There needs to be evidence to show that a suitable education has taken place in this time. This can be when the family has engaged with their Education Welfare Officer who will then liaise with the College.

The student will still need to apply and be interviewed before being accepted on to any college course.

Please note: Courses start in September and college do not generally accept mid year start dates.

If you change your mind

Your child will be put back on roll at the last school they attended.

If the education you provide is not suitable

We will try to resolve those doubts through informal contact and enquiries. This includes situations where there is no information available at all.

Our aim is to get detailed information about the education being given. You do not have to reply to these enquiries. Although, this will normally be justifiable to conclude that the child does not appear to be getting a suitable education.

The next step will be to refer the case to the Senior Education Welfare Officer. They will serve a notice in writing under section 437 of the Education Act. The parent must make it clear that the child is getting a suitable education. The time given to do this will be no less than 15 days. The information from parents should show:

  • that the education they are giving is suitable;
  • and addresses the issue of progression expected and achieved.

If it is not proved, we will follow the procedure for a School Attendance Order (SAO):

This aims to ultimately direct a child back to school where it is deemed that home education is not suitable.

School Attendance Orders

These can be used to direct a child back into school. This is if they are not getting a suitable education outside of school.

Your child must get education that is "suitable to their age, aptitude and ability" as per the Education Act. If not, we have the right put the child back into mainstream education.

If a parent fails to adhere to the School Attendance Order, we can:

  • Prosecute the parent.
  • Get an Education Supervision Order, under section 36 of the Children's Act.

Education Supervision Orders

We can apply for one of these where a child is the subject of a School Attendance Order that:

  • is not being complied with;
  • and no evidence has been given that the child gets a suitable education

It gives us a formal and supervisory role in the education of the child/children, subject to the Order.

An Education Supervision Order can also run alongside a prosecution for failing to comply with a School Attendance Order.


We are responsible for home educated children the same as we are for other children. We have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Unsuitable or inadequate education can impair a child's intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development. This can bring Child Protection duties into play.

This will be assessed on a case by case basis. We are ready to fully exercise our safeguarding powers and duties to protect the child's well-being. This includes a suitable education for them.

Mental health and wellbeing support

For more about this, please visit: Calderdale Open Minds.


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