You can’t take your child out of a special school without the agreement of SENA Service.
If you decide to teach at home, you must ensure your child gets a full-time education (190 days a year) from the start of term, following their 5th birthday, until the end of the academic year, in which they have their 16th birthday.
What to do if you're thinking of home education
If you're thinking about elective home education, the government blog All you need to know about home schooling and elective home education provides useful advice and information, and things to consider before taking your child out of school.
Who you need to tell
If you’re taking your child out of school, you must write to the head teacher to inform them of your intention to electively home educate. The head teacher will tell us.
Contact the Inclusion service if your child has never been to school or you’ve moved to Leicestershire from another local education authority area. You don’t have to tell us, but we will contact you if we think your child isn't being educated.
You must tell Special Educational Needs Assessment Service (SENA) if you’re taking your child out of a special school.
The SENA team can be contacted on 0116 305 6600 during office hours or by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can ask the school to teach your child part-time, but the head teacher doesn’t have to accept your request.
What you must teach
What you teach must be suitable for your child’s age, ability, and any special needs they may have. You don’t have to follow the national curriculum.
You can get advice and find support groups for parents who are teaching their children at home from:
You don't have to teach them yourself, some parents:
- pay for a tutor for some parts of the curriculum
- plan to teach in small groups with other families involved in home education
Your child won’t have to take the national curriculum tests (known as SATs).
You can arrange for your child to take exams, such as GCSEs, as external candidates at exam centres like further education colleges. You’ll need to contact the colleges directly.
We’re not able to provide grants to cover the cost of tutors or exams, however, there is some practical support available from the Inclusion service which is detailed below.
Support you can get from the Inclusion service
We believe that home schooling is a positive approach to education with many successful outcomes. We aim to work with parents and carers to ensure that the statutory duties for both parents and the local authority can be met and worked on together.
We, therefore, offer a range of approaches to support you and your children to get the best out of their educational arrangements including:
- Initial support and advice on the requirements of home education either via phone or a home visit – this usually happens within 6 to 8 weeks of you or the head teacher telling us about your intent to home educate
- Annual reviews to ensure that you are still comfortable and happy with your current arrangements and that the progression your child is having is in line with their age and ability, and that this can be seen within their education plan
- Where education is not meeting the child’s needs, we offer support to help you to improve the learning and, if required, will help you to look at other options around education
- We can provide updates on new government guidelines
- Signposting to additional support services and support groups where needed
Checking on your child’s education
We have a duty to ensure that all children and young people have access to suitable full-time education and to also consider this when you decide to educate your child or children at home.
A member of our team will usually meet you once a year to review the quality and range of education your child is receiving by checking your education plan and seeing a sample of your child's work. If it is suitable, we'll arrange to see you the following year for the next review. If you require additional support, we'll work with you to enable the right support to be put in place.
If you're finding it difficult to provide a suitable education
We'll always aim to work with you to offer support and guidance on ways to improve your child’s education as stated above in the Support you can access from the Inclusion service section.
If following the support, you're still not able to give your child a suitable education, we'll work with you to help you find a school place. In some situations, it may be necessary to serve a School Attendance Order (SAO) where you will have to register your child at a school, however this is rare and would always be a last resort.
Meeting needs to be able to stay in school
Support is available in schools for pupils who are struggling to attend school.
This information can be accessed on the following pages:
- Supporting behaviour and meeting needs to help prevent my child being excluded
- School attendance
- Children with medical needs
- SEND support in schools
Returning to school
Your child can go back to school at any time. You’ll need to apply for a school place.
Information for parents
The Elective Home Education, Departmental guidance helps parents to understand their obligations and rights in relation to elective home education.