Skip to main content

Home education

You can teach your child at home. Teaching your child at home is called ‘elective home education’ or 'homeschooling'.

You must make sure your child gets a full-time education from the start of term following their 5th birthday until the end of the academic year in which they have their 16th birthday. Full-time education is usually 190 days a year. 

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. 

Special schools

You must tell Special Educational Needs Assessment Service (SENA) if you’re taking your child out of a special school. 


You can’t take your child out of a special school without the agreement of SEN Service.


You can ask the school to teach your child part-time, but the head teacher doesn’t have to accept your request.

6.3 Children who are being educated at home sometimes attend other settings to supplement that home education. If you wish your child to attend a state or independent school part-time for this purpose you should discuss this with the school concerned. The school is under no obligation to accept such an arrangement. If your child does undertake this form of ‘flexi-schooling’, you will need to get absences from school which occur when your child is being educated at home authorised by the school in the same way as parents of full-time pupils do for other planned absence. Then the school should mark him or her in the attendance register as being on authorised absence when not at school.

(Taken from Elective Home Education, Departmental guidance for parents)

What you must teach

What you teach must be suitable for your child’s age, ability and aptitude 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. There are no grants to cover the cost of exams.

Support you can access from the Inclusion Service

As we believe that home education is a positive approach to education with many successful outcomes, we aim to work positively with parents and carers to ensure that both 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

The local authority has a duty to ensure that all children and young people have access to suitable full-time education and to also consider this when a parent decides to educate their child/ren at home.

To do this a member of our team will usually meet you once a year to review the quality and range of education your child is receiving. If it is suitable we will make arrangements to see you the following year for the next review. If you require additional support we will work with you to enable the right support to be put in to place.

If you are finding it difficult to provide a suitable education

We will always aim to work with you to offer support and guidance on ways to improve your child’s education as stated in the 'Support you can access from the Inclusion Service' section.  

If following the support you are still not able to give your child a suitable education, we will 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.

Returning to school

Your child can go back to school at any time. You’ll need to apply for a school place.

Top of page