Call our free helpline0808 808 3555
Call our free helpline
0808 808 3555
Parents sometimes ask if they can deregister their child from
school, possibly as a response to bullying, school refusal or the
school not meeting the child's needs. If you are thinking about
taking this step it is important to understand the responsibility
you are taking on and to be aware of other possible options
If you choose to educate your child at home, you have a general
right to do so. This is often referred to as 'elective home
education'. The legal duty on parents is to ensure their child
receives suitable full time education by attendance at school or
You do not have to follow the national curriculum or keep
standard school hours. You must however ensure that the education
you provide is suitable. That includes being suitable for your
child's special educational needs.
What you need to do depends on your situation:
No. Sometimes parents are put under pressure from schools to
take their child off the school roll on the grounds that it will be
in the child's best interest. Your child's school cannot force you
to deregister your child. The school should not put pressure on you
to home educate because the school can't meet your child's needs or
to avoid a permanent exclusion or a penalty for non-attendance.
You may feel that realistically you have no other option, but
it's important to look at other ways of addressing the issue. You
may find the following pages helpful:
That is unlikely. By choosing to home educate, you agree to take
responsibility for your child's education and your local authority
will not provide a tutor or financial help. In some areas the local
authority has a home education adviser who can provide guidance to
It may be helpful to contact a home education organisation to
make links with other home educating families. This can be a way of
preventing your child becoming isolated.
Some children with EHC plans are educated at home by parents'
choice. If your child has an EHC plan, you have the same right to
choose to home educate as other parents. You only need to get
permission if your child is on roll at a special school.
If you are already home educating, you also have the same right
to ask for an EHC needs assessment. There is no requirement for
your child to be in school to be assessed.
If your local authority considers that your child's needs can be
met in school, but you choose to home educate, then section I of
your child's EHC plan will say 'parent has made own arrangements'
or 'elective home education'. This means the local authority does
not have to provide the help set out in the EHC plan. It doesn't
mean that you have to do everything that would be provided in
school, but you must make sure that the education you provide is
The local authority has the discretion to provide some financial
help towards the special educational help, but it is rare for it to
Other children might have a home-based education package because
everyone agrees that it is not appropriate for them to be educated
in school. This may be the case for children with complex medical
needs or severe anxiety or because there is no suitable school
In this case the local authority is responsible for ensuring
that your child gets the help on the EHC plan. They may arrange
tuition directly or give you a personal budget
to arrange it yourself. If you want this option, you will need to
show that your child's needs cannot be met in a school setting.
We also support Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Give our
helpline a call on 0808 808 3555 and we can provide information or
signpost you to alternative sources of advice in those nations
where appropriate. Find out our local office details in the In your area