Information and policy on educating your child at home.

Most parents choose to educate their children at school. But, every year a few decide to educate their children at home. We call this Elective Home Education (EHE).

The Education Act 1996 gives parents the right to educate their children somewhere other than at school. Education is compulsory, but attendance at school is not.

What to consider

Before deciding

From the start be sure you are doing what is right for your child. Discuss it with them and with the school (if your child is on roll at one). You could also speak to someone at the Council who may recommend a meeting with the school, you as a parent/carer and the Council to ensure that you are making the right decision and are aware of your legal and financial responsibilities. If you still wish to consider Elective Home Education, the school may give you details of other people who can support you such as the Education Welfare Officer or an EHE Officer at the Council.

Education at home

Home education can be very rewarding but does need:

  • a serious time commitment
  • patience
  • energy
  • the ability to provide appropriate motivation, resources and equipment

You should not consider home education to avoid:

  • sending your child to school
  • exclusions
  • attendance fines

Electing to home educate will not stop these processes.

What you need to provide

You must be able to provide:

  • A suitable education
  • A full-time education
  • An efficient education

You will also need to consider the following as a part of planning for home education:

  • Opportunities to socialise with other children and build friendships. Such as social activities or clubs based on your child's hobbies and interests.
  • A space at home where learning can take place
  • The time - if you work, can you offer a full-time education as well as work commitments.
  • What are your child's goals and dreams? Will your home education help achieve these?
  • Does your child want to sit any exams? This is possible but can be costly for private pupils

Hiring a tutor

Tutors could help you provide everything your child’s education needs.

It is always best to go by word of mouth recommendations within the EHE community. We can't recommend a tutor but do recommend that you make sure that any tutor has the appropriate:

  • qualifications
  • experience
  • insurance
  • clear DBS

If you cannot afford a tutor, you could try online learning programmes.

Financial Support

Unfortunately, there is no funding available to home educating families. Parents opting to home educate assume full financial responsibility for providing:

  • resources
  • employing a tutor
  • paying for examinations

You will need to consider if you are able to meet the costs

Also, certain benefits do not apply to home education. you could lose:

  • free school meals
  • pupil premium support

Your Child’s place at school

If you decide to home educate, your child is removed from the school register.

Schools cannot hold a place for your child while you see if home education is right for you.

Their place will go to another child on the waiting list.

Re-applying for schools

If you want your child to return to school, you can make an application at any time by completing an in-year transfer form.

 Re-admissions to a school can have some issues:

  • Your child may have missed large sections of coursework,
  • Friendship groups may have altered

It may be that you are can’t get a place in your preferred choice of school and will have to apply to other schools.

The legal position

Duty of the parent/carer

As a parent, you have the legal right to choose to educate your children other than by attendance at school. This is usually by providing education at home.

Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act states that:

'The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him/her to receive full-time education suitable -

 (a) to his/her age, ability and aptitude, and;

 (b) to any special educational needs he/she may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise."

The phrase ''or otherwise'' allows education outside of formal schooling. This is providing that the parent/carer can meet the child's needs, as stated above.

Duty of the Local Authority (LA)

City of Wolverhampton Council must make sure that home educated children are getting the right education.

Section 437 of the 1996 Education Act states that:

''If it appears to a local education authority that a child of compulsory school age in their area is not receiving suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they shall serve a notice in writing, on the parent requiring him/her to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice, not being less than 15 days, that the child is receiving such education."

If we can't make sure your child is getting the right education, we may issue a school attendance order. This means parents/carers must register the child at a named school within a certain period of time.

Article 2 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that:

"No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of the parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions."

The Department for Education issues guidance for both parents and local Authorities. You can find this in the Downloads section

Children with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)

By law children who have an EHCP can be home educated like any other pupil. They will still have an annual review of their education, as they did when in school. The SEN team will request that you prepare information on your child's progress.

If a pupil is on roll at a special school, the SEN team will need to give permission for the child to be home educated. You will need to ensure you are able to meet the plan’s outcomes to the SEN Team’s satisfaction.

The role of City of Wolverhampton Council

City of Wolverhampton Council is responsible to know who is being home educated. When you notify us that you are home educating, we will contact you to send a welcome pack.

Supporting you

We are here to support you with your decision to home educate, not to judge or inspect.

At first, we can point you to resources, activities, websites and home education groups.

We offer support in whichever works for you, this could be:

  • a home visit
  • a virtual visit
  • an email
  • a phone conversations
  • meeting in a public place like a cafe

Support visits

We cannot insist on a home visit. But offer all home educating families a visit at least once a year. This is to see how you are progressing and offer any help.

You are not obliged by law to respond, but we may take matters further if we do not receive a response. Especially if we have reason to believe you are not providing a suitable education.

Usually, we work with families to address any concerns. We will write to you about the concerns or discuss this during a visit. You will have the opportunity to adapt the education you are providing and offer you support to do this.

We will then look to see that these recommendations are being followed through. A home visit may be the best way to do this, but we can be flexible to a family's needs.

Providing a suitable education

Your child's education must be suitable for their age and ability. Our duty is to act if it appears that they are not receiving this.

We ask you to provide a range of examples that show a suitable education including:

  • resources you are using
  • examples of work and logs to record learning
  • activities your child has engaged in
  • time dedicated to educating your child

If you are not providing a suitable education, we will tell you to register your child at a school. We will include what school places are available in your area.

As a last resort, we may issue a School Attendance Order (SAO). This will name a school for your child to attend. Failure to do this could result in you being taken to court.

Planning for your child’s future

It's important you encourage your child to explore their options around career choices. This could inform the approach that you take to their education.

Home educated children in years 10 and 11 can get careers advice from Connexions Service


You don't have to teach the National Curriculum or study in the same order that schools do. It all depends on your child.

Instead of studying GCSEs in years 10 and 11, you could spread qualifications out over many years.

Exams for home educated children

If you want your child to take exams, such as GCSEs, IGCSEs or Functional Skills, you should plan this in advance. You will need to find out:

  • which syllabus you will follow for each subject
  • what resources you will need to teach

Some subjects may have coursework that an external person will need to mark. Once the exam board approves someone, you will need to pay them to mark the coursework.

Exam Boards

The links below are to the main exam boards and their private pupil pages:

The nearest private exam centres are in Coventry and Birmingham.

Funding exams

There is no local or national funding for home educated pupils to pay for exams. Home educators assume full financial responsibility for the cost of their child's education.

Work experience

Children educated at home can do work experience. Parents take on the full responsibility to ensure children will be safe.

14-16 Provision

There are several local Colleges which offer courses for Year 10 and Year 11 pupils. You can complete the applications online.

The EHE team can confirm with the college that you are registered as home educated.

Some courses need you to

  • have been Home Educated for at least 6 months
  • be able to prove the work you have done during this time

Available Courses

Walsall College – Achieving Together

Halesowen College – GCSE’s and Vocational Courses for EHE

South Staffordshire College – GCSE’s and Vocational Courses for EHE

Has your child had their MMR vaccine?

Pop up vaccination clinics have been set up across the Black Country for all eligible children who are due or have missed a dose. Adults up to the age of 25 are also invited to come forward.

Measles is a highly infectious disease which can lead to serious complications such as severe lung infections and inflammation of the brain. It also damages and suppresses the whole immune system, meaning children can be left much more susceptible to catching other illnesses.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • high temperature
  • runny or blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • red, sore, watery eyes
  • rash, which usually appears a few days after cold-like symptoms (sometimes it starts around the ears before spreading to the rest of the body)

For details of where the clinics are, please visit Black Country ICB NHS - Measles.


What is Elective Home Education?

Elective Home Education (EHE) is where parents or carers decide to educate their child otherwise than at school (usually at home). Parents or carers have full responsibility for providing a full-time education suitable to the child’s age and ability and to any special educational needs he or she may have.

Do I have to ask permission to educate my child at home?

No, you do not need to obtain permission to educate your child at home unless he or she attends a Special School or where a child is enrolled at a school in accordance with a School Attendance Order (SAO). Where a child is enrolled at a Special School parents need to obtain consent from the Local Authority SENDSTART Service before they can remove their child’s name from the register. Where there is an SAO in place the parents should seek to get this order revoked.

Can my child’s school request that I remove my child from their roll to EHE?

No, a school cannot request or advise a parent to de-register their child from the school to EHE. Any decision to EHE must be made by the parent. The responsibility to provide a suitable education to your child will be effective from the date after you remove your child from the school.

How do I de-register my child?

You are advised to inform the school in writing of your intention to EHE your child. Failure to do this could result in legal intervention for non-attendance.

Would I get financial help?

No, we would not be able to offer any financial help towards home education. You will need to consider the cost of writing equipment, books, study aides and possibly examination fees, on-line learning packages and private tutors.

Can the school hold the place open for my child while we see whether electively home educating is right for us?

The school cannot hold the place open. In many schools they will have another child wanting to be admitted into that school place. If you are considering making a decision to electively home educate, you can discuss this with one of the EHE team.

Can electively home educated pupils do work experience?

Electively home educated pupils can do work experience, but parents take on the full responsibility to ensure that their children will be safe.

Can pupils with an Education Health Care Plan be electively home educated?

Electively home educated pupils with an Education Health Care Plan are legally allowed to Home Educate, the same as other pupils. They will still have an annual review of their education, just as they did when they were in school. If the pupil is on roll at a special school the parents will have to ensure that they are able to meet the plan’s outcomes to the satisfaction of the Special Needs team before the pupil can be de-registered.

Can the local authority recommend tutors for families to use?

We are not able to make personal recommendations for tutors.

Do I have to teach the National Curriculum?

No, the National Curriculum applies only to state schools. You should consider the effects it may have on your child if the National Curriculum is not followed. It may cause your child to fall behind in terms of social and academic achievement compared to their peers in school.

How can my child gain qualifications?

Your child can register and study through an online course or study at home and sit examinations, they will be referred to as a private candidate. This is the most expensive route, and you will need to think about the expenses involved.

OR Your child can also register at a college that offers courses for young people aged 14 to 16.

OR You may wish to consider returning to a local school in preparation for examinations in year 11.

Do I need to teach my child during school hours?

No, you are able to teach on any day of the week and select times that you feel are the most appropriate. You should consider that you are expected to provide a fulltime education, and that children in schools receive around 25 hours education a
week over 38 weeks a year.

Is Elective Home Education the same as home tuition?

No, home tuition is if a child is sick and cannot attend school. It is usually provided by the school. If your child is EHE the LA does not provide tutors, nor does it keep a bank of tutors for you to contact. If you wish to use tutors to support home education, you will need to arrange and pay for this support and be aware of ensuring that the tutor is suitable to work with children.

What if the education that I provide is not satisfactory?

In the majority of cases families who home EHE provide their child with a great education. Occasionally a parent cannot meet the needs of their child. Where it appears that the education you are providing is not satisfactory the LA could issue an SAO which will require your child to be placed on a school roll.

Can I change my mind once I have decided to home educate?

Yes, parents (or children) quite often feel that EHE is not for them, or family circumstance can change. The LA are able to provide guidance on how to get your child back into school. For further advice please can contact the local authority EHE Officer on 01902 550621

Can electively home educated pupils re-enter a school?

Parents of electively home educated pupils can make an application to re-enter school at any time by completing an In Year Transfer form. Please be aware that readmission into a school can be problematic for a number of reasons. The child will have missed large sections of course work, friendship groups will have altered, and it is possible that there might not be a place for them in your preferred choice of school.

Contact us

For further information or general queries please call 01902 550621 or email