Elective home education

Withdrawing your child from school

You can teach your child at home once your child reaches the compulsory school age (term after 5th birthday). This can happen any time during the school year.

Before reaching a decision

Before you decide to teach your child at home, consider:

  • The advantages of both home and mainstream education
  • The costs involved - you will be responsible for all costs
  • The social aspects of your child’s development - your child needs to be involved in social activities and with other children
  • Home education should not be a solution to problems with children not wanting to attend school. School staff and Education Attendance Officers are able to help with these problems

The facts about home education

  • You will need to let your child’s school know in writing if you intend to withdraw your child from school
  • Your child is not required to follow the national curriculum or take national tests, but parents are required by law to make sure their child gets a full time education suitable to their age and ability
  • You do not need to be a qualified teacher nor engage a qualified teacher to educate your child at home
  • Although children educated at home are not required to follow the national curriculum, it is considered good practice, especially if the child being educated at home has a sibling attending mainstream school
  • When parents or carers decide to educate their children at home, they take on the full cost for their child’s education. There are no funds from government for parents who decide to educate their child at home

The role of the Local Authority

If you are educating your child at home, the council will make informal enquiries to make sure your child is getting a suitable education

An Education Adviser will:

  • contact you a few weeks after you start home education
  • look at the provision you've made
  • offer advice, guidance and support to make sure the provision is suitable to your child’s age and ability


  • The meeting takes place in your home with your child present
  • If you prefer not to meet at home, you can ask to meet at Hackney Education offices
  • If the educational provision is satisfactory, the Adviser will aim to visit the family every 6 months to offer continuous support and advice if needed

Providing information

You can send a report rather than meeting the Adviser. But bear in mind that, it may be difficult to present a full picture of your arrangements.


Elective Home Education Team

This page was last modified on: 30 Oct 2023