Elective home education (home schooling)

You do not have to be a qualified teacher or follow the national curriculum to home school your child. You need to be aware that the Local Authority does not provide financial support, teaching or schemes of work for elective home education. You will have to buy any text books and other resources, and arrange and pay for exams. The Gov.uk website offers more information about the law in this area.

Choosing to educate your child at home is a big decision and if you choose to do so, you need to let us and – if relevant – the school know. You can contact our advisory teacher for elective home education for further advice by completing this contact form or calling on 0118 937 3840 (Wednesday to Friday during school terms).

You can read our parents’ guide on elective home education here.

Our policy for Elective Home Education can be found here: BFfC Elective Home Education Policy & Procedures Sept 2020 (PDF). It is also on our policies, publications & reports page, alongside all other policies and strategies.

If parent / carers want general information, advice and guidance around home education, they can contact the Family Information Service, fis@reading.gov.uk 0118 9373777 (option 2) lines open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, or visit www.readingfis.org

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about EHE

What is home education?

Home education is where the parent / carer of the child or young person decides to take the child out of school and teach them at home.

Is home education legal?

Yes, it is legal in all parts of the UK.

The law states that “the parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him/her to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs s/he may have”.  For most children, this is through attending a school, however parents are able to educate at home.

If I’m interested in home educating, what do I need to do?

If your child is already going to school, you will need to write to the school to tell them that you wish to remove your child from school to educate them at home.  The school will then inform the Advisory Teacher for Elective Home Education at Brighter Futures for Children.  If your child has never attended school, please inform the School Admissions Team and the Advisory Teacher that you are choosing to educate your child at home and do not require a school place.

What support is there for parents who choose to Elective Home Educate?

Once the Advisory Teacher has been informed you are going to educate your child at home, you will be sent an Information Pack via post / email.   The Advisory Teacher will then contact you to talk through developing a suitable, broad based curriculum so that your child can make good all-round progress.  The Advisory Teacher can provide advice, guidance and support throughout your period of home education but will not teach your child/ren.

Who teaches my child?

You. If you decide to home educate, it is your (parent / carers) responsibility to organise who teaches your child and the curriculum s/he will follow.  You can undertake the teaching yourself, pay for online or distance teaching, enrol in an online school or employ one or more tutors.   If you decide to employ tutors there is guidance in the information pack about employing tutors safely, ensuring they are DBS checked and ensuring the safety of your child/ren during the sessions.

Is there any financial support to help me with Home Education?

No.  If you choose to Home Educate, you will need to provide all the books, equipment (including IT), subscriptions and resources required. There is no funding available for home education.

Can my child sit exams?

You will need to arrange for your child to sit GCSE exams as an external candidate at an exam centre.  You will need to contact the centre (checking it is the right one for the curriculum your child has been taught), book the exams and pay the exam fees.  You will also need to arrange for your child to get to the exam centre. Exam centres are across the country and may be some distance from your home.

What if my child has an EHC Plan?

If your child currently attends a mainstream school, you can still Home Educate them.  However, you must provide evidence that you can meet all the requirements of the EHC Plan, including, if appropriate, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, access to an Educational Psychologist.  School based therapists will not normally undertake therapy in the home so you will need to make arrangements before withdrawing your child.  You will still be required to attend an Annual Review which will be organised by the SEND team.

If your child attends a special school, you will need to have permission form your Local Authority (Brighter Futures for Children) to withdraw your child.  You need to write to the special school and to the SEND Team requesting permission to home educate your child and giving evidence of how you can meet the requirements of the EHC Plan through home education.   Your request will be considered by the SEND Panel who will inform parents and the school of their decision.

Can my child return to school?

Your child can return to school – however you will need to reapply to School Admissions by completing an online application form identifying your preferred schools.  Please note, there is no guarantee you will be offered one of your preferred schools and there is no guarantee your child can return to the school they left.

Where can I get more information before I make my decision?

Before you fill in the contact form on this page, it's a good idea to read our booklet for parents on EHE and also visit the Gov.uk website for more information on the law in relation to EHE.

If parent / carers want general information, advice and guidance around home education, they can contact the Family Information Service, fis@reading.gov.uk 0118 9373777 (option 2) lines open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, or visit www.readingfis.org