If your child has never been registered at a state school, you don’t have to notify anyone. However, it will help the local authority to be able to offer advice and support and keep their records accurate if you tell them that you are choosing to home educate your child.
If your child currently attends a mainstream school, you should write to the school’s head teacher to inform them of your decision. The letter should include your child’s name and date of birth and be signed by an adult with parental responsibility. The school must then delete your child from the school roll and inform the local authority. Following your child’s deregistration from school, a member of the Multi Agency Support Team (MAST) will contact you to arrange a home visit. This is to ensure that you are happy with your decision and find out if you would like any additional support. The Home Education Service will then contact you to obtain details of your child’s education. If your child is in a mainstream school and has an EHC plan, the process is the same. However, the local authority will need to amend the plan to reflect that you are now responsible for meeting your child’s educational needs.
If your child currently attends a special school, you should also write a letter to the head teacher. However, in these cases the letter triggers an early review of your child’s EHC plan rather than the automatic removal from roll. This is because the local authority is required to give consent before a child can be removed from the register of a special school. This should not be a lengthy or complex process. Your child should normally continue to attend the school until section I (placement) of the EHC plan has been amended.
It is helpful if you contact Venetta Buchanan, the local authority Lead Officer for Elective Home Education, if you are thinking of taking your child out of a special school, so that she can meet with you before the EHC plan review. This can help to avoid unnecessary delays caused by requests for more information about the provision you are planning to make. The aim of the EHC plan review is to ensure that the family is able to meet the needs of the child as stated in the EHC plan. It is intended to be supportive rather than obstructive.