Is Elective Home Education the same as home tuition?
No, EHE is different to home tuition. Home tuition can be provided by the Local Authority when a child has a significant medical condition which is likely to last a number of weeks, and the evidence provided has been approved via a moderation panel as having met particular criteria.
What questions should I ask myself and my child when considering EHE?
While you don’t have to be a teacher of have formal qualifications in order to provide an education for your child at home, here are some issues you may wish to consider:
- Is your child positive about the suggestion of being educated at home?
- Are you are convinced it is best for your child?
- Do you have the time to devote to your child’s education?
- Do you have the ability to teach your child effectively?
- Will you be able to educate your child to the required level if they want to take GCSEs?
- Are you are prepared to buy and do you have the funds for the necessary resources?
- Do you have other support available?
- Do you have the space to create a suitable working area?
- Are there opportunities for physical exercise?
- Will social experiences with other children be available?
- Are you sure you are not choosing to educate at home because of disputes with the school, or as a reason for not sending your child to school on time or regularly?
What if I don't send information but just keep the child out of school?
If you do not properly deregister your child your child would be considered as missing education.
Under the 1996 Education Act, the Local Authority must satisfy itself that parents are fulfilling their duty if it appears that they may not be doing so. This could be because concerns have been raised about the education, or because the parent did not respond to our letters. If you don't respond to our letters, following concerns being raised about the education, or otherwise provide any evidence to show that your child is receiving appropriate education, then it is a logical conclusion that the Local Authority cannot establish whether the education provided is suitable to the child's age, ability and aptitude.
If this were the case the Authority would have no option other than to take steps in compliance with Section 437 of the Education Act 1996 i.e. issue a Notice requiring you to satisfy the Local Authority that you are providing suitable education and if you cannot do so a School Attendance Order can be issued requiring your child to attend a nominated school.
What if my child is registered as a pupil of a Special School?
Here the situation is rather different. If your child attends a special school, you will need to obtain permission from the local authority before removing them from the school roll and asking the local authority to amend your child’s statement or review their IDP.
The local authority will continue to hold an annual review for the duration of the IDP or statement, which will include whether the wording of the plan is still appropriate and whether it needs to remain in place. The right of appeal to the Education Tribunal for Wales or the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales still applies.
Do I have to follow the Welsh National Curriculum?
No, but it is a useful reference. There is no obligation to follow a curriculum or the same approach as a school, but you might find this helpful as a framework when deciding what areas of learning and experience to include and how to assess your child’s achievement. How your child learns is up to you, although it may be more difficult to pass exams if the curriculum has not been followed.
Welsh National Curriculum
What about learning Welsh?
Learning Welsh can be an enriching experience both for your child and your whole family. We have a range of information and resources for all ages to learn Welsh. Click here for details. There are also a wide range of Welsh courses for adults.
Urdd Gobaith Cymru is an organisation that aims to give children and young people the chance to learn and socialise in the Welsh language. There are magazines as well as thousands of Urdd activities on offer for Welsh speakers and learners throughout the year.
What about compulsory subjects, a timetable or a classroom?
There are none, but you should consider that basic literacy and numeracy skills be given priority. Remember that you should provide a ‘suitable’ education for your child. That is, it should prepare your child for life in a modern civilised society and enable the child to achieve their full potential.
There is no obligation to have rooms or premises equipped to a particular standard, and the days and terms do not need to match mainstream school, but the education provided must be ‘full-time.’
What help and support is there for EHE students and families?
Local authorities have no legal responsibility or obligation to fund parents and carers who choose to home educate. Parents and carers who choose to educate their children at home must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility for their children’s education, including for books and all other resources, as well as to meet the cost of any public examinations and course fees.
We have previously provided Welsh Government grant funding for EHE students to fund KS4 costs and membership of local cultural and sporting amenities. Information about further funding will be shared if and when available.
We will contact you when you first decide to home educate and offer practical and useful advice. We may also signpost to additional services that might suit your circumstances. Thereafter, we will contact you at least annually to arrange a visit (if appropriate) to discuss your children’s education, any plans you may have and offer support and guidance. You are welcome to contact us with concerns or queries.
What support is available if my child has development or well-being concerns?
Home educating families are able to request that local authorities determine whether their child has Additional Learning Needs (ALN). They are able to make referrals for their child to access counselling, as well as referral to careers advisers. For more information about our Additional Needs Service, click here.
Are there local or national groups that can support us?
An EHE child is still able to access universal services such as Careers Wales, Youth services, counselling and Health Immunisation and Screening. Contact us for further details of these services.
We do not endorse any particular group or provider. However, here are some resources that you may find useful:
Will my child be able to take examinations?
Yes, you can enter your child for examinations. Parents and carers of home educated children will have to enter their child for examinations and meet the costs of those examinations themselves. If you can, you should plan examination courses well in advance. The Local Authority can tell you the location of your nearest examination centre.
It is possible for you to contact local secondary schools to discuss the possibility of paying a fee to use them as a GCSE Centre for your child. This should be done well in advance.
WJEC information relating to the procedures for private examination candidates
Can we hire a private tutor?
It is your decision how to educate your child, including hiring a private tutor. When hiring a private tutor, parents and carers should request to see their current enhanced DBS check. It is extremely important that you always interview any potential tutor and ask to see their career résumé. You should always ask for and check professional references from someone who knows the tutor now.
Can my child return to school?
Yes, your child can return to school at any time. However, your child may require additional support when they return to school if the relevant curriculum has not been followed during the period of home education.
You must contact the Local Authority to apply for a place through Admissions. You can do so at any time using our online Admissions portal. There is no guarantee that there will be a place at the school your child previously attended.
What will happen if it appears that I’m not providing a suitable education?
Under section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, Local Authorities have a duty to take action if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education. Your local authority will discuss any concerns with you.
If you fail to prove to the local authority that you are providing a suitable education, and they feel it necessary for your child to go to school, they must serve a School Attendance Order (SOA) on you, which in effect is an order to enforce education at a school. If a parent fails to comply with an SAO, they can be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.
*The expression ‘parent’ in relation to a child or young person includes any person who is not a parent of the child but has parental responsibility for him or her, or who care of the child.
If you have any other questions or are considering Elective Home Education, please make contact with EHE@conwy.gov.uk