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Home education

You can teach your child at home. Teaching your child at home is called ‘elective home education’ or 'homeschooling'.

You must make sure your child gets a full-time education from the start of term following their 5th birthday until the end of the academic year in which they have their 16th birthday. Full-time education is usually 190 days a year. 

Who you need to tell

If you’re taking your child out of school, you must write to the head teacher. The head teacher will tell us. 

Contact Pupil Services if your child has never been to school or you’ve moved to Leicestershire from another local education authority area. You don’t have to tell us but we will contact you if we think your child isn't being educated. 

Special schools

You must tell Pupil Services if you’re taking your child out of a special school. 

 

You can’t take your child out of a special school without our agreement.

Part-time schooling

You can ask the school to teach your child part-time, but the head teacher doesn’t have to accept your request. (This is also known as ‘flexi schooling’.)

What you must teach

What you teach must be suitable for your child’s age, ability and aptitude and any special needs they may have. You don’t have to follow the national curriculum

You can get advice and find support groups for parents who are teaching their children at home from: 

You don't have to teach them yourself, some parents:

  • pay for a tutor for some parts of the curriculum
  • plan to teach in small groups with other families involved in home education.

Exams

Your child won’t have to take the National Curriculum tests (known as SATs).

You can arrange for your child to take exams such as GCSEs as external candidates at exam centres like further education colleges. You’ll need to contact the colleges. There are no grants to cover the cost of exams.

Checking on your child’s education

The Home Education Officer will meet you to discuss how you’re going to educate your child. This will usually happen within 4 to 6 weeks of you or the head teacher telling us about your intention to home school your child. 

They’ll send you a questionnaire 6 months after the home visit. They’ll usually meet you once a year to review the quality and range of education your child is getting. 

If you’re not giving your child a suitable education

The Home Education Officer will recommend ways you can improve your child’s education. 

They’ll meet you again in 8 to 12 weeks to see if things have improved. If you don’t give your child a suitable education, we may serve a School Attendance Order (SAO) and you’ll have to register your child at a school. This would be a last resort.

Returning to school

Your child can go back to school at any time. You’ll need to apply for a school place.

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