Parents must arrange an education that suits the age, ability and needs of their child. You can do this by sending your child to school, or by choosing to educate your child at home.
When your child should be educated
If you have children of school age, you must ensure that they receive education.
School age is:
- from the start date of a school term following a child's 5th birthday
- to the last Friday in June in the year when the child's 16th birthday is before 1 September.
For more information visit our
school term dates page.
Getting permission to educate at home
If your child has never been to school, you don't need to tell anyone or ask anyone's permission to educate them at home.
If you are removing a child from school for home education, you must let the school know and they will pass this information on to us.
If your child has a statement of special educational needs and attends a specialist school, you will need to get permission from us to educate them at home. It remains our responsibility in this case to make sure your child's needs are met and to review their needs annually.
Deciding how your child will be educated
You don't have to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home, and you don't have to follow the National Curriculum or a set timetable. If you want to follow the National Curriculum you can find information by
visiting the gov.uk website.
If you think you might want your child to go to school in future, it may be in their best interests for you to teach them the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and ICT.
If you want your child to sit an examination, there are a number of distance learning organisations that can provide all the work and preparation for the exam, but you will need to find an examination centre that will allow your child to sit an exam as an external candidate.
If you want your child to go to school
If you decide that your child should go to school, you need to let us know us that you no longer wish to educate your child at home and apply for a school place
We can give you information on which schools may have available places.