Parents or carers may decide to provide home-based education for their children instead of sending them to school. This is called elective home education (EHE).
Hampshire County Council recognises that home education is a key aspect of parental choice. EHE is equal, in law, to education provided in school.
The County Council, as the local authority, has a duty to be satisfied that all children are receiving suitable education.
The Inclusion Support Service takes the lead role for the County Council in working with home educators and the young people who are being electively home educated in Hampshire. We work with elective home education community groups and maintains links with some of the EHE support providers.
The law states that parents who choose to educate their children at home take on full responsibility, including financial responsibility.
Things to consider before starting EHE
It might be useful to consider the following questions as you decide whether elective home education is the right course for you and your child/children:
- Have you considered the nature of the education you will provide every day and how you will do it?
- What is the long-term goal of the education and will your child sit exams such as GCSEs?
- Can you provide efficient, full-time education suitable for your child’s age, ability and aptitude?
- Do you have the time and ability needed to educate your child at home?
- Can you take on the full financial responsibility including the cost of IT equipment and internet access, study materials, text books, exam fees and any professional tuition?
- Is your home suitable for teaching and learning? Is there enough space? Is it quiet enough?
- What does your child think about EHE?
- What would happen if you are not available to provide suitable full-time education for a short or long period?
- Is your child experiencing emotional difficulties with school attendance?
The Education Psychology website has guidance on Emotionally Based School Avoidance for parents and young people.
Emotionally Based School Avoidance - Information booklet for young people
Emotionally Based School Avoidance - Information for parents and carers
In addition to the questions, it may be useful to be aware of the following:
- If you change your mind and wish for your child/children to return to school, you can apply for any school of preference. However, please be aware that there may not be a place at the school(s) of your choice.
- If you want your child to have work experience, be aware that the employer must register the child’s work, and child employment regulations apply to children who are electively home educated.
- Apprenticeships are not available for compulsory school age children.