Home education for a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan

You can home educate your child if they have special educational needs (SEN), an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or no identified special needs. If your child attends a special school, you must get permission from the local authority before you can remove them from the school. If the LA refuses consent, you can ask the Secretary of State to settle the dispute.

Hampshire SEN services will contact you about arranging an Annual Review within one school term of your child being removed from school for EHE. Annual Reviews will continue for children who are electively home educated whilst the EHCP is maintained. If you later decide your child should return to school this should be raised via an Annual Review process and you can contact the SEN team to enquire about this process.

‘When a child has an EHC plan, it is the local authority's duty to ensure that the educational provision specified in the plan is made available to the child but only if the child’s parents have not arranged for the child to receive a suitable education in some other way. Therefore, if the home education is suitable, the local authority has no duty to arrange any special educational provision for the child; the plan should simply set out the type of special educational provision that the authority thinks the child requires but it should state in a suitable place that parents have made their own arrangements under s.7 of the Education Act 1996.’ [Referring to DfE guide for LA s8.4]

The DfE Guidance states ‘As with other children educated at home, local authorities do not have a right of entry to the family home to check that the provision being made by the parents for a child with special educational needs is appropriate and may only enter the home at the invitation of the parents. However, parents should be encouraged to see a process of engagement with the child as part of the authority’s overall approach to home education of pupils with SEN, including the provision of appropriate support, rather than an attempt to undermine the parents’ right to home educate. Local authorities should not assume that because the provision being made by parents is different from that which was being made or would have been made in school, the provision is necessarily unsuitable. [DfE guidance for LA s.8.7]

This information is explained in more detail in the Department for Education Guidance for Local Authorities and the SEN Code of Practice.