Home education

1. Overview

Elective Home Education is a term used by the Department for Education to describe parents' decisions to provide education for their children at home instead of school.

Home Education is different to home tuition provided by a local authority, or, education provided by a local authority other than at school.

The responsibility for a child's education rests with their parents. In England, whilst education is compulsory, school is not.

The Education Act 1996 states that 'parents have a duty to secure an efficient full time education for their child, suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs he/she may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.'

Children whose parents choose to educate them at home are not registered at;

  • mainstream schools
  • special schools
  • independent schools
  • academies
  • Pupil Referral Units
  • colleges
  • children's homes with education facilities or education facilities provided by independent fostering agencies.

Some parents may choose to engage private tutors or other adults to assist them in providing a suitable education. However, there is no requirement for them to do so. The responsibility is to ensure that tutors/teachers are suitably qualified and have the required Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check rests with parents.

Parents who choose to educate their children at home assume financial responsibilities for their children's education. This includes bearing the cost of any public examination and assessment of work by an accredited person. Read our guidance for parents (PDF 278Kb) for more information.