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Elective Home Education - Frequently Asked Questions | Sandwell Council

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Elective Home Education - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Elective Home Education?
A: It is when a parent decides to educate their child at home. It isn’t home tuition due to illness or disability, nor home-schooling where the work was provided by the school during lockdown. Elective Home Education Policy

Q: Don’t children have to go to school?
A: In England, education is compulsory, but school is not.  Therefore, parents have the right to educate their children at home instead of sending them to school.

Q: Who is classed as a parent?
A: All natural parents, whether married or not; any person who has parental responsibility for a child; any person although not a natural parent has care of a child is considered a parent in education lawElective Home Education Policy

Q: What does the law say about Elective Home Education?
A: This is laid out in the EHE Guidance for Parents and Sandwell EHE policy.

Q: What is an ‘efficient, ‘full-time’ and ‘suitable’ education?
A: The Education Act 1996 states that educational provision is ‘that achieves that which it sets out to achieve’. It must be suitable to the age, ability and aptitudes of the child, and any special educational needs.

Q: What should I do if my child has SEND needs?
A: Information about special educational needs and disabilities is available in the SEN Code of Practice.

Q: What if my child doesn’t get a place at the school of my choice and I want to appeal?
A: You can find out more about making an appeal from Admissions.

Q: How do I home educate a child who is in Early Years?
A: If home educating children aged 5 to 7 years, you will find this information useful.

Q: How do I home educate a child who has never been to school?
A: You don’t have to follow the National Curriculum as children in state schools do. However, if your child is likely to attend a school setting in the future it would be useful to know the content.  Helpful resources are available.

Q: How much does home education cost?
A: There is no financial assistance from the local authority and the average cost of school uniform, bus fares and general expenses is £1,000 per year. There is no such outlay for home educators, but they need to pay for learning materials. It also depends on how resourceful families can be. Homeschool of 1

Q: What if I want my child to take GCSEs?
A: The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published a list of centres that are willing to support private candidates; including children who are home educated. 

Q: Can I get help any financial help with exams?
A: The Department for Education is providing a private candidate support grant to exam centres of £200 per private candidate entry.  This link will help with finding a centre and make arrangements before the deadline of 26th April. Contact the Joint Council for Qualifications.

Q: What should I do if I want to use a tutor?
A: It is your responsibility to ensure your child is receiving a suitable education, but you may not be person to deliver it. You can employ a tutor or send your child to a tuition centre and pay for the cost of the service. Welcome Pack - PART 4

Q: Can I get guidance and advice before making the decision to home educate?
A: Yes, you can contact the Elective Home Education Advisory

Q: My child is having lots of problems at school, what should I do?
A: It is important that you talk about your concerns with school staff first. if necessary you can follow the school’s complaints procedure which is on their website. [How to raise concerns with your child’s school]

Q: My child was bullied at school and is now home educated, what can I do?
A: Information and support about the impact of bullying and support can be found at Family Lives. There is a confidential helpline: 0808 800 2222. 

Q: My child has mental health needs, where can I get support?
Young Minds

Q: How can my child make friends?
A: Home educating groups that socialise together can be found online.  Your child joining a class relating their interest also helps.

Q: How can I my family get practical support when I’m home educating?
A: For general information and support go to the Sandwell Family Information Service Hub.

Q: What if I feel the school is pressuring me into home education?
A: This should not be the case under any circumstances.  Schools and other organisations must not coerce parents into deregistering their child to home educate them.

Q: Home educating my child isn’t working for my family, what shall I do?
A: Sometimes Elective Home Education can seem like an easy solution to a problem, but it is a huge responsibility. EHE doesn’t suit all families and can be quite isolating. Contact the EHE Service, consider the pros and cons and, if appropriate, submit a school application. School Application Form