In England, the law states that the responsibility for a child's education while they are of compulsory school age (currently 5-16 years) rests with their parents.
While most children attend the local state school, a significant number will be educated outside the state system in private schools or at home.
If you are considering Elective Home Education for your child, and would like to talk to someone about this, please call 01452 426015 to speak to one of our Parent Advisers. We have prepared some frequently asked questions and answers which you may find of use.
In April 2019 the Department for Education produced revised guidance for local authorities and parents. Gloucestershire's response to the new guidance can be viewed at the link below.
Who do I notify?
If your child is about to reach compulsory school age and has never been registered at a state school, or if you move to an area served by another Local Authority (LA), you don't have to notify us that you intend to home educate, although you may do so if you wish.
If your child is currently attending school, you must write to the Head Teacher of that school advising them that your child is being home educated and that you want their name removed from the register.
The name of your child will be removed from the register and we will be informed by the school. If you change your mind after that time you will have to re-apply for a school place and places at the same school may not always be available.
Parents of children who attend a Special School, or are subject to an attendance order, require our permission to educate them at home. As this is slightly different, please contact us for further help and advice.
Parents who choose to educate their children at home must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility, including bearing the cost of any public examinations.
If you are considering educating your child at home and would like to discuss this with one of Gloucestershire County Council’s Parent Advisors please ring 01452 426015
Help and Support
Liaising with the Education Inclusion Service
While we have no statutory duty to monitor the quality of provision, we do have to be satisfied that parents are offering suitable education, so from time to time you will be contacted by us for further information about the education you are providing.
More detailed information can be found in the DfE elective home education guidance for parents.
Gloucestershire County Council’s policy on Elective Home Education (which can be viewed below) has been updated in response to the publication of the revised guidance produced by the DfE in April 2019
Gloucestershire County Council’s Education Department has experienced advisers who can give information and support to parents and professionals who want to know more about elective home education. Please ring 01452 426015 to speak to a parent adviser.
If you want to let us know you are home educating so we can support you please send us a parent plan form. We will keep your contact details on a database and contact you from time to time.
Youth Support Team
The Youth Support Team are able to provide advice and guidance to all young people on a range of important issues that might effect them, including advice and guidance about options beyond Year 11. Please find out more details by accessing the information about the services they provide on their website.
Gloucestershire’s Library Services for Education
For information about the support Gloucestershire’s library service can provide to home educating families please use the link to the Elective Home Education section on their website: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/library-services-for-education/home-education
School Nursing Service
School Nurses are qualified NHS nurses who work with children, young people and families who have concerns, issues and worries about their health and mental wellbeing. This may be in relation to healthy relationships including sexual health, staying safe, gender identity, it may be in relation to mental health including self-harm, managing stress and anxiety or it may be in relation to healthy lifestyles including healthy eating, activity, smoking, drugs and alcohol. School Nurses can see young people (aged 11-19) in schools, at home or in a mutually agreeable community setting either with parents or without. All information shared is confidential unless there are concerns about safety. Young People can also text a School Nurse anonymously for confidential help and advice on 07507 333 351 Monday to Friday 9-4.30. School Nurses also work with parents and will be holding SN Hubs (parent groups) weekly across the county covering common concerns such as issues with behaviour, sleep, healthy eating, anxiety. More details about school nurses, how to contact them and hint and tips about you and your family’s health can be found on the webpage along with the self-referral form.
Children who are registered with a school are more readily identified as being due for immunisations, if that is something the child’s parents would like to do. If your child is home educated you may not be automatically contacted by the NHS with information about immunisations and when these are typically due. Information about how to arrange for immunisations, and details of when these are due, is available here: https://ghc.nhs.uk/our-teams-and-services/immunisation/
In Gloucestershire there is currently a scheme for visual screening throughout primary schools for children in reception. Home educated Children are entitled, like all under 16s, for a free eye test at any opticians. For more information about how to access this please click the here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eye-tests-in-children/
Unregistered schools, out of school settings and the use of private tutors
We know that parents of children who are educated at home sometimes supplement the education at home with attendance at groups and other learning settings (outside of a registered school). This can provide many valuable opportunities for children, however, these organisations are not regulated in the way a registered school would be. The Department of Education has produced some guidance for parents, to help them think about some of the questions they would want to ask the person who runs the setting, in order to reassure themselves that the setting is safe.
Sometimes settings are operating in such a way as to bring them within the scope for needing to register as a school. It is illegal to operate as a school without being registered. More information about unregistered schools is available here, along with details of what to do if it appears that an organisation is operating as a school without the required registration. https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/education-and-learning/unregistered-schools/
Where parents engage private tutors they usually wish to undertake the necessary checks that the person is suitable to work with children. The Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Executive (GSCE) provides a leaflet for parents to assist them in this task and is available on the GSCE website: https://www.gscb.org.uk/media/2091315/ehe-child-protection-leaflet-2019.pdf
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Helpline: 0845 478 6345