Warwickshire County Council aims to offer advice and support to help you make an informed decision about educating your child at home. Warwickshire County Council has statutory responsibilities taken from Elective home education: guidelines for local authorities published by the Department for Education.
- Things to consider
- What will you teach?
- How to get started
- How does Warwickshire County Council get involved?
- Planning your child’s future
- Useful information
Things to consider
Educating your child at home is a big decision and will require a huge amount of energy and commitment resulting in a beneficial experience for both you and your child.
You won’t receive any financial help to home educate so it would be wise to consider how you can provide the following:
- teaching resources ie books
- examinations if you want your child to gain qualifications
- access to the internet and IT equipment
- educational trips/visits
- careers guidance
You should also consider how you would ensure your child is able to socialise with other children, how friendships will be encouraged, how you will support the development of their communication skills and learn from others and how you will encourage and develop physical activities such as sport.
Try to locate other home educators in your area and talk to them about friendship groups and support.
Talk to your child about home education – it is a big step for a child and the family.
What will you teach?
You will need to provide an efficient full–time education suitable to your child’s age, ability and aptitude. You don’t need to be a qualified teacher or teach in the same way as a school or teach National Curriculum subjects. However, whatever you decide to teach your child you should cater for your child’s physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development and equip them for their future.
Your plans should include subjects or themes and you should record progress and achievements. If you are keen that your child sits public examinations such as GCSE’s, then we would advise the relevant curriculum is taught.
For further information go to www.gov.uk/national-curriculum.
How to get started
You are required to write to the school stating your intention to home educate and the school will inform us at the local authority. The school will take your child off roll and assume no further responsibility for your child’s education.
Children with special educational needs
You have a right to educate your child at home if your child has special educational needs (SEN) whether or not they have a statement or education, health and care plan (EHCP).
You must seek prior consent from Warwickshire County Council to de-register your child from school if your child attends a special school. If your child has a statement or EHCP in place we have a legal duty to ensure the child’s needs are met.
Relationships with school
If you have had a disagreement with the school, try to resolve it as soon as you can. It would not be wise to take your child out of school and educate them at home without exploring a resolution to the disagreement.
Warwickshire County Council would advise you to speak with the headteacher or contact us to help you broker a discussion and agree the best way forward which is acceptable to you and in your child’s best interests.
If you are feeling pressured into starting home education, speak to us so we can provide you with support.
How does Warwickshire County Council get involved?
The school will inform us that you have decided to educate your child at home. You will be contacted by the Access to Education team.
Access to Education will offer an initial home visit (or at a place other than at home) and ask you to complete our family information form. The information you give us will inform us of how you intend to provide a suitable education and we will add your details to our home education register.
We will aim to visit you within 4 working weeks. During our visit we will discuss your plans and ways you can keep evidence that you are doing this. We will also put you in touch with helpful organisations that offer useful support for home educators.
We will come and see you again to see how you are progressing and with your agreement offer support if you need it – a written summary of our visit will also be provided.
Warwickshire County Council cannot insist on a home visit but where parents choose not to engage with us and there are concerns that the child may not be receiving a suitable education we may need to take further action.
Providing a suitable education
Warwickshire County Council has a duty to act if it appears that home educated children are not receiving a full time, efficient education that is suitable for the child’s age, ability and aptitude.
We will contact you to discuss your approach to education, and ask you to provide a range of examples which demonstrate a suitable education including:
- resources you are using
- examples of work and logs to record learning
- activities your child has engaged in
- time dedicated to educate your child
Parents are not obliged by law to respond but we may take matters further if we do not receive a response and have reasonable grounds for considering that a suitable education may not be being provided.
Usually any concerns can be addressed informally. We will write to you about the concern and give you the opportunity to adapt the education being provided. We will then review the work the child is doing – a home visit is the best way to undertake this.
If suitable education is still not being provided, you will be advised to register your child at a school and be informed of school places available in your area.
As a last resort we may consider issuing a School Attendance Order (SAO), which will name a school for your child to attend. Failure to do this could result in the matter being taken to court.
Warwickshire County Council is clear that the provision of suitable education does not amount in itself to a safeguarding concern.
Warwickshire County Council has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in its local communities and this includes children who are home educated (Section 175 Education Act 2002).
In some instances we may insist on seeing a child or young person where there are grounds for concern, eg if there was evidence that a child was at risk of harm or neglect. We strongly recommend that should you choose to employ others to educate your child that a Disclosing and Barring Service (DBS) check is carried out prior to employment.
Planning your child’s future
It is important that you encourage your child to explore their future options around career choices, and continuing their education and training, from around the age of 14.
If you want your child to take exams, such as GCSEs, your plan must include the year your child will sit exams, deadlines for applying, where they will take exams, and you will need to be familiar with the details of the correct syllabus to follow.
Some subjects may have coursework, which will need to be marked by someone the exam board has approved.
You will also need to contact an exam centre directly and register your child for the exams. You will be responsible for all the fees. Contact the exam boards below to find out more about where your nearest approved centre is.
If you wish your child to complete work experience you must ensure that you have appropriate insurance in place. We can advise you on this but cannot cover the costs. Employers are responsible for carrying out risk assessments in respect of young people on work experience placements as if they were members of their staff.
Post 16 (aged 16- 19)
It is now government policy that all young people must stay in some form of learning until their 18th birthday (this includes children who are educated at home). If your son or daughter would like some support with finding an apprenticeship, college place or a job please contact Prospects Independent Careers Service on 01926 461 600 or the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900. For further information on staying in learning go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/raisingtheparticipationage.
Should your circumstances change, and you need or want your child to return to school, you can apply for a school place by contacting our Admissions Team on 01926 414143 who will help you with the process.
Warwickshire Schools Health and Wellbeing Service
Is a service which is easy to access, friendly, confidential and free for all school aged children (5-19 years/25 years with special educational needs and disabilities) and their families.
The service provides information, advice and follow-up support on a wide range of health related topics such as physical health, emotional health and wellbeing, healthy lifestyles including healthy eating and physical activity.
If your child has additional needs, for example a learning need, disability or long term health condition (e.g. epilepsy, asthma and diabetes); we can help you get the right care and support you need.
We also conduct a health questionnaire for children aged 4-5 years which is completed by parents/carers. Health questionnaires for children and young people aged 10-11 years and 13– 14 years can be completed by the children themselves and informs the types of support they would like to receive from our service.
The service would like to encourage you and your child to take part in the questionnaires and will offer follow up support for anyone who asks for help or if an additional need is identified. All information will remain confidential within the School Health service.
If you need information and advice relating to the health of your school aged child or would like to complete a health questionnaire, please contact us on 03300 245 204 Option 1 Central, Option 2 South, Option 3 North or warwickshireSH&WBService@compass-uk.org
We will be happy to answer any questions.