How do we 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 and we will ask you to complete our Family Information Form.
The information you provide will inform us of how you intend to provide a suitable education and we will add your details to our home education register.
Access to Education may make further contact with you, dependent on individual circumstances and the information you provide. You may be offered a home visit (or virtual visit) where we will discuss the plans and ways you can keep evidence that you are doing this. We can also put you in touch with helpful organisations that offer useful support for home educators.
To meet our statutory duty, Access to Education aim to contact our home educating families on an annual basis.
- As part of the process, we encourage our families to complete the Annual Contact Form
Again, you may be offered a home visit (or virtual visit) to see how you are progressing and with your agreement offer support if you need it - a written summary of our visit can also be provided.
We cannot insist on a 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
We have 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.
To us it is clear that the provision of suitable education does not amount in itself to a safeguarding concern.
We have 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 (for example: 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.