Elective home education

We are committed to working with the community of electively home educating families so that all children have fulfilled lives and bright futures.


What is elective home education?

Parents or carers may choose to take responsibility for providing their child’s education instead of sending them to school. This is called elective home education (EHE) and we recognise that choosing to electively home educate is a parent’s right.

BCP Council and Elective home education

We have a duty to be satisfied that all children are receiving a suitable education and that includes those being electively home educated.

The Government’s Department for Education also  provides guidance for parents and local authorities in relation to EHE.

Is elective home education right for your child?

Under section 7 of the education act 1996 Every parent has the legal responsibility for ensuring that their child receives “an efficient, full-time education suitable:

  • (a) to their age, ability and aptitude, and
  • (b) to any special educational needs he/she may have,

either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

In making the decision whether or not to electively home educate, it may be helpful to consider these questions:

  • What does your child think about EHE? Do they want to leave school and be educated at home?
  • Can you provide an efficient, full-time education suitable for your child’s age, ability and aptitude?
  • Do you have the time and ability needed to educate your child at home?
  • Will you be able to engage your child in learning?
  • Can you take on the full financial responsibility?
  • Is your home suitable for teaching and learning? Is there enough space? Is it quiet enough?
  • What would happen if you are not available to provide suitable full-time education for a short or long period?
  • How will you choose what to teach your child and how to teach it?
  • What is the long-term goal of the education and will your child sit exams such as GCSEs?

If you would like to talk to our team about deciding to electively home educate your child, email:  ehe@bcpcouncil.gov.uk 

  • Please make sure to provide us with your contact number
  • When speaking to us we will help you to make the right decision for you and your child, considering your own unique circumstances

You can also contact one of the local home educating support groups and up to date contact details for these groups can be found through a simple internet search.

Once you have made the decision to electively home educate

If your child is already enrolled at a school, you must tell the headteacher in writing that you want to take them out of school to educate them at home. The school will inform us when you do this.

We then contact you to check some basic information, such as:

  • your child's name
  • their date of birth
  • your contact details

We will also ask you for a brief outline of your home education plan.

If we are satisfied, as far as is reasonable, that your child is getting a suitable education, then we will get in touch with you annually to ask if:

  • you are still home educating your child
  • we have the right contact details
  • for an update on your child's education

If you move home or if your child starts school please let us know as soon as possible.

Depending on your circumstances and your preferences, our annual contact could be through:

  • a home visit
  • a conversation on the phone or by video call
  • by email

Children with and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If your child has an EHCP the school will tell our special educational needs (SEN) and EHE teams when you withdraw your child from school.

  • If your child is attending a Special school, you must let the school know you want to home educate your child
  • The school will inform our SEN team and we will contact you to find out how your education plan meets your child’s needs
  • This EHCP will be reviewed annually
  • Your child should still attend school until you have spoken to the SEN team and they have agreed to your plan

Deciding to return to school based education

You can decide to stop home educating at any time and send your child to a school for their education. Please remember there may not be a place immediately available at your chosen school.

If you want your child to return to school or attend school for the first time, please  contact the School Admissions Team.

More points to consider about elective home education

  • When you choose to electively home educate your child you take on full responsibility for any associated costs e.g. employing a private tutor
  • If you decide to employ a tutor either as a paid service or through someone who volunteers to help out, make sure they are safe to work with children e.g. they have a full disclosure and barring service clearance (DBS)
  • Make sure your child has opportunities to make friends, socialise and look after their physical and mental well-being, joining activity clubs like sports groups or creative groups can help with this
  • If you want your child to sit an exam you have to arrange this yourself. You can contact local schools, private tuition centres and/or colleges to see if they can help with this
  • You can ask a school if your child can be taught there part-time but schools do not have to agree to this
  • If you want your child to have work experience, be aware that child employment regulations apply to children who are electively home educated
  • Apprenticeships are not available for compulsory school age children

Contact for further information

If you have any further questions, or would like to discuss any aspect of EHE please  contact us by email.

Page last updated: 15 January 2021
Help us improve poole.gov.uk
This is just for feedback on our website, not comments or questions about our services. Feedback on services will not be passed on. To tell us anything else, contact us.

Please don't include any personal or financial information.