The responsibility for a child's education rests with their parents. In England, education is compulsory, but school is not. Parents have the legal right to educate their child or young person at home. This includes children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This is called Elective Home Education (EHE).

Please visit the Elective Home Education Hub our one-stop shop for Southend Elective Home Education, where you can find lots more information.

You can also view the Elective Home Education (EHE) policy and procedures (March 2020) and read the Government guidance for Elective Home Education.

The home education provided must be suitable to the child/young person's:

  • age
  • ability
  • aptitude
  • special educational needs (SEN)

Efficient has been described in case law as an 'education that achieves that which it sets out to achieve'.

A 'suitable' education is one that equips a child for life within their existing community and allows them to follow different choices at a later stage if they wish to.

Parents decide to withdraw their child/young person from school for a variety of reasons. If this is because of a difficulty in school or a disagreement with a teacher, it is always best to attempt to resolve the difficulty. Problems in school should be taken up with the school and if necessary the school governors. The local authority may also be able to assist in resolving the difficulty.

Deciding to educate your child/young person at home is a big step and is a great commitment of your time and energy. Parents who choose to educate their child/young person at home will also need to be take on full financial responsibility. This would include paying the costs of any public examinations.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, you can discuss the matter with the Southend-on-Sea City Council Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Team. They can work with you so that the needs and provisions detailed in the EHC Plan can be met outside a school environment.

If your child or young person has an EHC Plan and is a registered pupil at a school you must write to the school to tell them that you intend to provide home education outside of school. The school can then remove the pupil's name from the admission register. However, it is good practice to hold an Annual Review meeting first to consider the change in circumstances and how the child/young person's needs will be met.

If the pupil is registered at a special school, the Council must give consent before the child or young person's name can be removed. Where the Council and parents agree that home education is the right provision for a child or young person with an EHC Plan, the plan will be amended to reflect this.

The Council must continue to check that the provision is appropriate. This is usually through an annual review of the EHC plan. Reviews will focus on whether the provision is still appropriate and that the child or young person's SEN continue to be met.

If the Council has evidence that your child or young person is not receiving a suitable education and there are no extenuating circumstances, the Council has a duty to consider legal action to ensure your child or young person is properly educated.

Please also see our information about flexi-schooling.

Contact details for EHE enquiries

Telephone: 01702 215073