Responsibility for a child's education rests with their parents. Education is compulsory in England, 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).

Further information:

The home education provided must be suitable to the child or 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 or young person from school for various reasons. If this is due to a difficulty in school or a disagreement with a teacher, it is always best to try to resolve the difficulty. Problems should be raised with the school, and if needed, with the school governors. The local authority may also be able to help resolve the difficulty.

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

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), 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 EHCP can be met outside a school environment.

If your child or young person has an EHCP 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 your child or young persons name from the admission register. However, it is good practice to hold an Annual Review meeting first to consider the change and how your child or young person's needs will be met.

If your child or young person is registered at a special school, the Council must give consent before your 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 EHCP, 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 EHCP. 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