Home education

Home education and the law

Most of the law covering home education is contained in the Education Act 1996. The main sections are set out below, along with other important provisions and a note explaining each one.

Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 says:

“It shall be the duty of the parent of every child of compulsory school age to cause him receive efficient full-time education, suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he may have either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”

This means that while education is compulsory, schooling is not. Parents must make sure their children get a suitable education either at school or at home.

Section 13a of the Education Act 1996 says:

“(1) A local education authority shall ensure that their functions relating to the provision of education to which this section applies are (so far as they are capable of being so exercised) exercised by the authority with a view to promoting high standards.

(2) This section applies to education for –

(a) persons of compulsory school age (whether at school or otherwise); and

(b) persons of any age above or below that age who are registered as pupils at schools maintained by the authority.”

This means we are responsible for promoting high standards for all children of school age in Thurrock, including children educated at school and at home.

Section 436a of the Education Act 1996 says:

“A local education authority must make arrangements to enable them to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of children in their area who are of compulsory school age but-

(a) are not registered pupils at a school, and

(b) are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school”

This means we must try to identify children who are not receiving a suitable education. We ask you to let us know when you decide to home educate so that it does not appear that your child is not receiving education.

Section 437 of the 1996 Education Act says:

“If it appears to a local authority that a child of compulsory school age is not receiving suitable education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they shall serve notice in writing on the parent requiring him/her to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving such education.”

This means we must make sure that, where it appears that a child of school age is not receiving a suitable education, the child's parents show that the child is receiving a suitable education.

Section 175(1) of the Education Act 2002 says:

"A local education authority shall make arrangements for ensuring that the functions conferred upon them in their capacity as a local education authority are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children."

This means we have a duty to safeguard all children in Thurrock in all education matters for which we are responsible.

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 says:

“...the name of a child who has under arrangements made by a local education authority become a registered pupil at a special school shall not be removed from the admission register of that school without the consent of that authority, or if that authority refuse to give consent, without a direction of the Secretary of State.”

This means that if your child is in a special school you must seek permission from us to withdraw your child. You do not need our permission to withdraw your child from a school that is not a special school.