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How do I Tell a School I Want to Home School my Child?

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 30 Dec 2020 | comments*Discuss
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Why do I Need to Contact the School?

If a child has not previously attended a school, parents do not need to contact any school regarding their home schooling choice. If, however, your child is either currently attending a school in England, Northern Ireland, or Wales, or is registered as about to attend, parents have to de-register their child by (usually) writing a letter to the school's head teacher. This letter is not to ask permission to home school - parents do not require permission to home educate a child. Instead, the purpose of the letter is to ask for your child to be taken off the school's register.

What do I Need to Write in the Letter?

There are samples of the kind of thing you might want to write in the deregistration letter on the website of home education support group 'Education Otherwise' that parents can use as a template for what they want to write in their own letters. Basically, remember that your letter to the school's headteacher should be simple and to the point; you do not need to supply complex reasonings or detailed explanation, in fact if you prefer not to, it is not even necessary to inform the school that your education plans for your child involve teaching him or her yourself at home.

The Education Act includes the detail that each child must receive an education, but that can be 'Education Otherwise', a descriptive term which includes home teaching. Some home schooling parents have written in their letters that they plan to provide an alternative teaching arrangement rather than go into detail. Note, however, that establishing a good relationship with the school, even on taking your child out of its teaching, can be helpful for the future - your child may wish to re-enrol at some point, or some school may even allow home schooling parents to borrow textbooks or teaching resources.

In Scotland, there are slightly different regulations (check the page on Scotland and the law on home education on this site) - but in basic terms, Scottish families will need to seek permission from their Local Education Authority (LEA) in most cases to deregister a child from school. The Schoolhouse Home Teaching Support Group, which has a detailed website, can provide more information on obtaining Scottish LEA consent to teach.

Note that parents of children with special educational needs attending a special school will also have to apply for consent to home school their child.

Practical Information About Delivering The Letter

Note that it is a good idea to either deliver the letter by hand (and ask for a receipt) or post it by recorded or registered delivery in order to have proof of its delivery. It is then the role of the headteacher and/or the school to tell the LEA about your registration and/or home schooling, it is not the obligation of the parent to do so.

What Happens Next?

Note that some school headteachers or class teachers will invite parents into the school to discuss their decision, or ease the transition by discussing the child's progress so far, notes, resources, etc. It is not compulsory for parents to attend these meetings, but again keeping the school 'on side' is usually a good idea.

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I am removing my children from school because the gov cant get its act together. Groups arent allowed but children in groups are. Im terrified of this new varient affecting my severely asthmatic daughter and also i have to care for my mother with cancer. Close the schools
Closetheschools4covi - 30-Dec-20 @ 11:15 PM
After 4 years of stress ,anxiety and sheer hell i have taken the decision along with my daughters,to take her out of high school! She has hated the past 4 years and its been a roller coaster day to day. Friendship groups falling in and out constantly, confidence issues and social media are a nightmare to cope with for her and me, too many sleepless nights to mention! She has about 4 -5 months to go to GCSE but enough is enough, so i rang the school and the receptionist told me to write to the Head and inform them of my decision, they ill then write back to advise against thenI say that's our decision and then the LEA will contact me! It was that simple (but she is now recently 16) I can't believe it was that easy... we both feel like a huge boulder has been lifted from us! If you look on your LEA website for home schooling there is alot of info for resources available.
wend - 24-Nov-20 @ 9:04 PM
Hi my child is 6 years old and finds it hard to learn at school she does not make friends and I've been told she is behind on her work . Since we have been in .lockdown I have been learning her at home and she has really came out of her shell And is enjoying learning at home ..can I teach my child at home
Nichola - 6-Oct-20 @ 1:39 AM
Hi, I want to take my 8 year old out of school to home school he’s on the ADHD pathway but not yet diagnosed and not in a special school. Can the school stop me from taking him out? I have a feeling they are going to try and talk me out of it.
Happylaura1 - 29-Sep-20 @ 5:29 PM
Hi my daughter is 4 was due to start reception but due to finding out she's having to be changed for p.e Infront of the boys I was not comfortable with that I did ask the school could I send her in her p.e kit or just have her change her shoes they said no and gave me no other way of working around this so I declined the school space, looking for other schools both close by have had the virus out break not very safe at all can I home school her and who do I contact about this due to her having a place I declined thanks
Sid - 17-Sep-20 @ 9:11 AM
My daughter is mixed race in a all white school with fewer Asians. She has constant anxiety when going to school. She has been bullied multi of times She is a hard worker but she is unable to communicate with the teachers,about how she is feeling because she has been called a drama queen in the past by a teacher when she was inprimary school.I want to home school my child has I know she will benefit better being taught at home by myself.
Honesty - 24-Aug-20 @ 8:42 AM
Hi my son has had nothing but a hard time since starting high school in Glasgow, he has been attacked ,several times our house has been attacked and serious threats made ,I have had police called out on several occasions ,but school and school police do nothing to stop this , I have put a few placing requests in different stools, how do j apply to home school please his anxiety and mine are through the roof and getting no help or advice from no one.
Miss k - 11-Jun-19 @ 3:44 AM
Hi my son has been bullied since he started high school in September head teacher has passed the book and problem on to two other teachers to deal with which I think it should be her on two occasions he was assaulted and police involved still the head teacher done nothing few other unprofessional things has been said to my son how do I start the process of starting this and what’s the fees in home schooling
Tanya Smith - 4-Jun-19 @ 7:15 PM
My son is suffering from bad anxiety redusing on a daily basis to. Go. To school so am really wanting to home school him anyone got. Any advice on. How. To go. About this where to get curriculam etc
Chloe - 27-Mar-19 @ 9:47 PM
Hi! My son has a ECP as he is autistic and he is attending school. However We strongly believe that his one-to-one is not dedicated only to help him and he is doing other teacher assistance jobs ( which is unacceptable as he has entitled to 50% of the time with a one to one). Our son reports that he is without any help and occasionally gets help. His progress is null and we found that he doesn’t get any habits of working there. We also found out that his one-to-one doesn’t give him adequate learning support and keeps doing negative reinforcement by putting crosses in his work. I teach him at home and with help he gets the answers right, but in school is getting all wrong, obviously because no one helps him to do his work when the government pays them to do so! So, enough is enough and I am getting him out and I will educate him home. My question is, can he still have support from Speech and Language Therapists from our borough? What do we need to do? We know that the Government also can give financial support to homeschooling and my son has Special needs support too, what do we need to do to have that financial support? We are already paying a Special needs teacher to help him and is quite expensive! Thanks
sareli - 19-Dec-18 @ 10:10 AM
I have special guardianship of.my grandson who is 15 and wants to leave school he doesn't want to be there so isn't concentrating learning nothing.I am.happy to home school do I have to notify social services?
hwl - 11-Dec-18 @ 4:26 PM
Hi my child is attending special needs school at the moment and we would like to home school. How can we or who do we need to contact the right department to inform of our decision and also can we add in our de-register letter. Thanks
Nicky - 24-May-18 @ 9:21 PM
I want to homeschool my daughter as she is getting bullied at school and is not learning anything. I would like advice how to go about this, thanks .
Helen-Christine - 20-Apr-18 @ 2:17 PM
I need help my daughter is in S3 and does not want to go school as we have moved to other side it’s not a catchment area I’m in Scotland edinburgh and my daughter does not like to go near by my house school what should I do I’m thinking to home school but how what to do where to contact wow to start my process please give me some contacts
Shahin - 17-Nov-17 @ 11:13 PM
@psycchorabbit689. If you have parental responsibility you can apply for a specific issue order. The courts will consider all sides of the case and make their decision based on the best interests of the child. If as you say, the mother is not well equipped to home educate your child then you may be successful.
AHomeEducation - 3-Jul-15 @ 12:53 PM
A most thought provoking explanation. I am a Parent of a minor child,In contested circumstances, occasioned in terms of the 1995 (Scotland ) Act I am awarded PRR. In the event, I now discover, that the mother has elected to home educate our child in England.Given my own knowledge, of the mothers previous educational background, and achievements, i have very serious doubts about the mothers abilityto satisfactorily educate our son. !) What if, anything can I do to correct this most unwelcome discovery.? 2) If recourse is available at LAW then, in what particular jurisdiction, should such matter be pursued? Viz SCOTLAND or ENGLAND
psycchorabbit689 - 30-Jun-15 @ 6:48 PM
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