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Educating your child at home

We support the right of parents to educate at home and would like to work with parents, carers and the education community to develop effective and supportive partnerships.

If you choose to educate your child at home, you will be contacted by an Elective Home Education Officer who will arrange to speak with you about your home education to find out what your child is learning.

What to do if you wish to educate your child at home

Pre-school children

If your child is of pre-school age, you do not need to do anything – though it would help us if you would write to the Director of Education stating that you intend to educate your child at home from an intended date. Please include your child's name, date of birth, address and telephone number.

Children between five and 16

If you are withdrawing your child from the school that he or she currently attends and if he or she is of statutory school age (between five and 16), you must write to the headteacher of your child’s school. You must request that your child be removed from the school roll and state that you are fulfilling your legal duty to provide their education other than at school. The headteacher will inform the Council within two weeks of your request being received.

Once the Council receives notification from the school, or from you if your child is not on the school roll, you will be sent a questionnaire asking for some information about the education you are providing or planning to provide for your child. It would help the Elective Home education Officer if you returned the questionnaire, but you are under no obligation to do so.

What happens next

We will contact you to agree a mutually convenient time for an initial discussion about how things are going and your plans. If you have any questions or would like any advice, this would be good time to talk these through. Further to this initial discussion, you may wish to meet the Elective Home Education Officer, but such meetings are not obligatory

Entering your child for examinations

To find out about Lewisham College's GCSE programme for electively home-educated young people, please contact:

Do children have to go to school?

Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that it is the duty of parents to secure an appropriate education for their children.

For most children in the borough, this means that they will attend a school. For a wide variety of reasons, a small minority of parents and carers decide to provide education for their children themselves.

How many people are educating their own children at home in the borough?

There are currently about 100 children out of a total school population of about 36,000 who are being educated by their parents at home.

Some parents provide all of the education themselves and some provide it in cooperation with other parents and neighbours or tutors. Some use materials and ideas from outside agencies such as Education Otherwise and some use correspondence courses.



Elective Home Education

Second Floor, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, London, SE6 4RU