The law states that all children must receive a full time education between the ages of 5 and 16, and as a parent/carer you’re responsible for making sure that your child’s education is suitable to their age, ability, and aptitude, and any special needs they may have.
You can choose how your child receives their education. Usually parents enrol their child in a local school, but you can choose to educate your child at home.
What to tell us
If you’re removing a child from school to educate them at home, you must let the school know and they’ll pass this information on to us.
If your child has never attended school, you don’t need to tell us, but we do ask you to let us know so we’re aware you’re making arrangements for your child’s education.
If we find out that you have a child who is not a registered pupil in a school and we don’t know that you are home educating, or have any information about your educational provision, we could think that your child is ‘missing from education’. We have a legal duty to identify children who are missing from education so we’ll ask you to provide some information about your home education.
Once we’ve been told about your decision to educate at home, we’ll contact you to ask for some information about your provision. We like to arrange to visit you at home, but if you prefer we can meet somewhere else convenient to you, or you can send us some information by post or email.
We have no authority to monitor the quality of home education on a regular basis. However, we’ll contact you on an annual basis to offer support or an opportunity to meet to discuss the education being offered to your child.
If we think that you’re not providing a suitable education, we’ll write to you to set out our concerns. You’ll have the opportunity to give us more information about your provision. If we still have concerns we’ll work with you to try to resolve them. If we continue to believe that your child isn’t receiving an education, we’ll serve a School Attendance Order requiring you to send your child to a specific school. If you don’t, you could be prosecuted or given a fine.
Children with special educational needs & disabilities (SEND)
If your child has a special educational need or disability you can choose to home educate.
If the child is a registered pupil at a special school, you’ll need to let us know if you’d like to educate your child at home. Under the government’s Pupil Registration Regulations, your child’s name may not be removed from the school register without our consent.
If your child has a statement of special education needs, or an education, health and care (EHC) plan, we have a duty to review the statement/plan annually to check that the provision set out in it continues to be appropriate and your child’s needs continue to be met.
Local support for home educating families in Sheffield
If you’re educating your child at home, you can still access services including the School Nurse Service and Schools’ Library Service. The Children’s University organise activities in Sheffield for home educated children and there are a limited number of places for young people in Sheffield to attend vocational and other courses at Sheffield College before the usual college entry age at 16.