As a parent you may decide to exercise your right to home educate your child from a very early age and so the child may not have been previously enrolled at school. You may also elect to home educate at any other stage up to the end of compulsory school age.
You are not required to register or seek approval from the local authority to educate your children at home. If you choose to educate your children at home you must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility, including bearing the cost of any public examinations. However, local authorities are encouraged to provide support where resources permit. You must also ensure that your children receive suitable full-time education for as long as they are being educated at home. You are required to provide an efficient, full-time education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child. There is currently no legal definition of “full-time”. Children normally attend school for between 22 and 25 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but this measurement of “contact time” is not relevant to elective home education where there is often almost continuous one-to-one contact and education may take place outside normal “school hours”. The type of educational activity can be varied and flexible.
If we consider that a suitable education is not being provided, then a full written report of the findings will be made and copied to the parents promptly, specifying the grounds for concern and any reasons for concluding that provision is unsuitable. If we are not satisfied that a suitable education is being provided, and the parents, having been given a reasonable opportunity to address the identified concerns and report back, have not done so, we will consider sending a formal notice to the parents under section 437 before moving on, if needed, to the issuing of a school attendance order (section 437(1)).