How we help Get support Choosing a school or college Selecting a school or college Choosing a school with an EHC plan Choosing a school or college with an EHC plan FAQs Our daughter has an education, health and care plan but we wish to educate her at home. She misses a lot of school because of health needs and we think that it would be better for her to be educated at home. Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 places a duty on every parent of a child of school age to ensure that they receive efficient full time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs (“SEN”) they may have. However, a parent can fulfil this duty either by sending their child to school or, ‘otherwise’ – which includes a parent educating their own child at home. Electing to educate a child at home is a significant commitment so it is important to fully explore your options before committing to it. Some parents choose to home educate because this is how they want their children to be educated. Others home educate because of unmet needs or a breakdown in placement. Where it is the latter, there are other options available and it is important to get advice. Local authorities (“LAs”) have the power to take legal action against parents who fail to ensure that their children are educated when, for example, children do not attend school regularly (or at all) and when parents make inadequate (or no) arrangements for their education at home. Although LAs have the power to provide support to parents who are home educating their children they cannot be compelled to arrange special educational provision if you choose to home educate. So if, for example, your daughter’s EHC plan specifies that she should have weekly speech and language therapy, although you can ask that the LA continue to arrange this part of the special educational provision, you cannot insist that they do so. Your decision in respect of home educating needs to be made with this in mind. The position is different for children who cannot attend school because of illness. In this situation, the LA must provide education. It is also possible for special educational provision to be provided ‘otherwise than in a setting’ in circumstances where it is deemed inappropriate for the provision to be delivered in a school (section 61 of the Children and Families Act 2014). This is often referred to as ‘education otherwise’. If this happened, the LA would be under a legal duty to make sure the provision specified in Section F of the EHC plan was provided even though your daughter would be at home. This would need specifying in the EHC plan and it would be important for you to obtain advice about this in advance as her EHC plan would need amending to specify this arrangement. However, if you still feel that home education (rather than education otherwise) is the right course, the first step, then, is to write to the school and explain that you intend to make arrangements for your daughter’s education at home. At the same time you should write to the LA and ask them to amend Section I of the EHC plan in order to record that she is being educated at home. If your daughter currently attends a special school, you will need to write to the LA (not the school) to get their agreement to take her off the school roll. If she is at any other type of school, you do not need the permission of either the school or the LA. See our section on elective home education and education otherwise for more information. If that doesn’t work If the LA refuse to amend the EHC plan, you can still educate your daughter at home electively. If your daughter attends a special school and the LA refuse to agree to take her off the school roll, you should book an appointment with us for advice. LAs have a duty to prosecute parents when they believe that they are failing to ensure that their children are receiving an appropriate education. It is unlikely to happen, but if you are threatened with prosecution you will need legal advice from a solicitor.