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Elective Home Education - Frequently asked questions

Some questions to consider before deciding to educate your child at home.

(Reference: Welsh Government Elective Home Education: Information for parents and carers 2017).

  • Is your child positive about the suggestion of being educated at home?
  • Are you convinced it is best for your child?
  • Do you have the time to devote to your child's education?
  • Do you have the ability to teach your child effectively?
  • Will you be able to educate your child to the required level if they want to take GCSEs?
  • Are you prepared to buy the necessary resources?
  • Do you have other support available?
  • Do you have the space to create a quiet working area?
  • Are there opportunities for physical exercise?
  • Will social experiences with other children be available?
  • Are you sure you are not choosing to educate at home as a way of getting out of quarrels with a Headteacher or school, or as an excuse for not sending your child to school on time or regularly?



At what age is schooling compulsory?

The law requires a child to be educated from the start of the term following their fifth birthday until the last Friday in June in the school year they reach 16 years old.

What is elective home education?

Elective home education - sometimes referred to as EHE - is a term used to describe when parents educate their children at home instead of sending them to school. In Wales, as with the rest of the UK, education is compulsory, but going to school is not.

Why would I choose to educate my child at home?

Your decision to educate your child at home may be influenced by a number of reasons including philosophical, spiritual or religious beliefs. You may also feel that you are better able to meet your child's individual needs and learning style than a school.

A school or local authority should never encourage you to remove your child from the school register to avoid your child from being excluded or you being prosecuted.

I'm interested in educating my child at home. What should I do?

If your child is in school, you should write to the Headteacher asking them to remove your child's name from the register as you plan to take responsibility for their education.

They will then inform the Local Authority Elective Home Education Team at:

School Support Unit
Civic Centre
Oystermouth Road

or via email:

If your child has never been to school, you do not need to give notice to the school, only the Elective Home Education Team.

What happens next?

When you begin to educate your child at home, the Local Authority will write to you and send you a guidance and procedure booklet which sets out their respective responsibilities, along with information for parents and their responsibilities.

A representative from The Elective Home Team will contact you within six weeks to find out how you are meeting your child's needs in providing an education. They will suggest an informal meeting at your home to discuss your plans. Many parents find this helpful, but you might prefer to meet somewhere else.

You will also be sent information about organisations that supports parents who home educate their children.

What will happen if it appears that I am not providing a suitable education?

Under section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, local authorities have a duty to take action if it appears that parents are not providing suitable education.

The local authority will offer to make a home visit with the aim of helping you overcome the difficulties within an agreed timescale.

If you fail to prove to the local authority that you are providing a suitable education, and they feel it necessary for your child to go to school, they may serve a school attendance order (SAO) on you.

For more information on SAOs, please see the All Wales Attendance Framework:

What should I do if my child has a statement of special educational needs (SEN)?

The same procedure applies if your child has a statement of SEN and goes to a mainstream school. However, if a parent wants to EHE a child that has a statement of special educational needs they need to write to the additional learning needs (ALN) service at:

Additional Learning Needs Unit
Education Directorate
Civic Centre
Oystermouth Road

or via email: to request their case be put to ALN panel.

The ALN panel will then determine whether the parents are able to provide an efficient education suitable to the child's age, ability and aptitude, and to any ALN the child may have, as set out in section 7 of the Education Act 1996.

In either case, the education you provide must meet the aims of the statement of SEN.

The Local Authority will continue to carry out a review each year for the length of time for which the statement applies.

You have a right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (SENTW).

Do I need to be a teacher to educate at home?

No, you don't need to be a teacher and you do not need any qualifications.

What do I need to teach?

Your responsibility as a parent is to make sure that what is taught is helping your child to learn.

The education you provide must be efficient and suitable. Under section 7 of the Education Act 1996 it is your duty as a parent to make sure your child receives efficient full-time education suitable for their age, ability and aptitude and for any special educational needs they may have.

This can be done either at school or otherwise. Education is considered efficient and suitable if it allows a child to achieve their potential and prepares them for adult life.

Do I have to follow the national curriculum?

No you don't, but you might find it helpful to use it as a framework to decide which subjects to include, and how to assess your child's achievement. You can get a copy of the national curriculum on the Learning Wales website:

Will I receive any funding or support?

If you choose to educate your child at home, you must be prepared to take on full financial responsibility, including paying the cost of any public examinations.

Although local authorities do not receive any funding for families who choose to educate their children at home, many local authorities like to get to know parents and, in some cases, will provide support.

Will my child be able to take examinations?

Yes. You can enter your child for examinations at your local external examination centre - often a further education college. However, you will have to pay the cost yourself. The Local Authority can tell you the location of your nearest examination centre.

Can my child return to school?

Yes, but you must contact the Local Authority Admissions at:

A&T Support
School Admissions
School Support Unit
Civic Centre
Oystermouth Road

or via email: A&

Will my child be able to benefit from services?

Yes. An EHE child is still able to access universal services such as Careers Wales, Team around the Family (TAF), InfoNation, Exchange counselling and Health Immunisation and Screening.

(The definition of a parent or carer for the purpose of this information includes any person who has parental responsibility under the Education Act 1996.)

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