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You are here:home > Learning > Support for children in their learning > Teaching your child at home

Teaching your child at home

Parents choose to educate their children at home for a variety of reasons. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, as it means parents become responsible for all aspects of their child’s education.

Parents’ rights and responsibilities

Parents’ legal duty is set out in Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act as follows:

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him or her to receive efficient full time education suitable:

  • to his or her age, ability and aptitude

  • to any special educational needs he or she may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

The city council has a legal obligation to intervene where it appears a child is not receiving a suitable education.

Support network for Southampton families that home educate

The SEEDS group is an independent group of home educating families, which meets up to four times a week in the Southampton and surrounding areas. There are play (for the children) and chat (for the adults) meet-ups three times each week in local parks, and whole day trips or activities at least every term-time Friday. To find out more about how you can get involved with this group please visits the SEEDS link at the bottom of this page.

Teaching your child at home - frequently asked questions

1. I want to home educate my child – what do I need to do?

You will need to contact us using the details at the bottom of this page, and let us know that you want to educate your child at home. We will then send a letter to you making informal enquiries, and ask you to complete a form and return it to us.

If you agree to it, an Education Welfare Officer and the Elective Home Education Officer will visit you and prepare a report about your home education arrangements. 

When we have received the Education Welfare Officer’s report and any additional information from you, another visit will be arranged.  This will be for you to discuss the learning programme you intend to follow with your child.

If the learning programme is satisfactory your child will be registered as being educated at home.  If the learning programme is found to be unsatisfactory, you will be given three months to improve the programme.  If the learning programme is again found to be unsatisfactory, the LA will issue a school attendance order.

For more information on teaching your child at home, please see the websites listed below.

2. Is financial support available for home education?

Parents who choose home education are not entitled to any financial support for such things as books, materials, examination entries, work experience and further education courses taken during the period of statutory education.

3. Do I need to enrol my child at a school before I can register to teach them at home?

Parents may decide to home educate their child from birth, so the child does not need to be enrolled at school. 

However, if your child is already enrolled at a school, you must contact us to let us know that you are now teaching them from home.

4. Can I teach my child at home and enrol them in school later on?

Some parents introduce or re-introduce their children to school after a period of home education.  If this is a possibility it may be helpful to follow a curriculum broadly similar to the national curriculum followed in schools.

If you have been teaching your child at home and now wish to enrol them in school, please contact the School Admissions Team.

Contact information

  • 023 8083 3666
  • Children's Data Team, Tracking Officer, Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton. SO14 7LY