Our home education process

Things to consider

As a parent, you must ensure your child receives a full-time education from the age of five. You need to consider how you will meet your child’s educational needs.

You also need to be prepared to offer your child a suitable education from as soon as they are home educated. Your child will require a full educational package, therefore consider how you will be able to commit to this.

Following the national curriculum would be helpful if your child wishes to attend school, college, university or training at a later stage. Your child’s education needs to be suitable for their age, aptitude and ability, accounting for any special educational needs.

Social development needs to be included within your child’s educational offer.

Elective Home Education (EHE) means that you are accepting full responsibility for education, including financial responsibility. The Local Authority are unable to provide tutors, educational materials or support for examinations.

Consideration should be given to other options that would be more suitable for your child if you are considering EHE because you are dissatisfied with their current school.

You can research EHE through:

My child is currently enrolled in a Southampton school

A mother helping her son studyIf your child is a registered pupil at a school you must write a letter to the Head Teacher - a telephone call is not sufficient. Explain that you intend to home educate your child, giving the date that your child will stop attending the school.

If you have decided to home educate your child because you are dissatisfied with your child's current education provision, we recommend that you contact the Head Teacher in the first instance to discuss your concerns. You may also contact one of our Home Education Family Support Workers, to discuss ways to resolve your concerns, before you reach a final decision and withdraw your child from school.

Will the local authority want to meet with me?

Following the 2019 DfE guidance document, which supports contact with home educated families, Southampton City Council aims to build good working relationships and transparent communication with home educators. Our Home Education Family Support Workers meet with many home educating families on a regular basis and are therefore well placed to share ideas, resources, opportunities and promote good practice. The role of Home Education Family Support Workers is to support families where necessary, offer advice to enable home educators to provide the best possible education for their child and to satisfy the local authority’s obligation to establish whether a child is in receipt of suitable education.

What happens next?

If we have not received a completed Overview of Home Education from you which, if your child has been withdrawn from a school would have been issued by them, we will send you a further copy asking you to complete and return it to us. This document is important because it provides us with information on your provision.

More detailed information about our process can be found in our guidance document for parents and policy which can both be found in the downloads section.

Should you wish to contact us, please see the contact section of the Elective Home Education page.

I feel pressurised to home educate my child

The Department for Education clearly states that schools should not seek to persuade parents to home educate as a means to avoid an exclusion or to address poor attendance. OFSTED refers to this practice as ‘off rolling’.

If you feel pressurised to home educate your child, advice can be sought from Inclusion Services by visiting the contact section of the Elective Home Education page.

Changes of address

To notify us of a change of address, please contact us on:

Email: home.education@southampton.gov.uk