Removing a Child from School
How do I remove my child from school and what about my Local Education Authority?
Once you have made the decision that home-education is the best way forward then you need to de-register your child from school. Simply write formally to your school and tell them that your child henceforth will be home-educated. You have the right to do this.
Reactions from schools can vary from advising you to think carefully, offering to give some further support or simply not even acknowledging your child’s departure. If you can keep a good relationship with your former school you are highly recommended to do so. They may allow your child to return for exams or offer some sort of support. In days to come you will be hugely appreciative of this so try not to slam the door shut. If they do offer to welcome your child back for exams, try to have this put in writing.
Your school should then notify your Local Education Authority (LEA) and the LEA will then contact you through their Elective Home Education Officer. Some home-educators hold an opinion that these people are not welcome but generally they are very supportive and can offer valuable assistance. You are unlikely to receive support from any other source and the guidance of these people can be invaluable from knowledge about exam centres to organising work experience.
Remember, in removing your child from school it is your obligation to provide an age appropriate, suitable education. Unfortunately, ‘suitable’ is rather vague and open to interpretation and encompasses everything from doing very little to appearing on the winning team on University Challenge. Be sensible, think of your child’s future and ask your Elective Home Education Officer to help you with exam centres, resources, discount admission to certain educational sites e.g. museums, sites of scientific interest or heritage sites. You will be asked to produce some sort of draft proposal of how you propose to meet your child’s needs. Try to avoid using a social media shared template as these can sometimes be inappropriate and, in any case, it will be valuable for you to undertake proper planning for your child yourself. Elective Home Education Officers will want to see that you are competent and willing to undertake home education seriously and effectively. This should be your own personal plan and it should show you have taken responsibility and are thinking about your child’s future.
Removing your child from school without exclusion, when this is in the best interests of the school rather than the best interests of the child, is known as ‘Off-rolling’ and is not seen as acceptable by Ofsted. The main distinction between this and deregistration is that off-rolling is instigated by the school, not the parent (although the parents will, ultimately, have to consent before schools can do this; this contrasts with exclusions where schools can remove students without parental consent, when they have a valid case to do so, such as in cases where students have consistently behaved very poorly). The ‘roll’ is a list of students who should be present in your school. If parents choose to home school, without pressure from a mainstream school, this is not off rolling, and formally known as Elective Home Education (EHE).