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Elective home education

Parents have a duty to ensure their child, receives a full time education. Most parents choose to send their child to school. You can choose to take full responsibility and home educate.


What the law says

The law states that as a parent you must ensure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5.

You must make sure your child gets education that is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any other special needs they have.

This can be done through regular attendance at school or through electing to educate them at home.

Our role

We respect your right to choose to educate your child at home, rather than have them attend a school.

We believe in working in partnership with you and offer advice and guidance through our 'Derbyshire approach to elective home education' which is attached to this page.

There are some circumstances when families may be considering elective home education due to other reasons. It may not be their preferred choice. These may be related to physical or mental health, special educational needs, bullying, attendance or the possibility of exclusion. We advise you seek support in looking at alternative approaches to help with the specific difficulty.

There are opportunities to learn outside at mills, former railways, parks, grounds around museums and other buildings in Derbyshire.

If you have any questions about elective home education please email: cs.ehe@derbyshire.gov.uk or tel: 01629 532843.

Department for Education (DfE) guidance for parents

Elective home education guidance for parents is published on GOV.UK. It's for parents who are educating their children at home or are considering doing so.

Home education can be very rewarding and also challenging. The guidance has a summary for parents to consider:

  • Why are you thinking of educating your child at home?
  • What does your child think about the idea?
  • Do you have the time, resources and ability to teach your child properly?
  • Is your home suitable for undertaking teaching and learning, in terms of noise, space and general environment?
  • What support do you as parents have from others? What would happen if you were unable, perhaps through illness, to provide teaching for your child for a period of time?
  • Can you provide social experiences, access to cultural and aesthetic experiences and physical exercise, to help your child develop?
  • Do you envisage educating your child at home for the whole of their time of compulsory school age, or only temporarily? What are your long term intentions for the education of your child?

This guidance came into effect from April 2019 and will next be reviewed by December 2020. We use this guidance to inform our approach. Our own guidance will be updated to reflect the DfE 'Elective home education: guidance for local authorities'.