Home schooling - Elective Home Education (EHE)

Page updated on: 08/09/2023

Home education is a term used to describe when parents and carers educate their children at home instead of sending them to school. Home educating your child is a decision which should not be taken lightly. It will mean a major commitment of your time, energy and money.

If you’re considering educating your child at home, you will need to provide a suitable education. The style of learning should be:

  • Broad: It should introduce children to a wide range of knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Balanced: Each part allotted sufficient time to make its special contribution but not such that it pushes out other essential parts of the learning.
  • Relevant: Topics being used in such a way as to bring out their application to the child’s own experience, to adult life, and to give due emphasis to practical aspects of learning.
  • Differentiated: Your method of educating your child matching the child’s abilities and aptitude, and sufficiently challenging so that your child can show that progress is being made

You have a right to educate your child at home providing you fulfil the requirements of Section 7 of the Education Act, 1996 which places a duty on the parents of every child of compulsory school age to receive efficient full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs that they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

The phrase "full time" can be interpreted differently, since a child's education at home is often formulated on an individual basis. You should consider the need for any young person to have formal qualifications for any future role in life.

If you choose to home educate your children you must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility, including bearing the costs of any public examination. It is especially important that you consider the nature of the education you intend to provide for your child before you begin to educate them at home. For example, you should think about the areas of learning and experience you will provide and whether they will allow your child to reach their potential, now and in the future, including whether your child wishes to sit public examinations such as GCSEs.

A good curriculum includes personal and social education, health education, outdoor and environmental education, citizenship, careers, food technology and information and communication technology (ICT).

Opportunities to mix and relate with other children and adults are also important to a child's personal and social development.

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 are 16.

We respect your right to educate your children at home and aim to provide information and guidance for parents who are considering or have decided to Electively home educate (EHE) their children. 

You should inform the headteacher of the school where your child is registered, the headteacher should then inform us.

The child's full name and address will be passed from the school to the Elective Home Education (EHE) advisor within ten school days from the date on which the pupil's name was removed from the school register. The EHE advisor will send an acknowledgement letter to the parent, confirming that the child has been taken off the school roll under the Education (Pupil Registration) (Wales) Regulations 2010, and they will arrange a visit to discuss the EHE provision.  

If your child has never attended school, it is strongly recommended that you notify us as you could get access to support, call us on 01554 742197 or 01554 742373.

If you do not send your child to school and do not inform the school, then you may be liable to prosecution under section 444 (1) (1A) of the Education Act 1996 and the child may also be considered as a Child Missing from Education (CME).

We have an Elective Home Education (EHE) Advisor who will offer to visit you so that they can discuss how you will educate your child and offer advice and information.

The initial meeting with the EHE advisor should be held within four school weeks of you deciding to provide home education. We will meet with you to discuss our role in monitoring your child’s education. Ideally your child should attend this meeting so that we can get a better understanding of their wishes and opinions on what is important to them.

We want to work with all parents that electively home educate their children and while we are not legally obliged to provide any resources for children and young people educated at home. We aim to:

  • provide advice and support on curriculum matters
  • provide information on organisations which support home educators
  • provide information on how to access Careers Wales
  • provide information on how to access support services

Every effort will be made to resolve issues about provision by a process of ongoing dialogue. If dialogue fails, it may be necessary for us to serve a notice on the parents. Under Section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, we can intervene if we have good reason to believe that parents are not providing a suitable education by serving a School Attendance Order.

Initially we will serve a notice and this will allow a period of at least 15 days for the parents to provide us with further information about the suitability of the education. The parent may choose to do this by meeting with the EHE advisor either at home or a mutually agreed venue.

If your child has special educational needs (SEN) you have the same right to educate them at home, but you must make suitable provision for their special needs.

Where children are statemented, this provision may be different from that outlined in the statement which would apply in a school setting.

If the parents' arrangements are suitable, then we are relieved of our duty to arrange the provision in the statement. If however, the parents' arrangements fall short of meeting the child's needs and are not making suitable arrangements, we have a duty to arrange the provision in the statement. The Additional Learning Needs Manager will be consulted on these issues.

Where a child has a statement of SEN and is educated at home, the statement does not automatically cease. While the statement is maintained it must be reviewed annually.

In the case of home-educated children Section 324 (4A) of the Education Act 1996 does not require the name of a school to be provided in Part 4 of the Statement. There will be a discussion between the authority and the parents and, rather than the name of the school, Part 4 of the statement should mention the type of school we consider appropriate but should go on to say that: 'parents have made their own arrangements under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996'

As a Local Education Authority (LEA) we have a duty under section 175 (1) of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

This section states: 'A local education authority shall make arrangements for ensuring that the functions conferred upon them in their capacity as a local education authority are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.'

The Children Act 2004 ('the 2004 Act') provides the legislative framework for developing children's services. Section 10 of the 2004 Act sets out a statutory framework for cooperation arrangements to be made by local authorities with a view to improving the well-being of children in their area.

A parent's decision to home educate is not in itself grounds for concern about the welfare of children. However, as with school-educated children, child welfare issues may arise in relation to home-educated children. If any safeguarding issues come to light in the course of engagement with children and families, these concerns will be immediately notified and acted upon appropriately.

If at any time during your child’s education you’d like them to attend school, you can apply online for a school place. If you’d like advice or support you can contact the Education Welfare Service, e-mail: educationwelfare@carmarthenshire.gov.uk  or phone 01554 742369.

Apply for a school place

To help us maintain accurate records we would be grateful if you would advise the EHE advisor of any change of address in writing or by phone, please call us on 01554 742197 or 01554 742373.

The Welsh Government have allocated some grant funding to local authorities to use on a defined range of areas to support children and young people who are electively home educated. This is in recognition of the additional costs a home educating family will incur when providing resources and opportunities that are typically available for free in school.

The areas identified include:

  • GCSEs or alternative qualifications
  • Welsh language courses for the family;
  • learning resources such as textbooks and materials;
  • educational trips;
  • learning software; and
  • facilities to use for group activities.

Within Carmarthenshire, part of this funding has been used to fund a number of initiatives including:

  • Botanical Gardens: electively home educated family passes and access to science workshops
  • Mindfulness programmes for young people
  • Welsh language lessons for young people

For further information please e-mail EHEenquiries@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or contact one of our elective home education team members:

  • Becky Thomas: 07976466399
  • Ceri Bevan: 07813393783
  • Su Crowther: 07813393782

Apply for grant funding

Education & Schools