Go to navigation

Home education

Home education is when a child is educated at home rather than at school.

The Education Act 1996 states that education is compulsory and it's the duty of parents to secure full-time education for their child from the age of 5, but not necessarily by attendance at school.

If you’re thinking about teaching your child at home, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher, but you must be committed to giving them a full-time education that is suitable to their age and ability.

If you decide to home educate

If you decide to give your child a home education you must:

  • Notify the council in writing. You can email us at ca_inclusions_team@medway.gov.uk or write to Inclusion Team, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR
  • Notify the school headteacher in writing if you're taking your child out of school

If your child has an Education Healthcare Plan and goes to a special school, you must get our consent before removing them from the school roll. This is so we can make sure they continue to receive a suitable education.

When you start to home educate, a Home Education Adviser will make contact with you and arrange a visit to your home or another venue if you’d prefer. They will discuss the education you are providing and offer advice and guidance to the family.

The Home Education Adviser will normally contact you once a year to book a visit and ask for up-to-date information.

What is meant by suitable and full-time education

Education is considered suitable if it enables children to achieve their full potential and prepares them for adult life in their community.

There are many styles of education and you must choose the one that is best for your child. You don’t have to follow the National Curriculum and you may have particular philosophical, spiritual or religious influences you want to include.

You can teach your child yourself, in small groups with other home educators or employ the help of outside tutors. No matter who actually teaches your child, it is your responsibility as a parent to make sure the home education being provided is helping your child to learn.

Full-time education doesn’t have to follow normal school hours and terms, however the Department for Education (DfE) does recommend these weekly teaching hours:

  • 21 hours for 5 to 7 year olds
  • 23.5 hours for 8 to 11 year olds
  • 24 hours for 12 to 18 year olds

What it will cost

There are no funds available for parents who decide to home educate their child, but families can successfully home educate on any budget.

Costs may include:

  • Books
  • Materials
  • Resources
  • Educational trips
  • Physical Exercise
  • Examination fees
  • Tutors or Distance Learning Courses
  • Work experience
  • College placements for under 16’s

Further information

You can find more useful information about home education on these external websites: