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Elective Home Education Service

Hackney Learning Trust,
1 Reading Lane,
E8 1GQ
Telephone: 020 8820 7284


Who we are:

Making the decision to withdraw your child from school can be a difficult choice and needs careful consideration to ensure it is a fully informed choice.

The Elective Home Education Service helps provide information on:

  • services that may help with school or education related issues
  • what to consider when deciding to home educate a child or young person
  • what you need to know / what the law says

Hackney’s Elective Home Education Policy is currently under review. Updated information will be published shortly.  

When can you start to home educate?

You can teach your child at home once your child reaches compulsory school age. This is the term after their 5th birthday. Home education can begin at any time during a school year.

Before reaching a decision to home educate:

If you decide to teach your child at home you should consider the following:

  • The advantages or disadvantages of both options - home and mainstream education
  • The costs involved - you will be responsible for all costs relating to your child’s education
  • The social aspects of your child’s development - your child still needs to be involved in social activities, friendship groups and play opportunities with other children

Home education should not be seen as a solution to problems with children not wanting to attend school.  It is better to understand and try to resolve the reason why they do not want to go to a school than make a hasty decision.

School staff and Education Attendance Officers are able to offer help with these problems.

What if my child has special educational needs (SEND)?

Children with special educational needs may be educated at home whether or not they have an Education Health Care Plan / EHC Plan.

If your child has an EHC Plan and is attending a mainstream school but you feel the support you child needs, and that has been identified in their EHC plan, is not being provided and this is the reason you are considering removing them from the school you can ask for an “early review” meeting so that this can be looked at in more detail.  

At this meeting you can discuss any concerns with relevant professional from the school and other services and look at how to resolve them.

Children attending special schools:

If your child is attending a special school, then you must get permission before you take your child “off role” or out of the school.  Once you have permission the local authority will contact you to ask for some information. 

Children with SEN but without EHC Plans

If you are worried your child’s needs are not being met at mainstream school:

Sometimes you may be the first to realise that your child may have an additional or special educational need.

Children who need extra support at school can get it and schools already have funding for this. This is called “SEN Support”.

SEN support is paid for with funding that already exists within the schools delegated funding or budget share.

SEN Support is provided from an amount of funding that can extend to £ 6,000 but this is not necessarily the appropriate amount for every student who requires some additional support.

Most students will have their needs met without requiring the full funding of this level. Schools should follow the graduated response to support.

Find out more: SEN support in mainstream schools

This funding is intended to help schools take quick action to provide support for students that need extra help or support with more commonly occurring SEND needs that may affect children before the need for an EHC Plan.

What kind of support can the school give my child?

To find out what support a school could offer at SEN Support look at it’s SEN Information Report. All schools should be able to say how they support all children and some schools have enhanced support for a particular kind of SEND or need.

These reports should be easy to find on the schools own website.

Find out more about how schools support pupils with SEND and SEN Information Reports here:

If your child has a health condition or disability there is a service for schools for children with medical needs. Children who can access this service must still be "on roll" with a school and it does not apply to children who have been taken out of school to be home educated. 

Home Tuition Service (for children with health needs)

Is there anyone who can help?

There are impartial services that support parents who need help communicating with their child’s schools:

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service) is a local service that can help you think about, prepare for and attend school meetings with you. This service was previously called The Parent Partnership Service.

When might an Education, Health and Care needs assessment be necessary?

If SEN Support has been tried and / or you feel that your child or young person’s needs are significantly impacting on their learning you can request an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. Even if this does not lead to an EHC plan it could help identify what the underlying issues are and help everyone understand what needs to happen at school to make the experience better for your child or young person.

Find out more: 

There are services in Hackney to help parents and young people apply for EHC needs assessments.

If you are going to apply for an assessment it is helpful to have examples and / or supporting information that explains why you are concerned about your child or young person.

Some services have drop in sessions where you can discuss concerns with a professional without having to have a formal referral.

See here for more information:

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)

Children’s Occupational Therapy

Children's Integrated Speech and Language Therapy Service for Hackney and the City

Educational Psychology Service - Parents Advice Service  - free advice sessions with an educational psychologist. Booking required. Phone: 020 8820 7519

Further information 

You can also find out about parents information sessions from CAMHS Alliance and other services here: What’s On?

Answers to these frequently asked questions about Elective Home Education can be found in the form available in the download section of this page: 

  • Does my child have to go to school?
  • What are the responsibilities of the parents/carers?
  • What is the local authority’s duty under the 1996 Education Act?
  • What is compulsory school age?
  • What is efficient education?
  • Do I need to be a trained teacher to educate my child at home?
  • What happens if I do not inform the local authority of provision for education or the local authority is not satisfied with the provision?
  • What if my child has special educational needs? (see also above)
  • Does the local authority help financially in any way?

Record Last Updated on: 17/03/2020

How to Get Here

Buses: 30, 38, 48, 55, 106, 236, 242, 253, 276, 277, D6

Train: London Fields, Hackney Central, Hackney Downs

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Disclaimer-important information about the Hackney Local Offer

Hackney's Local Offer website is a free and impartial service provided by the London Borough of Hackney in partnership with the NHS, local education, health and community services. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that may be available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the London Borough of Hackney or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Hackney Local Offer.

Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.

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