Introduction

This information is to support parents or carers who choose to educate their children away from a school setting. We also explain here Camden Local Authority’s ways of making sure that arrangements meet legal requirements.

If you decide to home educate

Write to the head teacher if you plan to take your child out of school. The school will pass your child’s details to Camden or your local authority. You may also want to contact Camden by emailing: ehe@camden.gov.uk

Camden schools must complete an off roll notification to the Local Authority. This is to inform us that a child is being home taught. Off Roll Notification Form (PDF)

Camden Council will then write to you to confirm that we have been told you are home educating. Camden will ask each home educator to complete an outline of education plan for their child/children.  EHE Outline Plan Form

We will offer an appointment to meet with the Home Education Advisor.

Flexi schooling

Flexi-Schooling or “flexible school attendance” is an arrangement between the parent and the school. The child is registered at school and attends the school only part time. The rest of the time the child is home taught. This can be a long-term arrangement or a short-term measure for a particular reason.

“Flexi-schooling” is a legal option provided the Head Teacher at the school concerned agrees to the arrangement. The child must follow the National Curriculum whilst at school, but not whilst being taught at home. Please use the application form to submit a request to your child’s school.

Legal Requirements

Education for all children in the United Kingdom is compulsory, but attendance at a school is not. This is provided suitable arrangements are in place. Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states:

“it shall be the duty of the parent of every child of compulsory school age to cause him to receive efficient full time education suitable to his age, ability, and aptitude, [and to any special needs he may have] either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”

To be considered efficient, alternative or home education doesn't need to be the same as that received at school. It must though convince a reasonable person that the education is appropriate for the child.

When a child has special educational needs, there is a legal requirement to make particular arrangements. Guidance will be given in the child’s Education Health  and Care Plan.

Meeting home educators

Home visits

The Local Authority (LA) has a duty to ensure that all children receive education. To do this, we will offer a meeting with you. The meeting is usually at Pancras Square library, but we can meet elsewhere or at your home if you prefer. If you would like to, you can bring along a friend to the meeting.

You do not have to agree to the meeting. You can submit a report or evidence of the education provided for your child. Sometimes home educators choose not to meet with our Home Education Advisor. This is fine. We will contact you about every six months to check if we can be of any further help.

Home Educators have found the meeting with our Home Education Advisor to be very helpful. We can offer advice on teaching and learning, signpost you to resources to support your child’s education at home. We can put you in touch with other home education resources and groups. We can also explain how to access an exam centre for GCSE, apply for another school or further education course.

After the meeting / report received

We will contact you in a year’s time to arrange another meeting if the education is considered:

  • efficient
  • full time
  • suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of your child.

We take into account any special needs they may have.

Sometimes the education is considered to be broadly suitable but with concerns about certain aspects. If this is the case, arrangements will be made to visit you again in approximately three to six months. The nature of these concerns will be clearly explained to you and advice given on how to improve the education.

Very rarely the quality of the education is considered to be failing to meet legal requirements. Then a referral will be made to the Pupil Attendance Service. It will assist you with arrangements for your child to be enrolled at a school.

What should be taught

As a parent, you must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5. You don’t have to follow the national curriculum. However, you may consider making sure your child studies English and Mathematics.

Some families follow their own “home-made” curriculum using the internet and a range of resources. Experience has shown though that planning may have to become more structured as the children get older. This is as they may start more formal qualifications and learning. This should not lessen the learning experience and the involvement of the parent.

The curriculum should be broadly based and include many of the features of a good education. This will enable your child to return to full time education in school if you choose to do so.

It is with this in mind that we make the following recommendations:

A broad and balanced curriculum would probably cover much of the following:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Information Technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Personal Social and Health Education
  • Religious Education
  • and for secondary age pupils a modern foreign language.

The minimum of three hours teaching time a day, for 200 days per year. This is enough to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. The following features will promote effective learning and achievement:

  • regular planning of a variety of activities and tasks appropriate to the age, ability and aptitudes of the child
  • keeping records of what work is planned and has been covered, of educational visits, of activities done
  • teaching listening, helping, asking questions, and encouraging progress as well as setting work
  • regular marking correcting mistakes and giving feedback on how work can be improved. You should also celebrate achievements and keep a record of progress
  • a range of resources and equipment. Examples are: books, materials, paints, educational games and puzzles, TV, computer. Also things normally available in the home: kitchen utensils for cooking, tools for working with wood, gardening and so on.
  • suitable space to work
  • regular use of local facilities such as libraries, museums, galleries, sports facilities, parks.
  • opportunities for regular physical exercise
  • opportunities for the child to mix socially with other children of similar age.

A plus of home education is that your child can move through the curriculum at a pace to suit them. You can forge ahead on subjects where they have strengths. In areas they find more difficult you can build up their learning with extra materials.

To best support a child's learning, you should have a happy medium between too structured and totally hands off approaches. The first may put the young person off learning. The second, if too chaotic and not effective can lead to very little learning taking place.

There may be a few more mature students who can totally lead their own education. But most young people need their work to be structured and corrected regularly. Without this help they may lose focus.

Camden provides a termly newsletter for home educators with a range of curriculum resources and information. Copies are emailed to home educators when they join the mailing list.

Getting your child back into school

If you change your mind about educating your child at home, contact Camden Admissions Officers at any time. Our phone number is 020 7974 1625.

We will be happy to advise you on school place availability and any other questions you may have.

You will have to make in year applications directly to the school. If the school is in another borough, you must use their systems .  Please be aware that vacancy details can change quickly.