What you need to do if a child is going to be home-educated
Once a child’s parents have confirmed to you in writing that they wish to educate their child at home you will then need to inform Devon County Council by completing the EHE safeguarding pupil form and returning it along with a copy of the letter or email from the child’s parent or the school exit interview form or both.
The EHE Safeguarding Pupil form should be completed by the designated safeguarding lead. If the child has additional needs, input from the SENDCO will also be required.
The purpose of the school exit interview is to ensure parents are clear about their responsibilities when home educating. It also provides the opportunity for schools and parents to discuss the reasons for home education and ensure it is the right decision for the child.
There is no legal requirement for parents to attend a meeting. However, if they decide not to, schools should send parents a copy of the school exit interview form and record this on the EHE safeguarding pupil form.
Depending on the age of the child, the designated safeguarding lead should speak to them alone about how they feel about being educated at home and whether they have any concerns. The student voice form can be used to record the child’s feelings.
Permission is only required from one parent; this would be the parent with whom the child resides. In cases where the decision is disputed by the other parent, this would need to be challenged in the family courts.
Parents can choose to complete a voluntary registration form which will assist the Elective Home Education team with their offer of support.
Special education needs and disabilities (SEND)
If the child has an Education, Health and Care Plan and is attending a mainstream school you will need to inform the 0-25 Team of the parents’ decision to home educate.
If the child is on the roll of a special school, parents are required to seek permission from Devon County Council before they can be removed from the school roll. Under these circumstances, you will need to inform the 0-25 Team and EHE Team but you cannot take the child off the roll.
A home visit will be conducted by the EHE SEND adviser to assess the suitability of the proposed home education provision. A report will then be submitted to the 0-25 Team to inform their decision as to whether or not the child can be taken off roll.
It is crucial that schools share their safeguarding concerns with the MASH (if the child is suffering or is likely to be suffering significant harm) before the child is removed from roll. A copy of the MASH contact form should be sent to the EHE Service.
In cases where the family then chooses not to engage with the EHE Team, we will also submit a MASH contact.
Home education of children who are subject to a multi-agency plan or early help
In cases where the lead professional is from within the school, you will need to consider who is best placed to take on this role. It will need to be someone who has regular contact with the family.
If there is a designated social worker you should inform them that the child is going to be home-educated.
The School Nursing Service (SNS) is able to provide support to home-educated children. If you consider the child would benefit from support from SNS, a referral should be made to SNS indicating they are going to be withdrawn to be home educated and outlining the support or need identified.
You may also consider informing the child’s GP of the decision to home educate but you will need permission from the parents before doing so.
Knowing that a child is being home educated and the reasons for this can help to ensure a GP provides appropriate support if required.
School attendance orders
If a child is on roll at a school due to a school attendance order then it is a legal requirement that the child remains on roll and is not home educated.