Parents have the right to choose to educate their child at home when their child has SEND support needs. Most needs can be well managed at home by parents, by providing a flexible learning environment and adapting lessons to meet their child’s needs. It is recognised that parents can use different approaches to delivering education than those that are usually seen in school. Home education must be suitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude and SEND.
As part of the annual suitability conversations, EHE coordinators will ask parents whether their child has SEND needs, and how they are being met. If they identify that a parent may need some support or the parent asks for help the coordinator will provide advice, guidance or signposting to connect parents with services that may be able to support.
In some cases, the local authority may conclude that education taking place in the home cannot meet a child’s special educational needs and therefore may identify that a child is not receiving a suitable education. If this is the case the EHE team will discuss the reason for the judgement and work with parents to identify how they can develop the home learning to ensure that it becomes suitable or discuss options for returning a child to school. If a parent decides that they want to still educate at home and the education remains unsuitable then Cognus on behalf of the local authority must follow procedures in relation to issuing school attendance orders.
Identifying Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
If a parent is already educating a child at home and comes to believe that they have special educational needs, they can ask the local authority to carry out a statutory assessment or reassessment of needs. This request will be considered within the same statutory timescales and in the same way as for all other such requests and in line with the SEND code of practice.