Educating your child at home

Your child must receive a full-time education from the age of five but you can choose to educate your child at home.

If your child is already in school and you decide you want to teach them at home, you'll need to write to the headteacher or chair of governors to let them know and ask them to take your child's name off the school's register. Your child will be recorded as absent without authorisation and you could be fined if you don't inform their school. The headteacher or chair of governors will then notify the Inclusion, Attendance and Welfare Service, who (acting on our behalf) will check:

  • this is the best option for you and your child
  • there aren't any issues or problems influencing your decision that could be resolved
  • you're able to provide an effective education considering your child's age, ability, aptitude and any special needs

Once the school has accepted your decision (they can refuse if you want to send your child to school some of the time) we'll contact you to make informal enquiries regarding your plans, provide advice and offer you access to a Home Education Advisor. We can't enforce an educating method and you don't have to follow the national curriculum but it can be a useful guide.

We have a legal and safeguarding responsibility to monitor all children who are missing from school so if you're educating your child at home and your child has never been registered at a Plymouth school we'd appreciate you letting us know. You aren't legally required to do so but we can put you in touch with our Home Education Advisor and provide useful advice and information. Email educationwelfare@plymouth.gov.uk or call 01752 307405 to let us know your plans.

Download Home education policy [PDF, 289KB]

Returning to school

Email schooladmissions@plymouth.gov.uk or call 01752 307469 if you want your child to return to school.