Do I Qualify For Help?
Parents who choose to educate their children at home must be prepared to assume full financial responsibility, including bearing the cost of any public examinations. The home education guidance notes that some local authorities may provide financial or other assistance to home educating families, but this is discretionary. Some authorities also may also operate support groups or forums for home-educating families but, again, these are discretionary.
The home education guidance for local authorities recommends that “all local authorities should adopt a consistent, reasonable and flexible approach” with respect to the level and type of support they offer, “particularly where there are minimal resource implications”. At a minimum, the guidance states, authorities should provide written information on home education that sets out the legal position.31
The Gov.uk website allows users to search for information from their local council concerning home education by inputting their postcode at: Home education: get information from your council.
The DfE does not collect data on spending on home education. This means no analysis can be made of the change in spending over time or between different areas in England.
The SEND Code of Practice states that local authorities should fund the SEN needs of home educated children where it is appropriate to do so [emphasis added]:
Local authorities should work in partnership with, and support, parents to ensure that the SEN of these children are met where the local authority already knows the children have SEN or the parents have drawn the children’s special needs to the authority’s attention. Local authorities do not have a duty under section 22 of the Children and Families Act 2014 to assess every home educated child to see whether or not they have SEN. The high needs block of the Dedicated Schools Grant is intended to fund provision for all relevant children and young people in the authority’s area, including home educated children. Local authorities should fund the SEN needs of home educated children where it is appropriate to do
34 Department for Education, Elective Home Education: Departmental guidance for local authorities, April 2019, pp26-7.
35 Department for Education and Department of Health, Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years, January 2015, p214.
36 As above, p215.
37 Revised funding guidance for local authorities on home educated children, para 2, last
accessed 10 January 2017.
14 Home education in England
so. Guidance is available to local authorities from the Department for Education on funding provision for home educated children.38
The home education guidance for local authorities emphasises that local authorities do not have a duty to assist parents with the costs they incur but they should give reasonable consideration for any request for assistance. It adds that any direct support to parents, if given at all, “should relate only to costs incurred by parents as a result of the special needs of the child, insofar as these can reasonably be identified.”39