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  • Louise Cheetham

Who has responsibility for my child’s programme or education?

As parents, you – not the state – are responsible for ensuring that your child, if they are of compulsory school age, is properly educated. This does not necessarily need to be undertaken through attendance at school. However, if you do want your child to attend a state-funded school then you can request this and your local authority has to find your child one of make alternative arrangements for the education of your child.

Every child that we work with is completely different from the next, as is every family. Our therapeutic programmes and our education programmes therefore differs from learner to learner, as they are designed completely around the child/teen/young adult, their family and their strengths and struggles. This means that who has legal responsibility for the child’s education differs from programme to programme. In the UK, regardless of where and how you choose for your child to be educated, the overall responsibility for that education is that of the parents. In the UK, however, the Local Authority allows you to choose them to deliver this education and therefore be responsible for it. The Local Authority can do this in a number of ways. They can provide a full time education through:

  • A LA maintained mainstream school

  • A LA maintained special needs school or other organisation or institution

  • Flexi schooling through part time home and part time school (either agreed through the EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales or agreed with school)

  • Flexi schooling through part time home and part time alternative provider, through a team like us which is either agreed through the EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales or agreed directly with school

  • Fully at home and outlined in an EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales.

  • A completely bespoke provision, outlined in an EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales

In the above situations, the overall responsibility for your child’s education lies with the LA: ie. The buck stops with them BUT they will have an agreement with the main provider of your child’s education so in reality the accountability is with that provider.


Under the authority of the LA, this is who has real time responsibility depending on where your child receives their day to day education:

  • A LA maintained mainstream school Your child’s education is their responsibility

  • A LA maintained special needs school or other organisation or institution Your child’s education is their responsibility

  • Flexi schooling through part time home and part time school (either agreed through the EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales or agreed with school) You will have agreed areas of responsibility or co-responsibility

  • Flexi schooling through part time home and part time alternative provider, through a team like us which is either agreed through the EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales or agreed directly with school Day to day responsibility will be a co-responsibility between you and that provider (they will be named on provision documents)

  • Fully at home and outlined in an EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales. You will be responsible and be reporting to the LA. It may be that you engage an alternative provider, or tutors/therapists, to implement specific education components or therapeutic components and outline their responsibilities with them

  • A completely bespoke provision, outlined in an EHCP in England or an IDP/ALN Code in Wales. The responsibility will lie within your EHCP

  • An approved alternative education provider (like us). The responsibility will be that of the provider

  • A non approved alternative education provider. The responsibilities will be clearly outlined in the EHCP but will likely fall with you.

It may be that you do not choose for the LA to exercise this educational authority and that you choose to provide or organise the education yourself. You can do this in a number of ways. You could:

  • Pay an independent school for your child to attend there. The independent school will be responsible for the provision.

  • Provide the education completely yourself. There is no specific way that you need to do this and you do not need to follow the national curriculum. There are lots of different approaches to home education, with the current legislation being that you need to provide your child with an efficient full time education which is suitable

a) to your child’s age, ability and aptitude and


b) to any special educational needs they may have


It should suit their interests, character and personality


Some families choose to educate their child at home either part time or full time because when their child was at school, they were not able to access the education and therefore were not in receipt of a full time education.

  • Use an alternative provider to design and deliver your child’s education. It is dependent on the provider as to whether they are regulated or what their policies are and who holds responsibility for the education.

  • Use an alternative provider (such as us) or tutors, online tuition/classes, college to provide part of your child’s education. You will be responsible still, although of course the components provided by others will usually have responsibility taken for by the professional(s).


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