Home Education and Special Needs England

Write up of Parents Survey 2016
16+ Transition + Ipsea link Important 16+ judgments 2016, not necessarily having to be doing a course or judged capable of making significant progress + legal status of parents when YP with SEND is over 16 or 18. See also Steve Broach analysis of Hillingdon and Buckinghamshire, June 2016
Exams How to arrange extra time, laptop, scribe etc
Funding for Home Education Guidance from DfE
Local Offer Alphabetical by LA
Online support group for parents home educating children with special needs
HE-Special online support group


Children with special educational needs have an equal right to be educated at home. The SEN system changed in September 2014.

Children who already have a statement of SEN will be transferred to the new system between 2015 and 2018. Where a child has a statement or an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) and is educated otherwise than at school, either the parent makes the special educational provision OR it is arranged and funded by the local authority. It is extremely rare for local authorities to provide therapies or support (including SALT or OT) once a child is home educated, as parents are deemed to have opted out.

In order to get a Personal Budget and Direct Payments for a home educated child with SEN, it is necessary a/ for the child to have an Education, Health and Care Plan, and b/ for the local authority to agree the funding by 'naming' home education in the plan (rather than naming a type of school and adding that parents have made their own arrangements). A handful of DPs for 'home education' were offered during the Pathfinder trials for the new SEN system, although on closer inspection, these tended to be where a child was on roll at a special school but not attending - ie where the school budget was delegated - or where Disabled Child Short Breaks funding was used. See also Direct Payments example for education at home, 2016.

The fact that a school is named in Part 4 of the statement doesn't mean that the child is automatically registered. Nor does naming the school in Part 4 mean that a child will be obliged to attend the named school in future. Where a child has a statement of special needs the local authority has a duty to review the statement annually. The statement isn't enforceable on the parent. This also applies to EHCPs.

Special Needs Code of Practice 2001 Home Education

8:95 Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 recognises parents' right to choose to educate their child at home. Such arrangements are described as 'education otherwise than at school'. In such cases, if the child has a statement of special educational needs, it remains the LEA's duty to ensure that the child's needs are met. The statement must remain in force and the LEA must ensure that parents can make suitable, provision, including provision for the child's special educational needs. If the parent's arrangements are suitable the LEA are relieved of their duty to arrange the provision specified in the statement. If, however, the parents' attempt to educate the child at home results in provision which falls short of meeting the child's needs, then the parents are not making 'suitable arrangements' and the LEA could not conclude that they were absolved of their responsibility to arrange the provision in the statement. Even if the LEA is satisfied, the LEA remains under a duty to maintain the child’s statement and to review it annually, following the procedures set out in Chapter Nine.

8:96 In such situations section 324 (4A) of the Education Act 1996 does not require the name of a school to be specified in part 4 of the statement. Part 4 should state the type of school the LEA consider appropriate but go on to say that: "parents have made their own arrangements under section 7 of the Education Act 1996." The statement can also specify any provision that the LEA have agreed to make under section 319 to help parents provide suitable education for their child at home.
SEN Code Practice 2001

Comments Home Education New SEND Code of Practice

Comment: Although the new SEN Code came into force in September 2014, it does not apply to existing statements. Statements will continue to be reviewed just as they have been in the past, until the statement becomes due for a re-assessment under the new rules. More on transition to new system.

The new SEN Code envisages two different types of "home education." One option - set out in 10.32 - is where parents take responsibility for making provision, with no help from the LA, which is what home educators would usually understand as "home education". The other possibility - set out in 10.31- is where the local authority takes primary responsibility for arranging and funding the provision.

The new code focuses on "outcomes" but there is an important distinction in the new Code between "outcomes" and "targets". EHCP "outcomes" are medium to long term, whereas targets are more short term, and - crucially for home educators - targets are set "at the level of the school or other institution where the child is placed". In other words targets are not applicable in the home setting (new SENCoP 9.6)

For more information about timescales and deadlines within the 20 week EHCP transfer process click here

See also for the importance of what goes where in the EHCP

New SEN Code of Practice 2014 Home Education

10.30 Under section 7 of the Education Act 1996 parents have the right to educate children, including children with SEN, at home. Home education must be suitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude and SEN. Local authorities should work in partnership with, and support, parents to ensure that the special educational needs 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 so. Guidance is available to local authorities from the Department for Education on funding provision for home educated children.

10.31 In cases where local authorities and parents agree that home education is the right provision for a child or young person with an EHC plan, the plan should make clear that the child or young person will be educated at home. If it does then the local authority, under Section 42(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014, must arrange the special educational provision set out in the plan, working with the parents. Under Section 19 of the Act, a local authority must have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of the child and his or her parents, or the young person.

10.32 In cases where the EHC plan gives the name of a school or type of school where the child will be educated and the parents decide to educate at home, the local authority is not under a duty to make the special educational provision set out in the plan provided it is satisfied that the arrangements made by the parents are suitable. The local authority must review the plan annually to assure itself that the provision set out in it continues to be appropriate and that the child's SEN continue to be met (see Chapter 9). Where the local authority has decided that the provision is appropriate, it should amend the plan to name the type of school that would be suitable but state that parents have made their own arrangements under section 7 of the Education Act 1996.

10.33 Where a child or young person is a registered pupil and the parent decides to home educate, the parent must notify the school in writing that the child or young person is receiving education otherwise than at school and the school must then remove the pupil's name from the admission register. If the school is a special school, the local authority must give consent for the child's name to be removed, but this should not be a lengthy or complex process. There is no provision in law for a ‘trial period’ of home education.

10.34 Local authorities do not have the right of entry to the family home to check that the provision being made by the parents is appropriate and may only enter the home at the invitation of the parents. Parents should be encouraged to see this process as part of the authority’s overall approach to home education of pupils with SEN, including the provision of appropriate support, rather than an attempt to undermine the parents' right to home educate.

10.35 Local authorities should not assume that because the provision being made by parents is different from that which was being made or would have been made in school that the provision is necessarily unsuitable. Local authorities should also consider using their power to help parents make suitable provision.

10.36 In some cases a local authority will conclude that, even after considering its power to provide support to home educating parents, the provision that is or could be made for a child or young person with an EHC plan does not meet the child or young person's needs. The local authority is required to intervene through the school attendance order framework 'if it appears...that a child of compulsory school age is not receiving suitable education'. The serving of a school attendance order is a last resort if all attempts to improve provision are unsuccessful. 'Suitable education' means efficient full-time education suitable to the child or young person's age, ability and aptitude and to any SEN he or she may have.

10.37 Parents may also home educate children who have SEN but do not have EHC plans. As with children and young people with EHC plans, local authorities should work with parents and consider whether to provide support in the home to help the parents make suitable provision. Information about the right to request an EHC assessment and the right to appeal should be available to all parents including those who are considering home education because they feel that the special educational support being provided in the school is insufficient to meet the child or young person's needs.
10.38 Young people may also be educated at home in order to meet the requirement to participate in education and training until the age of 18. Local authorities should involve parents, as appropriate, in the reviews of EHC plans of home-educated young people who are over compulsory school age.

SEND Code Practice 2014

Guidance Supporting Pupils Medical Conditions

Guidance Supporting Children in School Medical Conditions September 2014

Disability Living Allowance

The statement of SEN is completely separate from Disability Living Allowance. DLA is for children who need more help with daily living or with mobility than other children of the same age. Read more here GOV.UK Overview DLA Children Benefits and Work has useful guides for completing the DLA form and also for appealing DLA decisions. Support organisations for particular conditions or syndromes may also be very helpful. If you would rather talk to someone in person, your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help. Contact-a-Family Guide Carer¿s Allowance can be claimed if you care for over 35 hours a week for someone who gets Disability Living Allowance middle or higher rate for personal care)


Just over 20,000 children were listed as being home educated in England in 2012. FOI responses indicate that approximately a thousand home educated children have a statement of SEN.

Statistics published by DfE September 2014 show 2,320 children for whom the authority maintains a statement of SEN were educated other than in school (Local Authority Tables, Table 21). Statements stick. Last year, out of 223,430 statements of SEN, only 1,305 were discontinued following review. 76% of SEN appeals were conceded or withdrawn. Of the 24% that reached an outcome 84% were successful to some extent. More

The percentage of home educated children who have a statement of SEN varies among local authorities between zero and 20%, averaging at around 5%. For children in school the figure is lower, since only 2.8% have a statement. 28% of home educated children with a statement are primary age, while 68% are secondary age (age breakdown not always supplied) 14% of home educated children with a statement of SEN have moderate learning difficulties; 6% have physical disabilities; 14% have speech communication and language needs; 32% are on the autistic spectrum; 11% have severe or complex learning difficulties; 20% were previously educated in a special school; 34% began home education during the past year; 42% have been home educated for more than 2 years; 17% have been home educated for more than 5 years; while 18% ceased to be home educated last year and went into school.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/quarterly-statistics-for-the-tribunals--2 Tribunal Statistics, 3600 SEN appeals, 30% conceded by LAs. This 2013 survey on tribunals (20 page pdf) is well worth reading.

http://edyourself.org/articles/FOIhomeednumbers.php and http://edyourself.org/articles/2013foissenandlocationehe.php

SEN stats links all on one page GOV.U.K SEN stats DfE 2014 1 (SEN characteristics, assessment and placement) SEN stats DfE 2014 2 (attainment, destinations, tribunal appeals, school absence and exclusions)

Comparative Costs Rival Schools (Upper Tribunal) September 2015

Upper Tribunal summary of relative cost of rival schools and what should be taken into account. http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/2015/523.html September 2015.

What Is Meant By SEN and Disability

A child has special educational needs if they have a "learning difficulty" which calls for "special educational provision" to be made for them. A "learning difficulty" is where a child has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of their age; has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools; or is under compulsory school age and falls within the previous definition or would do so if special educational provision were not made for them. The following examples should not be regarded as an exhaustive list: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Aspergers, Autism, Cerebral Palsy (CP), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Deficit in Attention Motor Control and Perception (DAMP), Diabetes, Down's Syndrome, Dysautonomia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Epilepsy, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Genetic and Chromosomal Disorders, Global Developmental Delay (GDD), Hypermobility, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD), Semantic Pragmatic Disorder (SPD), Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Social and Communication Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Tourette's Syndrome, Visual Impairment (VI).

Related Pages

Legal References Home Education and Special Needs

Very useful all-on-one page SEN and disability links from lawyer Steve Broach, June 2014 here + Steve Broach's blog (highly recommended)

Guidance Supporting Children in School Medical Conditions September 2014
Final SEN Code of Practice June 2014 for 2014 Children and Families Act
SEN and Disability Regulations 2014 for 2014 Act
Parents Guide to new SEN system, co-produced by DfE (MUST STILL READ THE ACTUAL CODE THOUGH)
Part IV Education Act 1996
Consolidated SEN regulations for 1996 Act
SEN Regulations scanned images (at end of SENCoP) for 1996 Act
SEN Regulations as web pages for 1996 Act
Pupil Registration Regulations 2006
Elective Home Education Guidelines
Deregistering a child from school
Lancashire Council SEN EHE Policy 2013
SEN Tribunal Decisions
SEN Tribunal Decisions OSSCS
Edyourself SEN links Edyourself SEN links including David Wolfe Matrix Chambers SEN Case Law
Case law from Ipsea Case law from Ipsea for 1996 Act
SEN Tribunal Forms from Ministry of Justice website
Tandy Case, cannot cut on basis of cost
Bailli Tandy Case
DM and KC vs Essex County Council 2003 Case law which demonstrates that parents do not have to make the provision specified in the SEN statement
Baroness Ashton on parents not having to make provision specified in statement
David Wolfe, Matrix Chambers: SEN Case Law via David Wolfe blog
Dyslexia as SEN for DLA 2013 UKUT 159 AAC via Tribunal Judgements Page

Link Reference

This article is http://ehe-sen.org.uk/index.php. The following links to other websites are contained in the article, displayed as citations to aid you in printing the document.

  1. Parents Survey http://edyourself.org/articles/SENsurvey.php
  2. New SEN Code from September 2014 http://edyourself.org/articles/newcode.php
  3. Steve Broach analysis http://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/help-resources/resources/case-law-review-9
  4. Home Educating with Statement SEN or EHCP http://ehe-sen.org.uk/statement.php
  5. Annual Review for Home Educators http://ehe-sen.org.uk/annreview.php
  6. Exams http://ehe-sen.org.uk/exams.php
  7. Funding for Home Education http://edyourself.org/articles/funding.php
  8. Local Offer http://edyourself.org/articles/localoffer.php
  9. Tribunal, Appeals and Complaints http://ehe-sen.org.uk/appealscomplaints.php
  10. HE-Special http://www.he-special.org.uk/
  11. Edyourself Website http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php#specialneeds
  12. Direct Payments http://snafu2.org.uk/
  13. a duty http://ehe-sen.org.uk/statement.php
  14. More http://edyourself.org/articles/newcode.php#statguide
  15. http://edyourself.org/articles/EHCPlayout.php
  16. Carer¿s Allowance http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/
  17. approximately a thousand home educated children http://edyourself.org/articles/FOIhomeednumbers.php
  18. This 2013 survey on tribunals http://www.mertonmencap.org.uk/pdfs/SEND-Tribunal-Survey-Results-August2013.pdf
  19. http://edyourself.org/articles/2013foissenandlocationehe.php http://edyourself.org/articles/FOIhomeednumbers.php
  20. http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/2015/523.html http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/2015/523.html
  21. Steve Broach's blog http://rightsinreality.wordpress.com/
  22. SEN and Disability Regulations 2014 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1530/contents/made
  23. Part IV Education Act 1996 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/part/IV
  24. Consolidated SEN regulations http://edyourself.org/senregs.pdf
  25. SEN Regulations scanned images http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DfES%200581%20200MIG2228.pdf
  26. SEN Regulations as web pages http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/3455/contents/made
  27. Pupil Registration Regulations 2006 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/1751/contents/made
  28. Elective Home Education Guidelines http://edyourself.org/articles/guidelines.php
  29. Deregistering a child from school http://edyourself.org/articles/deregistration.php
  30. Lancashire Council SEN EHE Policy 2013 http://new.lancashire.gov.uk/children-education-families/educating-your-child-at-home/special-educat
  31. SEN Tribunal Decisions http://www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/send/decisions
  32. SEN Tribunal Decisions OSSCS http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/default.aspx
  33. Edyourself SEN links http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php#SENlinks
  34. Case law from Ipsea http://www.ipsea.org.uk/apps/content/html/?fid=50
  35. SEN Tribunal Forms from Ministry of Justice website http://www.justice.gov.uk/forms/hmcts/send
  36. Tandy Case, cannot cut on basis of cost http://www.ipsea.org.uk/Apps/Content/html/?fid=46
  37. Bailli Tandy Case http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1998/20.html
  38. DM and KC vs Essex County Council 2003 http://edyourself.org/articles/caselaw.pdf
  39. Baroness Ashton http://www.puqblications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldhansrd/vo011029/text/11029-21.htm
  40. David Wolfe, Matrix Chambers: SEN Case Law http://davidwolfe.org.uk/SEN%20Noddy%20Guide%20November%202012.pdf
  41. David Wolfe blog http://davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress/archives/487
  42. Dyslexia as SEN for DLA http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j3754/[2014]%20AACR%202ws.doc
  43. Tribunal Judgements Page http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=3754