Home Education and Special Needs England

Transition at 16

Read more about transition from LDAs to new EHC 16+ Plans here

Special Needs Code of Practice

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.

The SEN Code of Practice is to be revised in 2014 http://edyourself.org/articles/newcode.php The Children and Families Bill, which completely changes the law on special needs, will receive royal assent in March 2014. Some SEN provisions will come into force in September 2014, particularly for new assessments. However, it is expected that LAs will take up to 3 years to manage the transition to the new system for children who already have statements.

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 http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dwp013.pdf and here http://www.cafamily.org.uk/know-your-rights/benefits-and-tax-credits/disability-living-allowance/

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. Read more here http://www.cafamily.org.uk/know-your-rights/benefits-and-tax-credits/disability-living-allowance/


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. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/special-educational-needs-in-england-january-2013 The Department for Education records 1435 children with statements where parents have made their own arrangements. 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 3% 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/publications/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

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).

Legal References Home Education and Special Needs

Part IV Education Act 1996 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/part/IV
SEN Code of Practice http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DfES%200581%20200MIG2228.pdf
Consolidated SEN regulations http://edyourself.org/senregs.pdf (also available as separate scans at the back of the SEN Code of Practice or as web pages here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/3455/contents/made
Pupil Registration Regulations http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/1751/contents/made
Elective Home Education Guidelines http://edyourself.org/articles/guidelines.php
Deregistering a child from school http://edyourself.org/articles/deregistration.php
Lancashire Council SEN EHE Policy 2013 http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/web/viewdoc.asp?id=100154
Upper Tribunal SEN Decisions, Ministry of Justice http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/default.aspx
Edyourself SEN links http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php#SENlinks including David Wolfe Matrix Chambers SEN Case Law
Case law from Ipsea http://www.ipsea.org.uk/apps/content/html/?fid=50
SEN Tribunal Forms from Ministry of Justice website
Tandy Case, cannot cut on basis of cost http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1998/20.html
SEN Code of Practice
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 http://davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress/archives/487
Attention at school for child with dyslexia can count as attention for the purposes of DLA: 2013 UKUT 159 AAC http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j3754/CSDLA%20252%202012.doc via http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=3754

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. Home educating a child with a statement of SEN http://ehe-sen.org.uk/statement.php
  2. Arrangements for Taking Exams http://ehe-sen.org.uk/exams.php
  3. LA budget guidance 2014-15 http://edyourself.org/articles/funding.php#2014-15guidance
  4. Local Offer http://edyourself.org/articles/localoffer.php
  5. Home education and the Annual Review of SEN http://ehe-sen.org.uk/annreview.php
  6. Tribunal, Appeals and Complaints http://ehe-sen.org.uk/appealscomplaints.php
  7. here http://autistickidsgrowup.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/drafting-the-s139a-learning-difficulty-assessment
  8. Online support group for parents who are home educating children with special educational needs http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeeducationandspecialneeds/
  9. Edyourself Website http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php#specialneeds
  10. Children and Families Bill http://edyourself.org/articles/newcode.php
  11. http://www.cafamily.org.uk/know-your-rights/benefits-and-tax-credits/disability-living-allowance/ http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dwp013.pdf
  12. http://www.cafamily.org.uk/know-your-rights/benefits-and-tax-credits/disability-living-allowance/ http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/
  13. 1435 children with statements http://edyourself.org/articles/FOIhomeednumbers.php
  14. This 2013 survey on tribunals http://www.mertonmencap.org.uk/pdfs/SEND-Tribunal-Survey-Results-August2013.pdf
  15. http://edyourself.org/articles/2013foissenandlocationehe.php http://edyourself.org/articles/FOIhomeednumbers.php
  16. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/part/IV http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/part/IV
  17. http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DfES%200581%20200MIG2228.pdf http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DfES%200581%20200MIG2228.pdf
  18. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/3455/contents/made http://edyourself.org/senregs.pdf
  19. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/1751/contents/made http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/1751/contents/made
  20. http://edyourself.org/articles/guidelines.php http://edyourself.org/articles/guidelines.php
  21. http://edyourself.org/articles/deregistration.php http://edyourself.org/articles/deregistration.php
  22. http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/web/viewdoc.asp?id=100154 http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/web/viewdoc.asp?id=100154
  23. http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/default.aspx http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/default.aspx
  24. http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php#SENlinks http://edyourself.org/articles/helaw.php#SENlinks
  25. http://www.ipsea.org.uk/apps/content/html/?fid=50 http://www.ipsea.org.uk/apps/content/html/?fid=50
  26. SEN Tribunal Forms from Ministry of Justice website http://www.justice.gov.uk/forms/hmcts/send
  27. http://www.ipsea.org.uk/Apps/Content/html/?fid=46 http://www.ipsea.org.uk/Apps/Content/html/?fid=46
  28. http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1998/20.html http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1998/20.html
  29. statement http://edyourself.org/articles/caselaw.pdf
  30. Baroness Ashton on parents not having to make provision specified in statement http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldhansrd/vo011029/text/11029-21.htm
  31. http://davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress/archives/487 http://davidwolfe.org.uk/SEN%20Noddy%20Guide%20November%202012.pdf
  32. http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=3754 http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j3754/CSDLA%20252%202012.doc