Home education

Home education

You can choose to educate your child at home if you’re willing to take on full responsibility for their education.

Flu vaccinations: 7 December 2018

Children up to 10 years old are now due their annual flu vaccination.

To book a vaccination in a local clinic contact the Immunisation Coordination Team via:

For more information visit the NSC school flu vaccination page.

Your right to choose

As a parent you have ultimate responsibility for the education of your child. You can decide not to send your child to a school and instead educate the child yourself at home.

What you have to provide

If you choose to do this you’ll take on responsibility for giving your child a suitable full-time education from the age of 5 to 16.

Things to consider

Educating a child yourself is a big responsibility and it’s worth remembering:

  • educating a child takes a lot of time and commitment over many years, although you may both learn a lot and enjoy the time together
  • you won’t get any financial support, and you’ll need to pay for books, materials, trips and entering examinations
  • one of the benefits of school is that children get to mix with many other children and adults, and learn how to interact, form friendships and collaborate
  • children can become isolated if they don’t go to school

What to do if you decide to home educate

If your child is already at school, you must write to the head teacher to tell them you’re going to educate at home.

If your child hasn’t been to school, you don’t have to tell us about your decision but we would appreciate being told. We are responsible for ensuring that your child is getting a suitable education.

We have an Education Officer who works with people who educate their children at home, and they’ll be happy to give you general advice and be a point of contact for you and your child. From time to time they’ll be in touch about the education you’re giving your child.

If your child has special educational needs or a medical problem

If your child has special educational needs or a medical problem, you may benefit from a talk with the Education Officer before making a final decision.

If your child attends a special school you’ll need permission to home educate from our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities team. The team will review the situation each year to make sure your child’s needs are being taken care of. 

Guidance for home schooling 

Elective Home Education: Guidance and procedures (pdf, 2.2MB) (opens new window)

This includes the:

  • procedures that Bristol City Council, parents and schools will follow  if parents decide to home educate their child
  • legal position and the roles and responsibilities of Bristol City Council, Schools and parents for home education

The term parent includes a child’s natural parents, anyone with Parental Responsibility for the child or anyone who is caring for the child.

Contact information

Special Educational Needs Team

Opening Hours

Email: sen@bristol.gov.uk

Tel: 0117 922 3700

Elective Home Education Officer


Opening Hours

Email: ehe@bristol.gov.uk

Tel: 0117 352 1438