Home education

Before you begin

You are allowed to educate your child at home. This is known as elective home education (EHE) or ‘homeschooling’.

By law, you must ensure that your child gets a full-time education by the beginning of the term after their fifth birthday.

They must get full-time education until the academic year in which they turn 16. Full-time education is usually 190 days a year.

If you are thinking of EHE for your child, please refer to: 

Who you need to tell

The first step in the process of electing to home educate your child is to discuss this with your child's school.

If after this discussion with school, you still want home educate your child you must write or email your school stating your intentions to withdraw your child from the school roll in order to home educate them.

The school will then inform us. We will contact you to find out more about your plans to home educate your child.

If your child has never been to school or you have moved to Lincolnshire, contact ehe@lincolnshire.gov.uk or call 01522 782030.

You do not have to tell us but we will contact you if we think your child is not being educated. 

Special schools

You cannot take your child out of a special school without our agreement.

Part-time schooling

You can ask a school to teach your child part-time. This is known as ‘flexi-schooling’.

The headteacher does not have to accept your request.

Teaching your child at home

What you teach must be suitable for your child’s age and ability or for any special needs they may have.

You do not have to follow the national curriculum.

You can get advice and find support groups for parents who are teaching their children at home from:

You do not have to teach them yourself. Some parents:

  • pay for a tutor for some parts of the curriculum
  • teach in small groups with other families involved in home education

You can also use the Stay Safe Partnership who deliver age appropriate safety workshops.


Your child will not have to take the National Curriculum tests (known as SATs).

You can arrange for your child to take exams, such as GCSEs, as external candidates at exam centres like further education colleges. You will need to contact the colleges.

There are no grants to cover the cost of exams.

Returning to school

Your child can go back to school at any time. You will need to apply for a school place.

Home education checks

Once we are aware that you have decided to home educate your child, an education welfare officer will contact you. They will arrange to visit you within one month.

The purpose of this visit is to discuss and confirm that suitable education provision is being made. They will also provide support and advice about home education.

To help you prepare for this visit complete the initial form.

Prepare for an EHE initial visit

After three months, an elective home education (EHE) adviser will contact you to arrange further visits to discuss your child’s progress.

Prepare for an EHE advisor visit 

If you would like the visits to take place somewhere other than in your home, this can be arranged. Your child does not have to be present but our advisers find it helpful if they are.

If you are not giving your child a suitable education

If provision is judged to be ‘unsuitable’, the EHE adviser will arrange a return visit within two months.

If you are still not giving your child a suitable education, we may serve a school attendance order (SAO). This means you will have to apply for a school place.

We will give parents every opportunity to provide their child with a suitable education. We will only serve an SAO as a last resort.