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The Legal Bit

Parents have a responsibility to provide an education for their children. Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, states

“The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable-

  • (a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
  • (b) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”


The duties of parents

It is the duty of each parent:

  • To ensure that your school age child is educated.
  • To delegate that duty to a school, or carry it out yourself.
  • To ensure the education provided is efficient and full time.
  • To ensure the education is suitable to the child’s age, ability and aptitude.

If your child has special education needs, the education must meet their needs.


The duties of Local Authorities

The law requires Local Authorities to act if it appears that a parent is not providing a ”full –time”, “efficient” and “suitable” education, which takes account of “their age, ability and aptitude and any special needs that the child may have." 

The Local Authority also has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children – including children who are home educated (section 175 Education Act 2002)..

For further information, please either refer to our Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section or refer to our EHE Guidance document, which is available for download from the EHE Service homepage.