Advice for parents or carers that are already home educators

If you are already a home educator, this page has more information if you are looking for advice on the home education offer in Nottinghamshire or are looking for other advice about home education.

Nottinghamshire’s offer to home educators

All home educators in Nottinghamshire are offered at least a yearly advice and guidance visit from one of our specialist advisers. The advisers have extensive knowledge and experience of supporting home educators and are mostly qualified teachers, although many have not taught in school for some years. Specialist advisers can offer advice and guidance to parents about their home education programme, as well as ensuring that the council remains satisfied that the home education provision is suitable.

We understand that some parents won’t want to take up this offer and in these circumstances, we make informal enquiries by asking home educators to demonstrate that their child is receiving suitable education.

There are some circumstances where a bit of extra support is required and one of our practitioners can offer this. They offer advice to all parents and carers who are embarking on a home education journey with their children, as well as those who are wanting their child to return to school. As well as offering specialist support and advice in respect of SEN support, applying for an education health and care plan or accessing early help services.

If you live in Nottinghamshire, are home educating your child and would like some support from the team or have questions that need answering then please get in touch.

My child has special educational needs or a disability

If you are considering elective home education and your child is struggling in school speak to the school. The class teacher will then begin the graduated response and liaise with the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO). If your child is currently educated at home and you are thinking about a return to school, please request a meeting with the SENCO at the point of admission.

Information about SEND support in schools can be found at Special Educational Needs Support

There are practitioners within the team with specialist SEND knowledge and they can support and guide you through decisions about your child’s home education provision if you request this.

The SEND Local Offer has details of help and support available for young people and their parents and carers.

There are many local and national organisations that can offer specific help and support, such as the British Dyslexia Association. Many organisations are listed on the local offer site which has a search function.

If you are a parent or carer of a child with SEND and you would like access to free and confidential advice, support and information, Ask Us Nottinghamshire may be able to help.

External support with elective home education

Some parents choose to employ external tutors to support their delivery of education. There are many companies and individuals available and the council would always recommend that any prospective tutor is thoroughly vetted in terms of health and safety compliance and their suitability to work with children. The council does not meet the costs of any external provision.

Similarly, some children express an interest in work experience and we would recommend that if you choose to arrange this for your child you ensure it is thoroughly vetted in terms of health and safety compliance and their suitability to work with children and is a not in a prohibited workplace for a child.

Some colleges in Nottinghamshire offer a pre-16 course that is suitable for children who are already home educated to complement their existing studies and our factsheet explains more about this.

Elective Home Education pre-16 college courses fact sheet 2024 [PDF]

Arranging examinations

If you decide to home educate your child then you will need to arrange and fund exam entry. The council does not have an exam centre but the Joint Council for Qualifications website provides information about any local schools or college that may do and is exam board specific.

This article by Think Student also offers guidance to support you when considering and arranging exam access: How to Sit GCSE Exams Privately: The Extensive Guide

My child is experiencing mental health difficulties

It’s ok to not feel ok. Just like our physical fitness, we need to look after our mental health to feel good. When you’re not feeling your best, it’s ok to talk about this and ask for help.

The NottAlone website has been developed to support young people in Nottinghamshire to look after their mental health and access support when they need it.

It has lots of information for parents and carers and details about how and where to seek help. If you would like some non-urgent advice about where to turn, please get in touch and we can arrange for a practitioner to contact you.

Support with your study programme

Key stage explanations

There is no requirement for home educators to follow the national curriculum or a set programme of study. We’ve included in this section some links to expectations in school.

Many of the following resources have been suggested by parents and carers who have used them. The council does not contract with or endorse any of these companies and we would recommend that, if you are considering using them, you exercise due diligence in ensuring the appropriateness and safety of each provider.

Keeping your child safe

It’s really important to ensure that you support your child’s safety and wellbeing alongside any more formal curriculum.

The Tackling Emerging Threats to Children team and Schools’ Health Hub produce resources, including a regular newsletter, that contain information and links to resources to promote physical health, address issues that are current for children and young people and provide online safety advice as well as much more. There are also resources available within their site to support teaching of the relationships and sex education and PSHE curricula.

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