Elective Home Education

Elective Home Education is the term used to describe the practice by which parents decide to educate their children outside of the school system.  This is different to tuition provided by the EA to a child who is unwell or who attends alternative group arrangements provided by the EA. Elective Home Education is sometimes referred to as ‘EHE’.

EA Guidelines on Elective Home Education

The EA EHE Guidelines have been co-designed with Home Education Northern Ireland, Children’s Law Centre, Safeguarding Board for NI and the Department of Education. They were the subject of a successful public consultation in 2019 and these guidelines are the culmination of that work.  The Guidelines are designed to:

  • Support parents in ensuring that children receive a suitable education when educated at home.
  • Promote good practice by clearly defining the legislation, the respective roles and responsibilities of parents, the EA, and schools and any other relevant partner.
  • Encourage working relationships that respect the parent’s duty to educate and their role as decision maker in ensuring their child’s right to an education.
  • Outline the obligations of the EA to children of compulsory school age (see part two) and children up to the age of 19, for whom the EA maintains a statement of special educational needs.
  • Make clear to other organisations the role of the EA.
  • Have application for schools and other organisations.

About the EHE Team

The EHE Team will:

Maintain a record of any attendance (SA1) forms (see Appendix 3) received from schools when a child moves to elective home education, along with copies of the completed forms, and the parent’s letter informing the principal of de-registration.

Contact the school principal to ascertain if any support is required with the child’s transition to elective home education.

Make contact with parents in order to send them a copy of these guidelines either on paper, electronically or via web link, and to provide them with any additional information regarding support available through EA.

In aiming to foster good relationships with home educating parents, the EHE Team will:

Contact home education families to provide them with any updates regarding available EA support, any changes in the guidelines and to offer advice as required.

Provide advice to schools regarding the requirements for de-registration and best practice in facilitating a smooth transition to elective home education for the benefit and welfare of the child.

The team will offer advice and support to parents on any relevant matter if requested and will engage with a home educating parent whether their child has been registered at school or not. Having never registered a child at school does not exclude a parent from seeking advice and support from the EHE Team.

Links to helpful organisations

General Enquiries

General enquiries can be sent to [email protected] or if you wish to speak with a member of the EHE Team you can contact us at 02871863525

Last updated: 12/04/2023