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Homeschooling and SEN

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A recent article published by the BBC entitled “Horrendous Meltdown: Why I home-educate my daughter” highlights how a lack of school support has led to an increase in the number of children with learning difficulties being home schooled. The article can be found here.  

The article follows the decision of Lorna Lynch to home school her child, Emily. Mrs Lynch explains how the lack of support at her child’s school led to significant anxiety and caused Emily to “lash out at other children”. It is clear from the article that Mrs Lynch reluctantly took the decision and if support was provided at the school, she would not have made it. 

Sadly, Emily’s case is not uncommon and as education law solicitors we are seeing an increase in the number of cases where parents are concerned with the lack of support from schools and how this is affecting their child’s wellbeing. Alarmingly, there has been an increase of 57% in the number of children with special educational needs (SEN) being homeschooled. 

An investigation undertaken by the BBC concluded that many families take the decision to remove their child from school without knowing the other options that are available to them. Parents of children with SEN must be made aware that they may be eligible for support from their Local Authorities and could obtain an Education, health and care plan (EHCP). An EHCP is a legal document which stipulates your child’s needs and what services the local authority will provide to meet their needs e.g. reasonable adjustments in schools, extra support or they will suggest a more suitable school. For more information on securing an EHCP, please click here

It is important to note that Local authorities have an obligation to support children with SEN, therefore, parents should contact their Local Authority to ascertain what help is available to them before they considering removing their child from school.

If you wish to seek further advice on the area, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist education law team on 02920 291704.