Elective home education

Parents may choose to educate their children at home rather than at school. 

Home education is an option that any family may consider for their children. The reasons for deciding on this approach are many, as are the styles of education undertaken. Whatever the circumstances, we aim to support parents in their choice.

By law, parents and carers must make sure their children receive an education. By law, we are responsible for ensuring education given to children at home is suitable.

The first step to home education

To begin to home school your child you must deregister them first. Send a letter/email to your child's school requesting them to take your child off roll, from a specific date, stating that you intend to home educate them from now on.

Send a copy of the deregistration letter/email is sent to the Elective Home Education Officer at Borough Hall. 

The Elective Home Education Officer will make contact with you, when you first deregister your child. 

The Elective Home Education Officer is David Roberts. To contact him call 01234 276809 or email ehe@bedford.gov.uk.

After deregistering your child from school, it is your responsibility to organise the education of your child. We cannot send anyone to your house to teach your child.

National curriculum

The education you provide has to be full time, efficient and suitable.

You do not have to follow the National Curriculum, but you may find it helpful to use it as a framework, both for subjects to include and to get an idea of levels of achievement. The National Curriculum website includes guidance and tools for both Primary and Secondary.

You might follow a timetable that you have devised; most home educators have a "flexible" timetable. You may choose to follow a form of 'discovery' education, in which the interests of your child are the focus. Or you might use mixture of these methods. It's entirely up to you.

If you intend to send your child to school in the future, then it would be wise to be aware of what is taught in school so they are not disadvantaged. There are many textbooks and workbooks based on the National Curriculum and these may be useful. 


It is up to you the parent to investigate and pay for your child's exams. There are some schools in the Bedford local area that will agree for home educated children to sit exams at their school. The schools which offer this are subject to change as it depends on how many of their own students are sitting exams as to whether they can accommodate any more.

Contact the Elective Home Education Officer or other professionals to find out if they are aware of any currently taking students, or please let us know if you have found a school that will.

Sending my child back into school

If you decide to send your child back into school please contact the Bedford Borough Admissions Team by completing an online form. However, there is no guarantee that a place will still be available at their previous school. Please let the Elective Home Education Officer know as well.

Support for parents or carers

Here are some of the ways the Elective Home Education Officer can support parents or carers if they are considering home education as an option:

  • how to deregister your child from school
  • advice on different approaches and ensuring that your child receives an education suitable for their age, aptitude and ability
  • particular advice on contacts around issues of special educational needs. For example, SEND Advice contacts, information on requesting an assessment of needs, careers and counselling contacts
  • reports may be provided to support parental appeals, for example, admissions or college entry
  • personal or telephone contact to discuss issues at any time
  • general advice about the different ways families home educate in Bedford Borough

PLACE Programme

PLACE (Parent-led and community based education) is support for home based learners from early years up to GCSE.

PLACE is a Bedford Local Authority support service for home educating families managed by Biddenham International School and Sports College. To be eligible for the scheme, children should be on the elective home education register of the local authority in which they live.

The PLACE Programme provides significant support for PLACE-registered GCSE students, including part-time specialist support for a number of GCSE subjects and entrance for public examinations.

PLACE also runs a busy enrichment programme for enrolled youngsters from approximately ages four to sixteen and, in addition, provides measures of help and expertise with special needs issues through its partner school.

For further information please contact info@place-programme.org.

Home education resources