Most parents send their child to school, although you do have the choice to educate your child at home. As a parent, your only responsibility is to ensure your child receives a full-time education from the age of five, the rest is up to you.
You will be required to follow a few general guidelines in order to provide the proper education. This does not mean you have to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home. Your child is not obliged to follow the National Curriculum or take national tests, but as a parent you are required by law to ensure your child receives full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude or any other special educational needs your child may have.
You do not need special permission from a school or local authority to educate your child at home, but you do need to notify the school in writing if you're taking your child out of school. You will have to notify the local authority if you are removing your child from a special school. Once you have organized your working schedule you are not obliged to follow particular hours or days, its up to you to prepare your own schedule, which suits your needs and those of your child. As long as the work gets done you can work at your leisure. There is no fixed timetable or formal lesson to follow.
Those parents who do teach at home have no funds available from the government, they have to rely on their own means of finance. However some local authorities do provide guidelines for parents as well as free National Curriculum materials.
Local authorities can make informal enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home to establish that a suitable education is being provided. If your local authority makes an informal enquiry, you can provide evidence your child is receiving an efficent and suitable education by, writing a report, providing samples of your child's work. You may also invite a local authority representative to your home, with or without your child being present or meet a a local authority representative outside the home, with or without your child being present, for representatives have no automatic right of access to your home.
Although you're not legally required to inform your local authority when you decide to educate your child at home, it is helpful if you do so. The only exception to this is where your child is attending a special school under arrangements made by the local authority. In this case additional permission is required from the authority before the child's name can be removed from the register.
If you are taking your child out of school to home educate them, you need to inform the school in writing. It's advisable, but not compulsory, to inform your local authority of any significant changes in your circumstance relevant to your child's education, like a change of address.