[This page needs to be read as part of the FAQ page.]

The Mason Family

[De-registering a child from mainstream school
when the child has a Statement of Special Needs]

Adam (aged 10) has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome along with ADHD and attended his local mainstream primary school. He has had a Statement of Special Educational Needs since he started school.

Unfortunately for the family, Adam’s school placement did not prove successful. The teachers were unprepared for how disruptive a child with Adam’s needs could be in the classroom, and lacked training in how to deal with his complex problems. Things came to a head when Adam was 9, Mrs Mason felt she was never away from the school. The school would call her up during the day and ask her to collect her son, who was becoming increasingly distressed by school and disruptive in both the classroom and playground.

Adam’s behaviour was also deteriorating at home. All the stress and frustration from his day at school just spilled out into his home life in the evenings. In the mornings his constant refusal to get ready for school was causing tensions between him and his mother. However Mr and Mrs Mason had noticed that for most of the weekends and during the holidays life was very different. Adam still had Asperger Syndrome and ADHD and the associated difficulties, but he was a happier child and much better company. At those times, the Mason family felt that they had something of their family life back again.

Mrs Mason is a full time mum, at home all day with Adam's 4 year old sister. She started to wonder if there was a way she could keep Adam at home for a while and educate him herself, and try to restore something of the family life they wished for. Mrs Mason found that this was indeed possible through Home Education. She didn't hesitate and withdrew Adam from school immediately.

Even though Adam had a Statement, he could just be deregistered from school in the same way as any other child. The Mason’s sent a letter to the Headmaster of Adam’s school.

Dear Headteacher

Re. Adam Kieron Mason - 04/05/1991 - Yr5 NorthernTown County Primary School

After careful consideration I have decided to withdraw my son Adam from school in order to take personal responsibility for his education. As from the **/**/**, Adam will be educated at home, in accordance with Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act.

Please remove his name from the register of NorthernTown County Primary School, in accordance with Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 8(1)(d) 2006, as he is now receiving education otherwise than at school.

Please confirm that you have removed Adam’s name from your register by return of post.

Yours faithfully

Mr and Mrs T Mason

Mr and Mrs Mason knew that once they had sent the de-registration letter to the school there was no responsibility on them to inform the LEA. They also learned that the Statement was no longer enforceable Once a child is Home Educated, the LEA no longer have any duty to provide the things specified in their statement (in the place named at part 4) and there is no legal responsibility for the family to provide any of these things themselves. The family have decided to ask the LEA to cease the Statement.

Meanwhile the Mason family are very aware that it is their responsibility in law to...

cause their child to receive efficient full-time education
suitable: -

(a) to his age, ability, and aptitude and
(b) to any SEN’s he may have

either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

With that in mind they have written an Educational Philosophy in which they explain how they will meet Adam’s Special Needs. This is as much for their own reassurance as for anyone elses, but will provide a useful reference if they are ever challenged about their Home Education arrangements. One of their first tasks was to arrange for Adam’s Speech and Language Therapy to take place at the local health centre. The family are now settling into Home Education and their overall feeling is that it has been a positive step. Adam is learning and developing in a supportive environment and is a more happy and stable child as a result.

This page was last updated March 2004. It is based on the legal situation in England relating to Home Educating children with SENs, and on the practical experience of many Home Educating families.

The case studies on this page are not about actual families, but neither are they fiction, please think of each one as being a collage of the experiences of a group of families.

Please keep in mind that the information on this web site, is the informal exchange of ideas, between ordinary people (ie: NOT professionals), and should be accepted as such by the reader.

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