Does the LA have to maintain the provision in the EHCP if parents are home educating?
Does the LA have to continue supporting an EHCP if parents are home educating, or will it cease? Can the child re-enter the system when home-educated, i.e. after some time, take up a special school place or once decided is home education permanent?
When a parent chooses to electively home educate, they are effectively accepting all responsibility for their child’s education, and the LA no longer has a duty to provide an education. Where an EHC plan is in place, the LA also no longer has a duty to provide the special educational provision set out in section F of the plan, although the LA could use its discretion to do so.
To be clear, the EHC plan would remain in place, but section I would state that parents are making their own arrangements. Annual reviews must continue as normal to ensure that the plan is up to date and everything is still working. At any point, you could request that your child returns to a school placement, and the LA would have to fulfil its duties in identifying a suitable school and securing the special educational provision within section F. As a parent, you would have the right to request a specific school to be named in the plan; having home-educated does not impact this if you then change your mind.
You can find more information about naming a school in a plan here:https://www.ipsea.org.uk/choosing-a-schoolcollege-with-an-ehc-plan
It is important not to confuse elective home education with education other than at a school (“EOTAS”). EOTAS is put in place when it is agreed that it would not be suitable for the child to be educated in a school and therefore, other arrangements are necessary (section 61 Children and Families Act 2014). In this situation, the LA remains responsible for securing the special educational provision within the plan.
You can find more information about EOTAS and home education here: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/home-education-and-education-otherwise