|| Topic: Home Education in the UK or USA - A Better Option?
Um Umar Farrah bint shams
Joined: Apr 2006
Child Benefit for home educators |
Child Benefit and Home Education
Many home educators ask about Child Benefit when they are contemplating home education. Child Benefit is payable for ALL children in full-time education (12+ hours) beyond the age of 16 up to the age of 20, whether they attend school/college or are educated otherwise as long as the education is not above Level 3 (A Level or equivalent). Child Benefit is administered by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs or HMRC.
Tax Office Letter
Between January and June of the school year in which the child turns 16, parents will receive a letter from the Child Benefit Office at HMRC in Newcastle asking whether the child will be continuing their full time education post 16. It is at this point you should confirm that your child will be continuing home education.
The system is explained on the HMRC website here.
The academic year begins on September 1st. Education is compulsory until 30th June after the young person's 16th birthday. For example if your son or daughter is 16 on September 5th, child benefit will continue to be paid automatically until 31st August after their 16th birthday.
HMRC Accepts Home Education for Child Benefit Purposes
Home education is recognised as "full-time education" after the age of 16 in the same way as it is legally recognised before the child was 16. In other words it is not necessary for your child to be studying for exams. receiving tuition or taking a course in order for the education to be counted as full time.
Definition "Full-Time Education" for Child Benefit
The Education Section at the Child Benefit Offices, uses DMG11094 (Decision Makers Guide) to decide whether or not full time education is taking place. DMG11094 states:
To decide whether education undertaken elsewhere is full-time, the decision maker should consider the guidance in DMG11093. This might include unsupervised study since the circumstances of home education could be quite different from those at a recognised educational establishment. If the decision maker is satisfied that the number of hours studied each week exceeds 12 they should accept the education as full-time.
For reference, please consult the Decision Makers Manual which can be found here.
Education Not at a Recognised Establishment
Education Otherwise than at a recognised establishment is covered in DMG11100.
Decision Makers Guide - DMG11100
Education not at a recognised establishment
Where the education is not at a recognised educational establishment, (for example at home) the decision maker must recognise the education for the student to be regarded as a young person.
Child Benefit is not payable for Higher Education
The 12+ hours of education must be "non-advanced." Non-advanced education is defined in DMG 11095.
Essentially, the course of study must not be above Level 3. Up to and including Level 3 is deemed to be ýfurther education" but Level 4 and above are deemed to be "higher education" and if the young person is in higher education, Child Benefit is not payable.
More information about course levels can be found here.
"Qualifying Young Person" Age 16-20
As stated on the DirectGov website:
"The Child Benefit Office can carry on paying Child Benefit up until the age of 20 if your child goes into relevant education or training. Your child would need to have either been accepted, enrolled or started on the course before the age of 19"
HMRC website says:
If your child is 19 and goes back into qualifying education or training, you can make another claim for Child Benefit as long as they were enrolled or accepted for the education or training before their 19th birthday
Changes You Need to Report to the Child Benefit Office
HMRC website says:
You must tell the Child Benefit Office about changes to your child's education or training, whether they begin or finish education, (including home education) after the age of 16
Unsure About Going to College
In cases where it is not known whether the young person will be attending college (for example when waiting for news of a college place or exam results in relation to a conditional offer) it might be sensible to tell HMRC that the young person will be continuing in full-time home education.
You can always update HMRC with a different place of full-time education from home ie college, whereas it is harder to explain "no longer going to college" as "being home educated."
We are aware of families where Child Benefit was still paid after the young person left a college course to continue education at home.
HMRC Full Time Education Section
Many of the Child Benefit Enquiry Line operators are not aware of the rules applicable to home educators and can give out wrong information. If you contact them and are told that your Child Benefit will be stopped, ask to be put on to the Full Time Education Section so that you can get the correct information. You can also quote this web page and the Decision Makers Guide references.
Joined: Sep 2002
This is what the government's website says about Home Education:
What's required of you
The facts about home education are:
1. you do not need to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home
2. 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
3. any special educational needs your child may have must be recognised
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
4. you will need to notify the local authority if you are removing your child from a special school
5. you do not need to observe school hours, days or terms
6. you do not need to have a fixed timetable, nor give formal lessons
7. there are no funds directly available from central government for parents who decide to educate their children at home
8. some local authorities provide guidance for parents, including free National Curriculum materials
The role of your local authority
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 efficient and suitable education by:
1. writing a report
2. providing samples of your child's work
3. inviting a local authority representative to your home, with or without your child being present
4. meeting a local authority representative outside the home, with or without your child being present (representatives have no automatic right of access to your home)
If it appears to the local authority that a child is not receiving a suitable education, then it might serve a school attendance order.
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. 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.
Source: Oxford Home Schooling
I personally recommend Wolsey Hall Oxford
Telephone: 0800 622 6599
International Tel: 0044 800 622 6599
They do IGCSE, GCSE, A-Levels.
You can go to their website and see what they have to offer. If you wish to enroll your child (or yourself), you can get a 10% discount by using the promotional code: "CARDINAL" when making your application.
You'll have to phone to KS3 information.