De-registration From Mainstream School

For Parents who are not sure how to go about taking their kids out of school, this little bit of information is for you.

De-registration is different in each part of the UK (Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Isles and Isle of man each has their own procedures)

First Step: Send a letter to the current school’s headteacher. We recommend that you send this via e-mail AND registered post (Royal mail). The reason why you do both is that you can keep a paper trail via e-mail – and should that mail be caught in a spam box, it will be followed up by the printed and posted version.

A Sample letter would look like this for England and Wales can be found here:



Step Two:Contacting the LA: By law, this should be done by the school, however; if the school fail to inform the LA it should not have a bearing on the parent. There is no real reason or benefit for you to contact the LA yourself, and should they fail to contact you, leave the matter as it stands.

Step Three: It is vital that you send the letters and have a paper trail. Recorded delivery and e-mail can help with that. If you do not have a record, it is a criminal offence to keep your child from school. Make sure to obtain WRITTEN confirmation that your child has been de-registered!

Please see below for a little bit of information on various schools and de-registration requirements.

PRU’s: NB – A Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) is not a special school (despite what some LA’s might tell you s19(2) of the 1996 Education Act clearly states:

“any school … maintained by an LA which (a) is specially organized to provide education for [children of csa who by reason of illness or exclusion from school or other similar reason] and (b) is NOT a county school or A SPECIAL SCHOOL, shall be known as a “PRU”

Unless attendance at a PRU is the result of a Statutory Attendance Order which must be considered when de-registering, you do not require consent to de-register your child form a PRU

SAO’s: The situation around SAO is complex and you should be very careful in your choice of procedure. While there is a a thought that by following the letter of the law an SAO is not grounds for requiring consent to de-register, legislator’s intention is that of a near impossibility for a child to deregister and it is the view of the DFE that permission is required by law.

Shared Parental Responsibility (Divorce or Separated Couples)

The law changed in December 2003 and added in that fathers who appear on the birth certificate of the child, regardless of marital status at the time of birth, automatically has parental responsibility.

Both parties thus have parental responsibility and exercise their control unilaterally. This means then that either parent can send a de-registration letter without the exact expressed agreement of the other – very much in the same way as with medical treatment.

Should one of the parents seek to challenge the decision to remove the child, the other would apply for a specific issue order. This situation is between the parents and so the original de-registration is still valid by the measure of the school or local authority.

Remember though that you want to do the best for your child, and a tug of war over this matter may lead to further stress for your child. It is our advice that both parents (when and if needed) sit down and discuss this matter and agree before taking any actions. If need be, settle this with the court before hand.

 Private School:  Depending on the reason for your child being in a private school and the method of funding this, the de-registration happens as described above. However, if your child has funding from the LA and was ordered or placed in this school, you will have to get permission to de-register first.

 Special Schools:  If your child is attending a designated Special Needs school arranged by the LA, then you need consent to de-register (Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 8(2) 2006). This includes any state special needs school and any independent special needs school arranged by the LA.

A decision by the LA should be prompt. Refusals must be seriously considered with reasons which should be given to the parents. Refusals are rare and can be challenged in court. In the unlikely circumstances of a parent being refused permission to home educate. We strongly suggest you see a lawyer competent in dealing with home education issues. It should be noted that refusals are exceedingly rare. In most cases requests for de-registration are gratefully received as it removes the burden of providing expensive education from the LA.

 For independent Special Schools, you do not need permission to de-register.

The LA and health authority may not refuse to provide other health related care on the grounds that it is only provided at a special school.

This claim is common and it may be necessary for you to fight for the alternative provision to which your child in entitled.

A child having a statement of special educational needs is not of itself reason to require permission to de-register and is not a valid reason for refusal to de-register

Refusal to de-register cannot be that the child has a statement of special educational needs but must include valid well argued reasons.

Please read further from this website:

If you are concerned about anything, please get in touch with us here at Academus Learning, and we’ll help you find what you need!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>