Education is compulsory – school is optional

Deregistration from school


In England, when you want to remove a child from the school roll in order to home educate you need to go through the deregistration process. This involves writing to the headteacher or proprietor of the school.

Sample deregistration letter England

(also available as downloadable document – see menu)

Here is a suggested brief de-registration letter for those deregistering a child from a school in England. It doesn’t need to be long or give any reasons for your decision or any details about your plans. If you have had a friendly relationship with the school you may like to add a note of thanks or give reason for your decision, but this is not necessary

Your address
The Date
Head teacher’s Name

Dear Mr Taylor

Re: Catherine Jones (date of birth)

After careful consideration I/we have decided to withdraw my/our daughter from school as she is now receiving education otherwise than at school. Please delete her name from the register in accordance with Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 8(1)(d) 2006.

Please will you confirm receipt of this letter and inform us of the date that our daughter’s name was removed from the register.

Yours sincerely etc.

It is advisable to include the reference to the Pupil Registration Regulation as there have been instances of schools failing to know or obey the law, imagining wrongly that they have some discretion over whether or not to “allow” de-registration. Local authorities are not entitled to stipulate that the home education must be “approved” before the child’s name can be taken off the school register. We also advise that your withdrawal letter be sent by post rather than solely by email.


Education Otherwise frequently receives enquiries from parents about home education, often relating to how they should engage with their local authority. This has been particularly concerning for parents since the publication of the Elective Home Education Departmental Guidance for Local Authorities (EHEDGLA), in April 2019.

Education Otherwise, in conjunction with the Centre for Personalised Education charity, has obtained advice from a Queen’s Counsel (or QC, a title given to a senior barrister) in order to help us provide accurate information to parents. The QC we instructed specialises in public law and education law, and is a former part-time Chair of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, and a current member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel. The QC also trains lawyers and others in education and public law.

Education Otherwise is revising its information in line with the advice received from the QC. The revised information will be posted on the website when ready. In the meantime, but also as a matter of good practice, parents should of course always obtain their own legal advice if they have concerns over any issues.


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