And she's all ready for her new life of being in charge of her own education. I am feeling slightly disconcerted, it being now seven years since they were obliged to return to school, I'm not sure I remember what I should be doing. Tomorrow I am writing the deregistration letter to the Head, and then will be awaiting with some trepidation some kind of contact with the Local Authority.
For any visitors unsure of how this all works, here's the basics:
Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act states that "the parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise."
The presence of the 'otherwise' clause in the original 1944 Act was reputedly insisted upon by Winston Churchill, who apparently hated school, but don't quote me on that one.
If you have never sent your child to school you are under no particular requirement to inform anyone of your plans. To remove a child from school however you are obliged to deregister (this applies to England and Wales, check the EO website), as follows:
Dear Mrs F
r.e. my fabulous daughter
From today, 3rd September 2009, I am withdrawing my daughter from ***** ***** school in order to take personal responsibility for her education. I would be grateful if you would remove her name from the register in accordance with Education (Pupil Registration) Regulation 8(1)(d) 2006 as she will now be receiving her education otherwise than by schooling. Please would you confirm in writing that this has been done.
Yours sincerely .... etc etc.
Although the children were home educated for most of the first 12 years of family life, since the divorce I never thought I was going to have a 'home ed' teenager (thought technically Lewis never made it back into real school, he was not living with me then) so it is going to be a new experience all round. M claims to remember being at home, she was seven, but so much water has flowed under the bridge since, I think it is going to take her a while to adjust too.