If you are a Head Teacher who has been asked by a parent to delete the name of a child from the school register:
See DENI Circular 2010/07 and 2017/15 The relevant parts of the Circular are Section 8 and Code 3, and also Section 14 or “Removal of pupils’ names from the register” (vi). Refer also to section 4.2 of the Guidance (this guidance has Ministerial approval and should come into force in September 2020, but even if it is held up by the pandemic it is indicative of current thought. Guidance is not law in any case and can only give an indication of intentions and EA approach, so this document can be useful before it’s official implementation.)
If you are a parent who wishes to deregister your child:
If you choose to deregister your child in order to home-educate him or her, you must inform the Head Teacher of the school at which your child is a pupil. You do not need to inform the Education Authority. You do not need to seek permission to deregister. You do not need to meet the school or speak to them on the phone. You do not need to get approval of your plans for home-education. You do not need to continue to send your children to school after informing the school that you are deregistering.
Deregistration is effective immediately on receipt of the letter by the school. You may or may not hear anything from the school or Education Authority – but once you’ve sent the letter you have fulfilled your responsibilities.
We strongly recommend that you read this website thoroughly, as well as the impending new Northern Irish Guidance in Elective Home Education (implementation possibly held up by the pandemic but still a useful document), and get in contact with other home-educating parents. The new Guidance is not perfect but with good training and proper implementation we believe it will be positive. However parents should always keep themselves well informed, treat any interventions with due caution and never hesitate to seek proper legal advice.
This sample letter of deregistration may be of use, it has been drafted according to recent experience and to be as clear as possible. Please do let us know your experiences and any feedback. Your own words are always best of course but this is a useful guide, keep it short, polite and clear. Send the letter registered-signed for, or if you hand it in in person then get a receipt.
Make sure you are aware of your legal responsibilities and those of the Education Authority.
You need not have a home visit or a meeting with the EA. You can provide information to the Education Authority in the format you prefer, for example in the form of an educational philosophy or ‘ed phil’. The regions have historically varied in their approach, but we are hopeful that the Guidance will help with this issue. Our advice is always to know the law, keep records of all interactions with the EA and always respond promptly to any concerns they may have.
Mr/Mrs <insert name>
<insert school name>
<Full Address and Post Code>
Dear <insert name>,
Re – <insert child’s name – date of birth>
I am writing to inform you that <I/we> have decided to withdraw our son/daughter from school from <insert date / with immediate effect> in order to home educate <him/her>. Please delete <his/her> name from the register in accordance with DENI Circular 2017/15 and the Statutory Rules for NI 1974 [no.78], as <he/she> is now receiving education otherwise than at school.