Alternative Education Choices
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you may wish to consider education other than at a local school. This could mean educating your child at home or looking into an independent school, possibly residential.
These links and organisations provide information to help you search for a school or consider other educational options. Some can also provide resources for you to supplement your child’s learning at home.
You have the right to educate your child outside the school system if you wish to. However, if you choose to educate your child outside of the school system, you are obliged under the Education Act 1996 to ensure your child, if of compulsory school age, is in receipt of a full-time education appropriate to their age, aptitude and ability, including any special educational needs that they may have.
West Berkshire Council have produced a useful set of guidance notes for parents. Click here.
You can find the West Berkshire Home Education Service contact details here.
For more information about Home and Hospital tuition for pupils who are unable to attend school for meical reasons. Please click here.
icollege is the alternative education provision for West Berkshire Council. It was established in September 2017 after combining The Alternative Curriculum Service and The Reintegration Service which were set up in October 2005.
icollege operates from four separate units located across West Berkshire and can accomodate 66 pupils across all key stages, aged from 5 – 18 and also offer a including a sixth form provision.
Students are generally referred to iCollege if they are having difficulties accessing mainstream education, for a variety of reasons.
Our vision is of an inclusive education service that offers learners opportunities that at least equal those available in local mainstream schools, and members of staff appropriate and sustained opportunities for professional development.
Find out more on their website here.
A great site set up by a parent with a lot of useful information regarding local home education resources and the legalities involved.
Click here to visit the website.
For some children or young people, school or college may not be suitable, and they may need to be educated at home or elsewhere.
Parents can choose to home educate their child. If this is what is right for them and their child then this can be a positive step.
However, in some cases, parents may be encouraged to make arrangements to educate their child at home by the school or the LA when the parent themselves does not think this is what the child needs. Parents often feel pressured into home education to avoid prosecution for non-attendance. However, elective home education is a serious step.
The NFIS team are parents with children who have experienced school attendance difficulties.
Many members of the team are also employed in related professional roles including teaching, mental health support, advocacy, therapy and academic research.
They are all passionate about helping and empowering other parents. They know how it feels to experience the high levels of stress and anxiety created by the catalogue of issues that relate to school attendance difficulties.
They have a very useful section on Education alternatives here.
There are many informative national home education websites that detail at great length the various legal aspects and general advice that home educators need to know. So, if you are looking for more information about how to de-register your child from school, advice about local authorities, learning styles or curricula, exam options, etc… you may find some of the links below helpful:
Home Education Network – connecting home educating families throughout the UK. South East area
Home Education UK – extensive online resource and knowledge base for home educators.
Education Otherwise – “UK-based membership organisation which provides support and information…”
HE-Special.org – information on home educating children with special needs.
HEAS – “… advice and practical support for families who wish to educate their children at home”
The Home Service – help and advice for UK Christian home educating families.
IHSAN – Islamic home schooling advisory network