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Parents' duty

Under Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act, it is the parents' duty:

To cause (the child) to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his (her) age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he (or she) may have either by regular attendance at school or 'otherwise'

Defining the act

Unfortunately, the words 'efficient' and 'suitable' are not defined in the Act.

However, education has been held to be efficient if it achieves what it sets out to achieve and 'suitable' if it prepares the child for life in our society and also enables the child to achieve their full potential.

Certainly what is provided need not be the same kind of 'lessons' as are provided at school but must be of a high quality if it is to be effective.

It will be up to parents to show the local authority:

  • That their style of provision is helping their child to learn
  • That their child is developing according to their age, ability and aptitude
  • That any special educational needs they may have are being met

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