West Lothian Council


If you have you any comments or updates on West Lothian Council's home education policy and/or practice, please post in this thread.

West Lothian Council home education policy (dated May 2016)

Step 2: Information Gathering

On receipt of an application to withdraw a child from school, Education Services should acknowledge receipt within 3 working days;

• offer a meeting with relevant Education Services officers to discuss the parents’ proposals or provision and provide an opportunity for the parents/carers to address any specific concerns which are raised about such provision. It is important that the meeting takes place in a mutually acceptable location. The child/young person should be given the opportunity to attend the meeting or otherwise be given an opportunity to express his or her views. The child/young person’s attendance at such a meeting is not regarded as compulsory;*

• ask the relevant school and all partner agencies if there is any existing evidence which indicates that there may be good reason to refuse consent. Partner agencies for this purpose include Social Policy, Police Scotland, Reporter to the Children’s Panel and NHS Lothian**
* Meetings are not compulsory at all and parents should not be led to believe that declining meetings will adversely affect the withdrawal process which may not be unreasoably delayed or withheld.

** This sort of fishing expedition represents arbitrary interference with Article 8 rights. National guidance does not (and could not lawfully) endorse such data processing in the absence of necessity to protect vital interests.

There is no statutory duty on West Lothian Council to investigate actively (ie monitor) ongoing home education provision. However, there is a legal duty that exists to serve a notice on any parent who West Lothian Council considers is not providing efficient education suitable to their child’s age, ability and aptitude.
Much better. Correctly identifies that there is no duty to monitor home education (as the provision of education is a parental responsibility) and that the LA duty is to take prescribed action in the event of parental failure.

There is no duty for parents choosing to home educate their child to engage in contact with the Council if they do not wish to do so.


Julie Hilditch
Education Services

Tel: 01506 282 637
Email: julie.hilditch@westlothian.gov.uk