Can home education for SEN children really be an option as good or better than education in a mainstream or special school? Yes, it can – and here’s why.

Is Home Education a Better Option for Your SEN Child?

May 4th 2017

Home education is thriving in the UK, with ever increasing numbers of families either withdrawing their children from school or never sending them in the first place, convinced by the many benefits homeschooling can offer.

But what if your child has special educational needs?

Can home education really be an option as good or better than education in a mainstream or special school? Yes, it can – and here’s why.

1. A Flexible Education

Homeschooling allows for a completely personalised education for your child, perfectly suited to his or her age, aptitude, abilities and special needs. As a parent, either providing the education yourself or in conjunction with a tutor, you know how your child learns best, and how they are happiest. If your child needs a lot of extra time, if he or she needs a particular style of teaching, if there are some subjects which are going to be more important than others – all of these things can be taken into account in order to create a perfectly matched education for your individual child.

2. A Nurturing Environment

Despite the best efforts of education professionals, most schools are not free from bullying, and some can be very hostile places for a child who is different in any way. For some children, particularly those on the autistic spectrum, enforced social contact at school can be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Children with SEN benefit from the nurturing, loving environment provided by home education and that doesn’t mean that they are socially isolated. Home ed SEN children can take part in exactly the same extra curricular and social activities they would have enjoyed as a schooled child, but choosing how and when and how much to socialise can be critically important.

3. Time Saving Benefits

With one to one attention from parents or tutors, SEN children who are homeschooled can reach the same level of educational attainment in a much shorter time. Parents too will save time by not having to battle the authorities over statements and provision; this leads to an increase in valuable family time, not to mention a decrease in frustration for both parents and child.

4. Family Convenience

For a special needs child who may have to attend hospital or clinic appointments regularly, homeschooling is a highly convenient option which avoids the need to miss out on school hours. Since homeschooling can take place at any time of day on any day of the week, fitting in with a child’s medical needs can be much easier.

Likewise, a child with complex needs who may need a lot of equipment may find it more convenient to be homeschooled.

5. Ideological Factors

Most parents want the very best for their children, and want their children to be happy and successful. However, “success” is relative and not every child is suited to the sometimes factory-like success treadmill of a mainstream education. Many families with SEN children choose to homeschool for ideological reasons, believing that they, the family, are best placed to help their child fulfil their own unique potential, whatever that may be.

Far from being isolated and withdrawn, most home educated children, including those with special educational needs, mix widely and benefit from more childhood time, and more space to develop their talents and abilities. This is important for all children, but perhaps even more so for children with special educational needs; so homeschooling can be a hugely positive choice for SEN families, rather than a last resort.




William Clarence Education is the leading education consultancy service in the UK. With an unrivalled reach into the UK Schooling and University network, we help and advise families from around the world to reach their maximum potential and gain access to the very best of British education.  


William Clarence put the student’s needs and welfare at the centre of every programme of study we deliver with a focus on integrity and discretion.  Services include UK School Placement, University Placement, Residential Tutoring, Oxbridge Applications, US College Admissions and Homeschooling.


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