Questions on Child Benefit form educated other than at school

Fiona Nicholson made this Freedom of Information request to HM Revenue and Customs

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Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Dear Child Benefit Office,

I am writing in relation to my FOI which has just been answered.

1/ For the question "Why don’t they go to a school or college for their education?" is it acceptable simply to answer "because they are home educated" or are you looking for reasons why a young person is home educated?

2/ For the question "When did they first start to be educated somewhere other than at a school or college?" does this refer to when the young person started to be home educated and are there any qualifying conditions such as the length of time home educated or the starting date of home education?

3/ For the question "Are they studying for any qualifications?" what does "studying for" mean in this context? In other words, does this include working towards qualifications?

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Nicholson

Child Benefit Office, HM Revenue and Customs

REF Foi 1874/13


Dear Ms Nicholson

Thank you for your request of 3 September 2013 in which you ask for
further information surrounding form CHFTE (4) relating Child Benefit. 
Having considered your e-mail in which you seek clarification rather than,
as envisaged by the Act ‘describes the information’ you want it is not
answerable under the terms of the FOI.


Consequently I think it would be more helpful if I answered your enquiry
outside of the ACT in general terms.  I hope you find this approach


For your information the education and training condition for entitlement
to Child Benefit for qualifying young persons is covered within
[1]Regulation 3 of the Child Benefit (General) Regulations 2006.


Where a qualifying young person has a change of circumstance which means
they do not satisfy that condition for a closed period (an interruption in
their education), [2]Regulation 6 of the Child Benefit (General)
Regulations 2006 specifies in which circumstances, and for what period of
time, entitlement can continue.


In answer to your enquiry I will be referring to "education other than at
a school or college" or “elsewhere” in my response rather than Home
Education/Tuition even though you refer to Home Education specifically.
This is because our literature all refers to “Education other than at a
school or college” as it is not limited to only children/young people
educated at home but to all those who are educated outside of the
school/college system.


You have asked:


1. Why don't they go to a school or college for their education?


We require an answer to this question as it may direct our further action
in cases where Child Benefit is not payable for education elsewhere. For
example, if the education elsewhere criteria are not met and Child Benefit
is not payable under that condition, then Child Benefit may be assessed
under medical absence/interruption grounds if that is the reason why a
child/young person is not being educated at a school or college.


2. When did they first start to be educated somewhere other than at a
school or college


We require an answer to this question to decide if Child Benefit is
payable as any education elsewhere must have started prior to the child’s
16th birthday in order to qualify for benefit.


In relation to your enquiry this question relates to when the young person
began their home education. It does not relate to informal education
elsewhere or at home such as a parent helping their child with homework
while they were in the school/college system.


The primary qualifying condition for Child Benefit entitlement in these
cases is whether the education elsewhere began prior to the child/young
person’s 16th birthday.


3. What does studying mean in relation to the question “Are they studying
for any qualifications” and if “working towards” is an acceptable answer.


Working towards qualifications is the same as studying towards
qualifications from a Child Benefit entitlement perspective. Studying in
this instance means a child/young person in a learning environment other
than at school/college where they are progressing in an educational sense
even though that learning environment may be structured differently than
at a school/college.


I hope this answers your enquiry.

Yours sincerely



Yvonne Aubrey

Child Benefit Office

Customer Relations Unit


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Dear Child Benefit Office,

This answer is extremely helpful, thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Nicholson

Child Benefit Office, HM Revenue and Customs

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