Home education is covered under The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and The Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017.
Home educators are required to register with:
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
Ph: 03 9637 2806
Registration is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 17.
- FOR CHILDREN AGED 5:
- If a child is five now but will be six in 2020, you can register them for 2020 now.
- Registration is not a legal requirement until their sixth birthday, so you can choose between registering for the start of the year, or just in time for their birthday (around a month beforehand is recommended). The advantage of registering later is that their registration will not be included in the review pool for 2020 i.e. 10% of home ed registrations are drawn for review each year. This draw happens in February and includes anyone registered at that time.
- If your child will NOT turn six in 2020, you can’t register them for the 2020 school year.
- Remember, home education can commence any time, registration is only required as at their sixth birthday i.e. registration and education are two different things.
- FOR CHILDREN AGED 6-16 registration is compulsory – see details below.
- FOR 17-YEAR-OLDS:
- Registration is no longer required by law, but optional registration is available through to age 18.
- When a 17 year old is registered and turns 18 during the year, their registration remains current until 31 Dec that year and then expires.
- FOR 18-YEAR OLDS: It is not possible to register someone aged 18 or over but if they were aged 17 on registration, their registration remains current until 31 Dec that year and then expires.
Your Learning Plan should describe how you intend to broadly address eight learning areas:
- sciences (including physics, chemistry and biology)
- humanities and social sciences (including history, geography, economics, business, civics and citizenship)
- the arts
- health and physical education
- information and communication technology, and design and technology.
for the first 12 months of registration. Learning Plans are not expected to be voluminous documents; templates and samples are available.
You can seek an exemption from one or more learning area. The reasons for applying for an exemption are not limited, but can include disabilities, permanent or temporary additional learning needs or circumstances, electives or the parent’s limited capacity for a learning area (e.g. LOTE). No medical evidence is required.
Members can email firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback on their plans before submitting. Include your membership name.
Approval takes up to 28 days and children are required to stay in school during the approval period. However, if your children would be at risk by remaining in school, request the principal’s approval to remove them and remove them immediately (with or without approval). If your school gives you trouble, you can check where you stand under the School Attendance Guidelines. HEN can provide support if needed.
If your child has previously attended a school, it is considered a matter of politeness to inform the school that you will be home educating from now on, and that you have registered with the VRQA according to the regulations. School staff might request a copy of your VRQA letter to complete their paperwork.
If your registration is rejected you can reapply or appeal.
- There is no requirement to follow the state curriculum and there are no compulsory home visits.
- You may home educate in any manner you choose as long as your substantially address the eight learning areas, taken as a whole.
- It is your responsibility to renew your registration each November. Renewal involves notifying the VRQA of your intention to continue, no learning plan is required. The VRQA send out a courtesy email reminder.
- You are required to notify the VRQA of any change of name or address and if you cease home education.
- Partial enrolment is possible.
- 10% of families will be reviewed per year. The review involves one child’s registration
- You’ll be notified of the review early in the year (Feb March) and approximately when your review will take place.
- It is your responsibility to ensure the VRQA has your current address.
- You’ll be contacted closer to the review with a firmer timeline.
- A review involves you articulating or demonstrating that your child is receiving an education that broadly addresses the 8 KLAs. You can choose how to do that.
- The review is NOT against the Vic Curriculum or year levels.
- In a review you will be asked to demonstrate that your child is receiving an education that substantially addresses the eight learning areas, there is no mandated way to do that – it could be by a phone chat/interview if you wish or by submitting work samples/journal/spreadsheet etc. HEN recommends some form of record-keeping in preparation for reviews.
- The VRQA can ask for additional information if they are not satisfied with what you provide. If still not satisfied, your registration can be cancelled.
- You can appeal a cancellation decision.
Travel is permitted under Victorian home education registration as long as you have a Victorian residential address and intend to return to Victoria. The VRQA need to be informed if you intend to be away for months.
- Victorian legal summary (PDF with excerpts from the Education Act and Regulations)
- Home Education in Victoria – A guide to services and support 2018 (Word or PDF)
- Partial Enrolment Guidelines (Word or PDF)
- The Regulations Roadshow explained the new requirements. The following resources from it are available:
- The NAPLAN is not compulsory but arrangements can be made to participate through their local government school.
Home education is covered by the Education Act 1990 and registration is handled by the Board of Studies.
The registration process requires a home visit and approval of documented lesson plans following the state curriculum. The whole process takes three months and registration, if approved, needs to be renewed annually by going through a similar process each time.
There is provision for those who conscientiously object to registration to apply for an exemption from registration but they need to demonstrate that registration would have been granted had they applied for it.
The full Act is available here //www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ea1990104/ and we have extracted the most relevant sections here NSW home education – legal excerpts
For registration contact:
Home Schooling Unit
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)
Phone: 02 9367 8149
PO Box 5300, Sydney, NSW 2001
NESA’s Homeschooling Registration page contains the application form and registration information.
For advice on preparing for registration see the facebook group NSW Registration Supporters Network
Under the SA Education Act 1972, children of compulsory school age (at least 6 years old but not yet 17 years old) must be enrolled in, and attending, a government school or a registered non-government school in SA. This Act will shortly be replaced by the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 but the arrangements for Home Education remain the same.
Parents wishing to home educate must enrol in a school and apply for an exemption from attendance.
The full Act is available here https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/EDUCATION%20ACT%201972/CURRENT/1972.154.AUTH.PDF
and we have extracted the relevant sections for you here – SA home education – legal excerpts
Families must complete an Application for Exemption from Attendance at School for the Purposes of Home Education which details:
• An appropriate learning programme aligned with the South Australian Curriculum Standards Accountability (SACSA) Framework. This covers eight learning areas: English, Maths, Science, Design and Technology, Studies of Society and Environment, The Arts (Music, Art, Dance, Drama), Health and Physical Education, and Language Other than English (LOTE).
• Suitable resources and a description of the appropriate learning environment which will be provided to support the learning programme;
• Opportunities for social interaction;
• The name of the school the child is enrolled in;
• A typical timetable;
• Plans for monitoring and assessment of the child’s achievements;
• The name of the person responsible for the educational programme.
The application must be signed by both biological parents (except where one is excluded from custody/guardianship by a court order). The Home Education Project Officer will arrange a home visit to discuss the application in detail and then make a recommendation to the Director. School attendance is required until the application is approved. If approved, an exemption will be granted for up to 12 months. Annual reviews include discussion of the child/ren’s progress.
More information including the current version of The Guide to Home Education in South Australia booklet: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/education-and-learning/schools/alternative-schooling/home-education
To apply, contact:
Manager, Home Education
Office for Education
Level 6 Education Centre
GPO Box 1152
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: 8226 1327 (The best time to call is on a Monday or Friday as home education officers generally conduct home visits on other days.)
Email: DECD.HomeEducation@sa.gov.au or with your:
- full name
- postal address
- phone number
- email address.
Information about the SACSA Framework is available at //www.sacsa.sa.edu.au
Home education in Tasmania is covered under the Education Act 2016 and the Education Regulations 2017. A child who is at least 5 years of age as at 1 January in any year must be enrolled at school or provided with home education by a registered home educator for that year and subsequent years until the child is 17 or completes a Certificate III. Once a child completes the equivalent of year 10 that child may decide whether to continue with home education or undertake an approved learning program. The application and requirements are available here. Registration does not require adherence to any particular curriculum but a HESP must demonstrate how you will address the
For registration, contact: Office of the Education Registrar
Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council (THEAC) is a committee of home educators who:
- Providing advice to the Registrar in relation to applications for approval of a home education program;
- Providing the Minister and the Registrar with advice in relation to home education generally;
- provides a reference point for queries, responds to community concerns and maintains liaison with other agencies about home education.
THEAC is made up of Ministerial appointees and home education representatives who are nominated by the home education community. Their website contains information on how to register as well as useful links and information, and they also run information sessions.
Much more details on the requirements is detailed in the information booklet Understanding the Home Education System in Tasmania produced by our sister group HEA-TAS.
Part-time school attendance is possible.
Home education is covered under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006. The full Act is available here //www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/epa2006305/and we have extracted the relevant sections here Queensland home education – legal april 2014
The registration process in brief
To be eligible for registration a child must be:
• usually resident in Queensland.The parent accepts the responsibility for educating their child at home using an educational programme or learning philosophy developed or adapted by them or by a registered teacher, primarily at the child’s usual place of residence.
Student ID cards are available if required. Registered home educators have access to NAPLAN testing should they wish to take part. Also the Home Education Unit is affiliated with the Queensland School Sports Association and can facilitate the participation of home educated students. For year 10 students, Learning Accounts are opened with the Queensland Studies Authority which enables students in the senior years to bank credits towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) if they are studying accredited subjects (eg through TAFE). Students in year 12 who wish to sit external examinations can make arrangements with the Queensland Studies Authority. Home educated students (Years 10-12) are also able to undertake a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.
For registration, contact:
The Home Education Unit
Ph 3405 3916 or 1800 677 176
The policy and an application form can be downloaded from the website along with documents designed to assist with planning a programme to meet the requirements.
Home education in Western Australia is covered under Division 6 of the School Education Act 1999
We have extracted the relevant section for you in the downloadable pdf WA Education Act excerpts
Registration is compulsory from the beginning of the year in which a child turns 5 years and 6 months, until the end of the year in which they reach the age of 17 years and 6 months, or the student reaches 18 years, whichever happens first.
Parents apply through their local district office of the Education Department. Each district has its own version of the application form. Under the Act, all you need to provide is your name, your children’s names and birthdates, your address and a contact phone number or email address.
You will receive a request for a meeting with a moderator three months from initial registration. This is for the moderator to introduce themselves. A further visit will be scheduled for later that year when the home educator is required to demonstrate each child’s progress and from which the moderator will prepare an evaluation report. Yearly visits are then standard. Meetings can take place at your home, the moderator’s office or at a neutral venue.
Home educators can determine their own philosophy and style as long as they cover the eight key learning areas (The Arts, English, Health & Physical Education, Technology and Enterprise, Mathematics, Science, Studies of Society and the Environment, and Languages other than English).
The NAPLAN test is optional. Contact your moderator to arrange if desired.
To register contact:
Your local Education District Office – contact details for each district office can be found on the Department website.
See also :
- HEN has a sister organisation in WA called the Home Education WA. You will find them invaluable for local knowledge, information and advice including your rights in terms of moderator visits.
- The Department of Education – home education section http://det.wa.edu.au/homeeducation/detcms/portal/
Registration is required with the Liaison Unit of the ACT Education and Training Directorate in accordance with the Education Act 2004 .
We have extracted the most relevant sections for you in the attached PDF.
Applications are made to the Liaison Unit and automatic provisional registration is granted for six months. A home visit is scheduled with an Authorised Person from the Liaison Unit after five months, with the home educator providing a Home Visit Parent Report at least one week prior. A template for this report is supplied by the Liaison Unit. A certificate of registration is provided for a period of up to two years. Annual reviews include reporting and a home visit – this may be extended to two years if your registration is for two years.
Parents are not obliged to follow the national curriculum but are advised to be familiar with it. Students have access to the NAPLAN if their parents wish, and there is provision for part-time home education.
To register, contact:
ACT Education and Training Directorate
Phone: +61 2 6205 9299
Parents are required to seek approval from the Department of Education and Training (DET).
Home Education is covered under the Education Act 2015 and we have extracted the relevant section for you in the downloadable PDF
For registration, contact
Department of Education
GPO Box 4821
DARWIN NT 0801
• Education Department’s Home Schooling page (includes information, guidelines and policies)
There is an allowance under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 for home educators to enrol part-time in a school. Please see our article Partial School Enrolment in Victoria.
Families who wish to do so need to contact the principal of their neighbourhood school to discuss a workable arrangement, but principals do have the right to decline the application if they have reasonable grounds, such as a cap on numbers in the class you are applying for. It is recommended that any interested families read the full guidelines before approaching the school. You can download a Word document with the partial enrolment guidelines (Word) or (PDF) is also possible to enrol in a school other than your neighbourhood one at the discretion of the relevant principal.
Provision also exists under the ACT Education Act 2004 for part-time home education.
To negotiate a part-time home education/part-time school education arrangement in the ACT:
- negotiate the arrangement with the principal (or delegate) of the school where the child is enrolled/potentially enrolled
ii. record the arrangements in an agreement signed by both the parent and the principal
iii. lodge a copy of the agreement with the Liaison Unit.
The application for part-time home education registration documents the agreement between the school and the home educator. The agreement shows how the combination of home and school education will provide a high quality education for the child and notes the roles and the responsibilities of both the parent and the school. The original agreement should be held by the part-time school. Copies of the agreement should be held by the home educator and the Liaison Unit.
For more details see theRegistration for Home Education in the ACT manual
Tasmania part time school attendance for up to 2 days a week is permitted. For details see:
Each home educated student is officially enrolled at a school and excused from attending it. Some schools are willing to come to partial-attendance arrangements but it is up to the school.
Some home educators have made partial enrolment arrangements with a school but there are no known guidelines or rules covering partial enrolment.
Part-time home education is not permitted in NSW and WA and there are no known partial enrolment arrangements in NT. For these states, it is worth enquiring via the relevant state authority listed in this legal section as rules change and/or may be flexible for your circumstances.
Private schools can include partial enrolments in their annual census and be funded accordingly.
How does it work?
The most common reason for home education to come up in court cases in Australia is in divorce proceedings. Basically, it is like two separated parents having opposing views on which school a child should attend (see The Age: Kids lose as divorcing parents ‘slog it out’ over public v private schools), and the court having to make a decision.
The pdf is an extract from an Otherways magazine feature on the issue.