Home education in Victoria is covered under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 which requires home educators to register with the VRQA and comply with regulations detailed in the Education Regulations 2007. These regulations (covering schools, further education etc as well as home ed) have a ‘sunset date’ of June 2017 (i.e. they expire).
Visiting the Education Department late last year, I asked whether the regulations would be rolled over in 2017. They replied the department would consider the full regulations and assess what to roll over and what to review. They said they had begun the process of comparing regulations with those of other states.
I stated that the existing home ed regulations were serving the community well and suggested that, if there are problems from their end, they should let us know what those problems are with a view to reaching a collaborative solution rather than increasing regulation summarily.
I requested that a consultation process be set up which allowed for a range of home education experience and views to be represented but was told it was too early as nothing had yet been identified for revision. They did promise to consult if any changes were being considered.
I’ve maintained contact with the department this year prompting them for either an assurance that nothing would change, or details of the promised consultation.
On Friday I received this response:
Consultation will commence shortly with an invitation to submit feedback on the current Regulations. Feedback will inform the development of proposed Regulations and a Regulatory Impact Statement. There will be further opportunity for consultation during development of those documents. The proposed Regulations and Regulatory Impact Statement are intended to be publicly released for comment in late 2016. Any proposed reforms are subject to Ministerial approval.
What should you do?
It is too early to do anything at this stage as the department is not yet taking submissions.
HEN has been the voice of alternative education families in Victoria since 1981 and during that time we have lobbied hard to defend the rights of home educators.
With the passing of the Education and Training Reform Act in 2006, we knew the day would come when the associated regulations would be reviewed. That time is imminent.
HEN will be there again, working hard to represent your rights and views. Further news will be posted as soon as details of the consultation process are released.
Home Education Network