What Happens if I Don’t Register? (Victoria)

Victorian Home Education History
August 28, 2015
Should I register? (Victoria)
August 28, 2015
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What Happens if I Don’t Register? (Victoria)

Despite the fact that registration is required by law, some home educators decide not to register. HEN surveys consistently indicate 93% of Victorian home educators are registered, this appears to be a higher compliance rate than other states.

The following information is provided so you can assess the risks and possible consequences of not registering.

The most important thing to realise is that the primary obligation under the Act is to register and comply with the regulations. If unregistered, you are outside the law regardless of how good the education you offering.

Under the terms of the Education Act, if you are suspected of unregistered home education, you would initially be asked whether you were registered. If in doubt, the Regional Director has the authority to check with the VRQA. If you aren’t registered, you would be told to register and then issued with a School Enrolment Notice if you did not. This would give you 28 days in which to register (or enrol in a school) and return the form indicating that you had done so. Because registration can take up to 28 days, you would need to take particular care to get your application and learning plan right as, if insufficient information is provided, the 28 days would begin again.

If you registered at that stage, there would be no further action taken.

If you did not register, the notice would be followed up with a reminder and then an infringement notice.

For some unregistered families the process allows plenty of opportunity to register before further action is taken. However, families who would refuse to register on conscientious grounds must be prepared to face the court proceedings that could result.

If you refuse to register, you are breaking the law and are liable to be fined and have a conviction imposed. Apart from the financial burden, a criminal conviction can lead to other difficulties, such as in some employment contexts. Any fine would be based on a calculation of one penalty unit per day of non-compliance although, depending on the number of days and the financial position of the family, it may be reduced.

The pre-2006 defence of providing ‘efficient and regular instruction’ is no longer available. The primary requirement of the law is the obligation to register.

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