Are you a Victorian home educator up for review this year?
A video of the VRQA reviews information session is available from the VRQA website.
Don’t stress, we’re here to help
The HEN team has put in a lot of work liaising with the VRQA to ensure reviews are not stressful, onerous or intimidating.
2018 was the first year of reviews in Victoria and no one failed.
The home educators on VHEAC have prepared sample review materials and individual support is available to members as required – contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your membership name.
What is a review?
A review checks that you are complying with the regulations i.e providing regular and efficient instruction that substantially addresses the eight Learning Areas.
The review is NOT against the Victorian Curriculum or year levels.
10% of families are reviewed each year.
Reviews involve one child’s registration per family – you can choose which child.
What to expect
Your review notification will specify a month (somewhere between March and October), but you can nominate another month if preferred.
Reviews will be assessed by someone with empathy for home education — in fact one of them is a home educator.
You choose the method of review. We’re finding that the quickest and easiest form of review is by telephone but you can choose between:
- a phone interview
- submitting evidence (see below).
- a face-to-face interview. This can be at a place of your choice, and children are not required to be present.
At the conclusion of a satisfactory review, all children in your family are exempt from a review for two years.
There is no mandated form of review. It is up to you how you demonstrate your child is receiving an education that, taken as a whole, substantially addresses the eight Learning Areas.
There are optional templates available:
- Report by Learning Area (available in doc and PDF formats).
- Report by Activity (available in doc and PDF formats).
Some ideas follow with links to samples prepared by home educators:
- Report with photos (includes VRQA feedback)
- Report with work samples
- Report from a recording App (e.g. KeptMe, GoogleKeep etc)
- Work Samples
- Photo record/scrapbook
- Competition results/assessments
- Blog (includes VRQA feedback) or facebook page (private if you wish)
- Calendar notes
- Annotated photos/scrapbook
- Journal excerpt (includes VRQA feedback). Note: You do not need to keep this level of records on an ongoing basis, but you could do so for a week while under review. A month’s journal would be the maximum to submit.
- Prepare Google docs and share those with the VRQA. You can withdraw the share invitation once the review has been completed.
You may wish to commence record-keeping when you receive notice of a review, or you may choose to make a habit of it. You may also choose to simply write a report when your review comes up— it is up to you.
But if the VRQA assessor is not satisfied after that discussion/report, they have the legal authority to ask for more information — this is where records are beneficial.
- Unschooling is recognised as a valid method of home education. You’ll need to elaborate on the learning opportunities and resources provided and could provide photo evidence etc.
- A review will check you are delivering an education, it will not assess the child. i.e. you cannot fail a review on the basis of a child’s lack of progress.
- You choose a period over which you can demonstrate the education. That could be anything from details of a week to a report on a year (but that’s report on a year, do not submit a year’s worth of work or records!)
- Things don’t have to look like school to be educational, think of all the activities and excursions you do – check our list to jog your memory.
- What if your child is in the school recovery phase? That’s fine, you need to report on how you are meeting the regulations in the context of your child. This sample report demonstrates how to report for a child who left school in a mess.
- What if your child has specific learning needs that mean you aren’t covering all 8 KLAs? Again, that’s fine: you need to report on how you are meeting the regulations in the context of your child. You can choose any reporting method, state your child’s circumstances (no medical evidence required) and report accordingly e.g. the spreadsheet report is for a child with Down Syndrome.