Draft regulations were released just before Christmas and public submissions closed end February. Of the 565 submissions made, over 500 of them were by home educators. The issues raised in these submissions have been ‘noted’ and no changes have been made to the final regulations which will be tabled in parliament between 20-22 June.
HEN is campaigning against these regulations. Although the government has refused to alter them, they can still be changed two ways:
- Disallowance through the Legislative Council – the Liberal Nationals will move a disallowance motion but need sufficient support from cross-benchers for it to succeed. Details on lobbying are below. This is our best chance.
- Disallowance through the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC) – This can be done but only on technical grounds i.e. if the Regulations can be demonstrated to contravene The Education Act itself, the Victorian Human Rights Charter or any other Victorian Act.
Below you’ll find links to information and resources so that you can help with the campaign. Join HEN for weekly updates.
Releasing the Draft
- Draft Regulations (pages 30-33 cover home education)
- The Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) (home education is on pages 21-44 but the pp 6-20 are also relevant)
- Department information on the review and submissions is at
note that clicking on this last link may give a privacy error but if you copy and paste it into your browser (or manually change https to http), it will work.
- The government media release claims the proposed regs will ensure home ed students receive a better education. HEN disagrees; see our earliest media release.
- The Minister’s media release on the regulations ‘decision’
- Statement of Reasons (for ignoring everything we said)
- Fact Sheet
- The process of regulations
- FAQ about the Draft Regulations
- Why home educators have cause for concern.
- Regulations media attention
- The Minister’s media release for tabling the regulations and our response
- See the legal section of our blog for relevant articles and updates
Lobbying is important
We need to make ourselves heard.
You should visit or write to your MLA and MLCs as well as the Minister for Education and the Shadow Minister.
Not sure what to say to your MP?
Whether you are visiting or writing, here’s a simple format for you:
1. Explain that you are a home educator contacting them about the Draft Education Regulations
2. State what your concerns are/how the proposed regulations are a problem.
3. Say what you would like them to do about it.
For 3, it depends on which party your MP is in so we recommend:
- ALP MLAs and MLCs: Request they work within the party to advocate for proper consultation in the development of the final regulations and that the existing regulations be rolled over in the meantime.
- LIBERAL/NATIONAL MLAs and MLCS: The Liberal Nationals have announced that they will move to disallow the regulations if they are tabled in the current format. Thank them for their party’s support of home education and commitment to disallow the regulations and discuss your own concerns around the regulations.
- CROSS-BENCH (ie. from any party except ALP, Liberal, National) MLC: State that the Liberal Nationals will move to disallow the regulations in the Legislative Council and ask your MLC to support this disallowance motion.
- CROSS-BENCH (ie. from any party except ALP, Liberal, National) MLA: Request that they advocate within the party for the disallowance motion to be supported in the Legislative Council (ie. the disallowance motion will be in the other house to your MLA so they can’t support it directly).
In letters you should include your return address both for a response and in order to establish that you are their constituent (Note: MPs are obliged to answer their own constituents, but not other members of the public). If you are emailing, make sure to mention that you are their constituent.
Reminder: the most effective contact is a visit, followed by a phone call, snail-mail letter, or, if an email is all you have time for, do that.
For more info start on page 4 of the Advocacy Pack
Points you may wish to mention
- Address the problems you see in the regulations and RIS
- The issue of parent suitability for homeschool and what criteria will be used to determine ‘appropriateness’
- The concept of tailoring learning ‘as you go’ as opposed to putting together a plan for a whole year of instruction
- Interpreting home education in the light of school-based learning (i.e. such as ‘learning plans’ and ‘recording learning outcomes’ which the schools do because they can’t keep track of who knows what!)
- The issue of home-ed resources (the notion of parents ‘not having access to resources they need)
- Contrasting parental instruction with teachers as ‘professionals’ etc
- There is no evidence that home education is not working, if the department lack data, a research project would address that problem. Blindly implementing regulations won’t supply them with data, the RIS even admits this by proposing that a research project be done in future – why has it not been done to inform these regulations?
- The regulations don’t set the criteria for home education registration, instead handing it to the VRQA, despite the fact all other educational spheres have their criteria set in the regulations. This lacks transparency as well as it being poor practice to hand unlimited power to an Authority.
- The regulations require parents to write a plan and are then are reviewed against that plan. If the purpose of the legislation is to tell the department how well the home-educated child is doing, this regulation does not do that but only tells how well the parents followed the plan.
- Advertisement (pictured below) – print off and find a noticeboard – PDF, JPG
- You should also be aware of the current law – the relevant excerpts from the Act and 2007 Regulations are here.
- Deakin Law Professor, Ben Saunders has supplied his analysis of the draft regulations.
- What supporters can do
- Hands off Home Ed bumperstickers 1 HERE for $3.50 or 5 for $6 HERE
- Alumni Videos – in a 30 -60 second video tell us who you are and what you are doing these days
- Alumni Survey will be used to create a booklet.
There are THREE petitions you can sign to help oppose the Victorian Draft Education Regulations
Please distribute them widely through your networks. If three petitions are too many, the Legislative Council one is the most important. You can use coloured paper to make the two paper petitions easy to keep track of if you wish (green for Legislative Council, pink for Legislative Assembly) but white is fine too.
- Legislative Council petition, which can ONLY be signed by VICTORIAN residents. This will be tabled in the Victorian Legislative Council (Upper House). Please note that this HAS to be a paper petition, so we need everyone to print it out and get it signed. This petition is really important. Please follow the instructions on the cover page so we don’t invalidate the petition.
- Legislative Assembly petition which can ONLY be signed by VICTORIAN residents. With the ALP in control of this house, we know they won’t act on this petition, but an MP has recommended we do it anyway on the basis that petitions are read out in the House at a time when it is well attended and it is just another avenue to keep the issue in the minds of the MPs.
- Change.org petition, which can be signed by ANYONE, ANYWHERE – they don’t have to be Victorian. It will be going to the Minister and Shadow Minister for Education, Hon James Merlino MP and Hon Nick Wakeling MP. At the bottom of the description page is a link to the paper petition, you can draw people’s attention to that too if they live in Victoria.
Digital banners etc
Home Education Research & Facts
- The Australian Literature Review lists all the Australian research to date.
- Fundamental Elements in Examining a Child’s Right to Education: A Study of Home Education Research and Regulation in Australia
- Australian Research on Home Education: And How It Can Inform Legislation and Regulation (August 2014): “There have been no significant research studies in Australia on the academic outcomes of home educated students. Because of the often hidden nature of the home educating community, standardised testing has not been a viable option to discover how home educating students perform. However, many of the research projects found these students generally had no difficulty making the transition into mainstream educational institutions, and that many of these students achieved results equal to or above average to their mainstream peers.”
- Heard about the NAPLAN study done by the NSW Board of Studies that showed home educators equalled or did better than schooled kids? it is online here and Jeanie has written an analysis for the Feb Otherways which will be posted online when available.
- HEN survey stats 2015 & HEN survey stats 2016
- Research consistently shows that 25% of home educated students have special needs.
- School funding information for Victoria – DET’s figures primary school child: $12129 Secondary school child $15,416 plus school retention rates, class sizes etc
- Some American universities actively recruit home educated kids.
- Anecdotal feedback from Australian universities is also good but we don’t have anything in writing from them.
- Our alumni survey results are currently being collated and illustrate the home ed students move on to further education and careers
- Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”
Number of Victorian Home Educators and Kids
Use our Hashtags to spread relevant posts
Hands Off Home Education
Home Education is Different and its More
Schooling is not the only form of Education
Attendance does not equal Education
Members receive regular email updates on the campaign.