Information

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.

Government information

Releasing the Draft

Regulations finalised

General information

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

Download our Alumni Handbook

 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.

Resources

Projects

  • 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.

Petitions

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

University Entrance

  • 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

Misc

  • 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 

Download as a .PDF

Use our Hashtags to spread relevant posts
#HandsOffHomeEd
#VicEdRegs

Key Slogans
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.

 

June 23, 2017

Are the Regulations now law?

The Education and Training Reform Regulations have now been ‘made’ but there is no need to panic. Here, we provide the department’s Fact Sheet and answer the questions it doesn’t cover. So, are the Regulations now law? Yes and No. […]
June 21, 2017

VRQA Hostility is not ‘Light-touch’

Anonymous The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) is well known within our community for its hostility towards home education. It’s the authority which handles registrations and, more frighteningly, is set to receive free rein over home education next year […]
June 21, 2017

What DET doesn’t want you to see

Redacted In making submissions on the Education regulations, people told the personal stories that led to their home education. The purpose of telling these stories was to illustrate the need for unobstructed access to home education. These submissions were treated so cavalierly […]
June 20, 2017

The Education Department don’t consult

consultation kɒnsəlˈteɪʃ(ə)n/ noun the action or process of formally consulting or discussing. “they improved standards in consultation with consumer representatives” synonyms: discussion, dialogue, discourse, debate, negotiation, conference, deliberation “the recommendations include increased consultation with local people”   Consultation on the […]
June 20, 2017

Home education regulations unjustified

Let’s look at the deeply flawed Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) used to justify increased regulations for home education. School is not great The RIS assumes that the state school system provides “high quality” education for all. This is demonstrably false e.g. […]
June 20, 2017

Context for the existing regulations

The 2007 Regulations, The Guide to Home Schooling in Victoria and Support Materials for Registration were finalised under consultation with experienced home educators on a Home Schooling Advisory Committee (HSAC), in recognition that unreasonable regulations in other states had led […]
June 19, 2017

Regulatory Spin

Let’s take a look at the spin being put on the Regulations through the Minister’s Media Release
June 18, 2017

Allergy Bullying led to Home Education

Anonymous What I love about home education is that there is room for each and every one of us, in all our glorious uniqueness. We have the freedom to work out what is the best educational fit for each individual […]
June 7, 2017

Concerns re plans and reviews

Another submission made to DET published here by permission Anonymous I am very concerned about the proposal that the VRQA will be responsible to approve home lesson plans and conduct reviews on home educators and how that would impact on […]
May 30, 2017

How to deal with a privacy breach

Are you a public servant with an embarrassing privacy breach to clean up? Consider yourself a knight in shining public service armour and read on! Our guide covers the essential steps involved in saving face and carrying on regardless! Step […]
May 26, 2017

‘Consultation’ Merlino-style

HEN’s Sue Wight and Pavlina McMaster met with Minister Merlino yesterday. The meeting ran for 20 mins. Mr Merlino did a lot of talking and almost no listening. We almost had to talk over him to get a word in. […]
May 26, 2017

Merlino’s Gambit

Friday 26th May 2017 Dear Mr Merlino Until yesterday, I viewed you with an element of compassion. It is in my nature. I felt for you, because I thought that as a man with a lot on his plate, you […]
May 22, 2017

I didn’t trust DET enough to make a submission

Anonymous In the current hostile atmosphere with the Victorian DET towards homeschoolers, I would be too scared to be honest about my family’s experiences if they were to know my name. So, I’m only prepared to tell my child’s story […]
May 21, 2017

The HEN guide to submissions

Not sure where to start with the submissions? Never fear, the HEN guide is here. Many of the submissions address the regs in a general way – start with  202 (HEN), 29, 339, 182, 370. For the proposed regulations of home […]
May 16, 2017

Regulations Submissions now public (again)

Submissions on the Education Regulations have just gone public (again) at //www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/legislation/Pages/responses.aspx (if the link doesn’t work, copy and paste it into your browser. Check your submission carefully to make sure DET have complied with your privacy requirements. If there […]
May 14, 2017

HEN-DET meeting 12 May

HEN reps were asked to attend a DET meeting at short notice on Friday allegedly to discuss our submission. We were told the regulations will be tabled in parliament soon. There will be no changes to the home ed section. Typically, […]
May 9, 2017

Regulations to be questioned and discussed in Parliament

Dr Rachel Carling Jenkins has given notice of the following motion to be put to the Legislative Council on Wednesday 24/5 Come along to Parliament to sit in the gallery of the Legislative Council and hear Rachel’s motion debated. Entrance […]
May 4, 2017

Don’t let DET silence you

As home educators receive re-publication emails from DET about the republication of submissions, we’ve noticed that sensitive ones have had sections quietly redacted on privacy grounds. Agreeing to the publication of redacted versions means there will be no public evidence that something […]
April 19, 2017

Privacy Breach Fallout

The massive privacy breach by the Education Department (DET) demonstrates their continued disregard for children while simultaneously taking a ‘Father knows best’ approach to regulating an educational option they clearly do not understand. DET’s failure to properly consult with home […]
April 12, 2017

Submission privacy breach update

DET have issued the following notice 12/4/2017:   Submissions to the Education and Training Reform Regulations Review have been removed and are not publicly available at this time. The Department is contacting those affected by the inadvertent publication of personal […]