Home education is covered under The Education and Training Reform Act 2006.
Home educators are required to register with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). Registration (for children aged 6-17) is a simple process of signing to acknowledge that you will educate the child in accordance with certain democratic principles and broadly addressing the eight key learning areas. There is no registration fee. As long as you have completed the form correctly, and there is no court order (e.g. family court) in relation to the child’s education, registration is automatic and you will receive a registration letter in 14 days. There is no requirement to follow the state curriculum, have plans approved, or submit work, and there are no home visits. You may home educate in any manner you choose and will receive a renewal letter from the VRQA once a year. Note that, once your form is in the mail, you cannot be fined for truancy and may keep your child home from school. If your child has previously attended a school, it is considered a matter of politeness to inform the school that you will be home educating from now on, and that you have registered with the VRQA according to the regulations. School staff might request a copy of your VRQA letter to complete their paperwork.
The NAPLAN is not compulsory for home educated children in Victoria but arrangements can be made to participate through their local government school.
All Victorian home educators should be familiar with the following documents:
- Victorian legal situation (excerpts from The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and Education Regulations 2007)
- Home Schooling in Victoria – A guide to services and support (The original of this document was developed in consultation with the Home Schooling Advisory Committee and published in 2009. A new version was released WITHOUT consultation in 2015, changing the tone and removing all reference to the Support materials document below)
- Support materials for the registration of home schooling in Victoria (this document was developed in consultation with the Home Schooling Advisory Committee and explains the regulations).
- Partial Enrolment Guidelines
NEW REGULATIONS 2017
UPDATE JUNE 2017: The Education Regulations expire this month and new ones have just been made but include provision for the home education aspect of the 2007 regulations to apply through to the end of 2017. HEN has campaigned heavily against the increased regulation these represent and hope to have them disallowed by the Legislative Council see the #HandsOffHomeEd page for details.
Relevant government links:
- Draft Regulations (draft version, official version not yet available -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)
- Statement of Reasons
- Fact Sheet
For registration contact:
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
Ph: 03 9637 3386
Application form: //www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/Documents/homeschooling-registration_1.pdf
Note the VRQA http links will covert themselves to https when you click on them, you need to edit them back to http for them to work.
The application form and support materials can be downloaded from the VRQA website or you can phone them to have an application form sent out.
Home education is covered by the Education Act 1990 and registration is handled by the Board of Studies.
The registration process requires a home visit and approval of documented lesson plans following the state curriculum. The whole process takes three months and registration, if approved, needs to be renewed annually by going through a similar process each time.
There is provision for those who conscientiously object to registration to apply for an exemption from registration but they need to demonstrate that registration would have been granted had they applied for it.
The full Act is available here //www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ea1990104/ and we have extracted the most relevant sections here NSW home education – legal excerpts
For registration contact:
Home Schooling Unit
The Board of Studies NSW
Phone: 02 9367 8149
PO Box 5300, Sydney, NSW 2001
This website contains the application form and also an information package about applications.
See also Home Education Association advice on preparing for registration
Under the SA Education Act 1972, children of compulsory school age (at least 6 years old but not yet 17 years old) must be enrolled in, and attending, a government school or a registered non-government school in SA. Parents wishing to home educate must enrol in a school and apply for an exemption from attendance.
The full Act is available here //www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/EDUCATION%20ACT%201972/CURRENT/1972.154.UN.PDF
and we have extracted the relevant sections for you here – SA home education – legal excerpts
Families must complete an Application for Exemption from Attendance at School for the Purposes of Home Education which details:
• An appropriate learning programme aligned with the South Australian Curriculum Standards Accountability (SACSA) Framework. This covers eight learning areas: English, Maths, Science, Design and Technology, Studies of Society and Environment, The Arts (Music, Art, Dance, Drama), Health and Physical Education, and Language Other than English (LOTE).
• Suitable resources and a description of the appropriate learning environment which will be provided to support the learning programme;
• Opportunities for social interaction;
• The name of the school the child is enrolled in;
• A typical timetable;
• Plans for monitoring and assessment of the child’s achievements;
• The name of the person responsible for the educational programme.
The application must be signed by both biological parents (except where one is excluded from custody/guardianship by a court order). The Home Education Project Officer will arrange a home visit to discuss the application in detail and then make a recommendation to the Director. School attendance is required until the application is approved. If approved, an exemption will be granted for up to 12 months. Annual reviews include discussion of the child/ren’s progress.
To apply, contact:
Ms Sally Robbins
Home Education Project Officer
School and District Operations
Department of Education and Children’s Services
6th Floor, Education Centre
31 Flinders Street
ADELAIDE SA 5000
Telephone: 8226 1327
Information about the SACSA Framework is available at //www.sacsa.sa.edu.au
Home education in Tasmania is covered under Division 3 of the Education Act 1994. The full Act is available here //www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/tas/consol_act/ea1994104/and we have extracted the pertinent section for you here Tas home education – legal excerpts
In brief: New registrations are for children aged five as at 1st January until the end of the year they turn 16. An application involves completing a form, providing a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate and an outline of the proposed education programme. If a medical condition is impacting on the child’s ability to learn, the parent/guardian will be asked to provide relevant medical reports to support the planned programme. The initial registration process takes several weeks, after which the parent/guardian is granted provisional registration. Children should remain in school (if attending) until the programme has been approved and the family is granted provisional registration. Once this is granted, a visit is organised within three months to view the programme in place. If approval is granted by the council following the visit, full registration is recommended to the Minister for the period decided by the council. This is followed by an ongoing process of submitting a summary and plan of the education programme when due for monitoring, followed by a home visit.
For registration, contact:
Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council (THEAC)
3 Dowling Street
Launceston, Tasmania 7250
Ph: (03) 6334 5381
Fax: (03) 6331 3982
THEAC is made up of Ministerial appointees and home education representatives who are nominated by the home education community. Their website contains information on how to register as well as useful links and information, and they also run information sessions.
Important: a new Education Bill has been drafted which, if passed, will change the legal regime for Tasmanian home educators. Details here
Home education is covered under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006. The full Act is available here //www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/epa2006305/and we have extracted the relevant sections here Queensland home education – legal april 2014
The registration process in brief
To be eligible for registration a child must be:
• usually resident in Queensland.The parent accepts the responsibility for educating their child at home using an educational programme or learning philosophy developed or adapted by them or by a registered teacher, primarily at the child’s usual place of residence.
Student ID cards are available if required. Registered home educators have access to NAPLAN testing should they wish to take part. Also the Home Education Unit is affiliated with the Queensland School Sports Association and can facilitate the participation of home educated students. For year 10 students, Learning Accounts are opened with the Queensland Studies Authority which enables students in the senior years to bank credits towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) if they are studying accredited subjects (eg through TAFE). Students in year 12 who wish to sit external examinations can make arrangements with the Queensland Studies Authority. Home educated students (Years 10-12) are also able to undertake a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.
For registration, contact:
The Home Education Unit
Ph 3405 3916 or 1800 677 176
The policy and an application form can be downloaded from the website along with documents designed to assist with planning a programme to meet the requirements.
Home education in Western Australia is covered under Division 6 of the School Education Act 1999
We have extracted the relevant section for you in the downloadable pdf WA Education Act excerpts
Registration is compulsory from the beginning of the year in which a child turns 5 years and 6 months, until the end of the year in which they reach the age of 17 years and 6 months, or the student reaches 18 years, whichever happens first.
Parents apply through their local district office of the Education Department. Each district has its own version of the application form. Under the Act, all you need to provide is your name, your children’s names and birthdates, your address and a contact phone number or email address.
You will receive a request for a meeting with a moderator three months from initial registration. This is for the moderator to introduce themselves. A further visit will be scheduled for later that year when the home educator is required to demonstrate each child’s progress and from which the moderator will prepare an evaluation report. Yearly visits are then standard. Meetings can take place at your home, the moderator’s office or at a neutral venue.
Home educators can determine their own philosophy and style as long as they cover the eight key learning areas (The Arts, English, Health & Physical Education, Technology and Enterprise, Mathematics, Science, Studies of Society and the Environment, and Languages other than English).
The NAPLAN test is optional. Contact your moderator to arrange if desired.
To register contact:
Your local Education District Office – contact details for each district office can be found on the Department website.
See also :
Registration is required with the Liaison Unit of the ACT Education and Training Directorate in accordance with the Education Act 2004 .
We have extracted the most relevant sections for you in the attached PDF.
Applications are made to the Liaison Unit and automatic provisional registration is granted for six months. A home visit is scheduled with an Authorised Person from the Liaison Unit after five months, with the home educator providing a Home Visit Parent Report at least one week prior. A template for this report is supplied by the Liaison Unit. A certificate of registration is provided for a period of up to two years. Annual reviews include reporting and a home visit – this may be extended to two years if your registration is for two years.
Parents are not obliged to follow the national curriculum but are advised to be familiar with it. Students have access to the NAPLAN if their parents wish, and there is provision for part-time home education.
To register, contact:
ACT Education and Training Directorate
Phone: +61 2 6205 9299
Parents are required to seek approval from the Department of Education and Training (DET).
Home Education is covered under the Education Act 2015 and we have extracted the relevant section for you in the downloadable PDF
For registration, contact
Department of Education
GPO Box 4821
DARWIN NT 0801
• Education Department’s Home Schooling page (includes information, guidelines and policies)
There is an allowance under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 for home educators to enrol part-time in a school.
Families who wish to do so need to contact the principal of their neighbourhood school to discuss a workable arrangement, but principals do have the right to decline the application if they have reasonable grounds, such as a cap on numbers in the class you are applying for. It is recommended that any interested families read the full guidelines before approaching the school. You can download a Word document with the partial enrolment guidelines from the VRQA website. It is also possible to enrol in a school other than your neighbourhood one at the discretion of the relevant principal.
Provision also exists under the ACT Education Act 2004 for part-time home education.
To negotiate a part-time home education/part-time school education arrangement in the ACT:
- negotiate the arrangement with the principal (or delegate) of the school where the child is enrolled/potentially enrolled
ii. record the arrangements in an agreement signed by both the parent and the principal
iii. lodge a copy of the agreement with the Liaison Unit.
The application for part-time home education registration documents the agreement between the school and the home educator. The agreement shows how the combination of home and school education will provide a high quality education for the child and notes the roles and the responsibilities of both the parent and the school. The original agreement should be held by the part-time school. Copies of the agreement should be held by the home educator and the Liaison Unit.
For more details see theRegistration for Home Education in the ACT manual
Part-time home education is not permitted in some states. To enquire in your state, contact the relevant authority listed in this legal section.
How does it work?
The downloadable pdf is a feature from Otherways magazine detailing the experience of several home educating families with part-time school attendance.
The most common reason for home education to come up in court cases in Australia is in divorce proceedings. Basically, it is like two separated parents having opposing views on which school a child should attend (see The Age: Kids lose as divorcing parents ‘slog it out’ over public v private schools), and the court having to make a decision.
The pdf is an extract from an Otherways magazine feature on the issue.
Jeannie runs a no-cash consultancy and has survived the family court with your home ed status intact and gone on to educate five of her children to university, with three still learning at home. Her service is worth checking out at Our Mob.