The New Requirements

Regulations: Related Issues
November 20, 2017
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November 20, 2017
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The New Requirements

By Sue Wight

What do the new Vic regulations mean for you?

If you are already registered

Learning Plans & Exemptions: Are not required for registered children. If you have an additional child to register, see New Registrations below.

Ongoing requirements: You are required to substantially address the eight learning areas ‘taken as a whole’ but how you do so is up to you. Continue home educating using any method or philosophy you wish. There is no requirement to follow the state curriculum or adhere to year level requirements, and there are no compulsory home visits. ‘Taken as a whole’ means you don’t necessarily have to cover every learning area, e.g. many families do not cover LOTE and that is fine.

Annual Renewal: It is your responsibility to renew by 30 November each year. As in the past, you will receive a reminder email from the VRQA when your renewal is due, but emails sometimes go astray so put renewal on your calendar. If you allow your registration to lapse, you will need to reapply, submit learning plans for each child and apply for exemptions if required.

Partial enrolment is available should you wish to use it. There are some new procedural matters about new applicants informing the VRQA of a partial enrolment arrangement – see the partial enrolment guidelines  for details. (Word or PDF)

Reviews: Commencing in April 2018, ten percent of all registered families will come up for review each year. Reviews will involve one child’s registration per family. Families selected for review will be notified early in the year (February/March) and given an approximate date for the review. You’ll be contacted closer to the review with a firmer timeline. Reviews will be conducted between April and October and performed by someone with empathy for home education. The review is NOT against the Victorian Curriculum or year levels. In a review, you will be asked to demonstrate that your child is receiving an education that substantially addresses the 8 KLAs. There is no mandated way to do that – it could be by a phone chat/interview if you wish, or by submitting a report/work samples/journal/spreadsheet etc. If you have an interview, it can be at a place of your choice, and children are not required to be present. You may be asked for further information if your response is deemed unsatisfactory. Some form of record-keeping is highly advisable for when your child’s registration is reviewed. At the conclusion of a satisfactory review, all children in your family will be exempted from a review for two years. As before, review failure will result in de-registration, but you can request the decision be reviewed and/or appeal to VCAT.

See also Resources below.

New registrations

You are required to register with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), committing to an education that substantially addresses eight learning areas (sometimes referred to as KLAs):

  • English
  • mathematics
  • sciences (including physics, chemistry and biology)
  • humanities and social sciences (including history, geography, economics, business, civics and citizenship)
  • the arts
  • languages
  • health and physical education
  • information and communication technology, and design and technology.

Applications: Visit the VRQA Home Schooling pages and download an application form (Word)

Learning Plans: A learning plan for each child must be submitted with your application. Your learning plan/s should demonstrate where and when instruction will take place, how you plan to substantially cover the eight learning areas and what method of record-keeping you intend to use. It does not have to align to the Victorian Curriculum or year levels. Learning plans don’t need to be voluminous. Templates and samples have been developed in consultation with the Victorian Home Education Advisory Committee (VHEAC). If you do not plan to cover all eight learning areas, you must apply for an exemption.

Exemptions: If you don’t intend to cover a particular learning area, you need to apply for an exemption from it.

  • You can apply for an exemption from one or more learning area.
  • No medical evidence is required. Simply state the reason on the application form and make a note on the learning plan under the relevant learning area/s that an exemption has been applied for in that area.
  • Reasons are not limited to, but could include:
    • Child struggling with reading requires an exemption from LOTE.
    • Teenager focussing on science requires an exemption from Arts.
    • Child coming out of a school in a mess requires exemptions from multiple learning areas in the recovery phase.
    • Parent unable to facilitate LOTE.

Partial enrolment is available should you wish to use it. There are some new procedural matters about new applicants informing the VRQA of a partial enrolment arrangement – see the partial enrolment guidelines for details. (Word or PDF)

During the Approval period: Children must remain in school while awaiting VRQA approval.

If your child is unsafe at school: Keep the child at home. Advise the principal in writing that you are withdrawing you child to home educate and detail the reasons they are not safe at school. Ask them to approve the child’s absence in the approval period. It is important to ensure this request is in writing. If they refuse permission, read What About the 28 days? and contact HEN for support if needed.

Annual Renewal: It is your responsibility to renew by 30 November each year. As in the past, you will receive a reminder email from the VRQA when your renewal is due, but emails sometimes go astray so put renewal on your calendar. If you allow your registration to lapse, you will need to reapply, submit learning plans for each child and apply for exemptions if required.

Ongoing requirements: Registration involves a commitment to substantially address the eight learning areas and respect the principles of democracy. You may home educate using any method or philosophy you wish. There is no requirement to follow the state curriculum or adhere to year level requirements, and there are no compulsory home visits. You will receive a renewal letter from the VRQA once a year. Partial enrolment is available should you wish to use it.

Reviews: Commencing in April 2018, ten percent of all registered families will come up for review each year. Reviews will involve one child’s registration per family. Families selected for review will be notified early in the year (February/March) and given an approximate date for the review. You’ll be contacted closer to the review with a firmer timeline. Reviews will be conducted between April and October and performed by someone with empathy for home education. The review is NOT against the Victorian Curriculum or year levels. In a review, you will be asked to demonstrate that your child is receiving an education that substantially addresses the 8 KLAs. There is no mandated way to do that – it could be by a phone chat/interview if you wish, or by submitting a report/work samples/journal/spreadsheet etc. There are no compulsory home visits – if you have an interview, it can be at a place of your choice, and children are not required to be present. You may be asked for further information if your response is deemed unsatisfactory. Some form of record-keeping is highly advisable for when your child’s registration is reviewed. At the conclusion of a satisfactory review, all children in your family will be exempted from a review for two years. Review failure will result in de-registration, but you can request the decision be reviewed and/or appeal to VCAT.

Resources: 

The following documents are now available: 

See also:

 

 

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