Australia is known around the world for a number of reasons… From the Sydney Opera House and Great Barrier Reef to Aboriginal culture, Ayres Rock and their love of cricket, barbecues and surfing on the Gold Coast. However, it’s not only these which are popular down under, with homeschooling also becoming increasing in popularity too! But with this comes a number of questions around homeschooling and private tutoring in Australia, some of which we’ve covered in this article. Read on to find out more!
Is homeschooling in Australia legal?
In short, yes. Across all six states and two territories in Australia, homeschooling is legal, although there are certain elements which change depending on where in Australia you plan to undertake homeschooling activity.
Do the homeschooling rules and regulations change depending on state?
In Australia, every state or territory government has a homeschool registration authority that seeks to register homeschooled children and monitors their academic work and progress. Overall, State Education Department officials are responsible for inspecting and approving home study programs, with a Home Tuition Appeals Board making recommendations to the Minister if parents or guardians refuse to accept the assessment by the District Director (Schools).
In New South Wales:
“Registration is a legal requirement for home educated children of compulsory school age (6-17), but optional registration is available for children turning 5 by 31 July in the year of application, and students up to, and beyond age 18.
Home Education in NSW is regulated by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), who are responsible for processing applications for home education.”
In Western Australia:
“The School Education Act 1999 allows you to be in charge of educating your child during their compulsory years of schooling. This period starts the year your child turns five years and six months and ends the year they turn 17 years and six months, or they satisfy the minimum requirement for secondary school graduation.”
“Parents who wish to home school their child must register with the VRQA.
Parents are able to register their child for home schooling if the child is aged 6 to 17 years, or if they turn 6 in the year homeschooling will commence, and their residential address is in Victoria.
The VRQA must notify an applicant in writing of its decision in relation to an application within 28 days of receiving a complete application.”
“In Queensland, registration for home education is a legally recognised alternative to enrolling your child in school.
You can choose to provide the home education to your child or engage a Queensland registered teacher.
To be eligible for home education, your child must be at least 5 years and 6 months and less than 18 years on 31 December in the year registration takes effect. A child cannot be simultaneously registered for home education and enrolled in a school.
You need to apply for and be granted registration to home educate your child. Once registered, you become legally responsible for providing your child with a high-quality education.”
In South Australia:
“In South Australia, you can apply to home educate your child during their compulsory school years (6 to 17 years).
When applying, you accept overall responsibility for your child’s education and must provide:
a suitable education program that meets the goals of the Australian Curriculum (or similar), including strategies and tools to monitor your child’s progress
appropriate resources to support your program
a suitable learning environment
opportunities for your child’s social interaction”
“The registration of home education in Tasmania is managed by the Office of the Education Registrar.
Under the Education Act 2016, parents may exercise educational choice to register as home educators, thereby assuming responsibility for delivering education during their children’s compulsory years of schooling.
In Tasmania, a child who is at least 5 years of age as at 1 January in any year must be enrolled at school or provided with home education by a registered home educator for that year and subsequent years until the child is 18 or completes a Certificate III. Once a child completes the equivalent of year 10 that child may decide whether to continue with home education or undertake an approved learning program.”
Can my child still go on to university if they are homeschooled?
Yes, absolutely, although it’s not as straightforward as the traditional educational route, so you may need to look at alternative routes to university.
Is there a specific curriculum to follow?
No. Essentially, it’s your child, your choice, however most states dictate that you must follow at least part of the national Australian Curriculum. A lot of parents will have an idea of the type of subjects they want their child to learn too, particularly those of a religious nature.
How popular is homeschooling in Australia?
According to recent statistics, homeschooling in Australia is becoming more and more popular, although specific states are seeing bigger increases than others. For example, numbers in Queensland soared by nearly 200% between 2013 and 2018, whereas the jump over the same period was 50% in Victoria and just 42% in New South Wales. Nevertheless, these are all increases, which shows that the popularity of homeschooling in Australia is increasing.
Why are Australians choosing to homeschool their child?
There are many reasons as to why so many Australians are turning to home schooling as the primary method of education for their children, ranging from religious reasons to location of the nearest school, or some may just prefer to homeschool as they believe it to be the most effective way of learning for their child.
Should I homeschool my own child or employ a private tutor?
Whilst some parents choose to deliver a homeschooling program themselves, for many this simply isn’t an option due to their own careers and work commitments. This is why they turn to private tutor agencies such as ourselves, who can offer a bespoke service and find a full time tutor based on your specific needs. If you’d like to find out more information about what we do and how we can help, then click here.
Hopefully we’ve answered some of your questions about homeschooling in Australia, but if you have any further questions or would like some more information on how we can help, feel free to get in touch today.