One of the most common questions in regards to home education is registration and the requirements. In QLD, as in every state of Australia, home education is legal, however, as in each state of Australia, there is a requirement to register each child with the appropriate Home Education Unit of that state. In the state of QLD this is known as the Education QLD Home Education Unit, Office of Tertiary and Non–State Education (Department of Education, Training and Employment). As stated (in part) on the registration application form, “A parent who is seeking to register a child for home education is required to reasonably satisfy the chief executive that they intend to and can comply with the standard conditions of registration as described under section 217 of the Act. Two main standards of conditions parents undertake to meet include:
- The provision of high-quality education for the child; and
- The provision of an annual written report on the child’s educational progress (required in the 10th month of the registration year).”
Overall, QLD has seen the numbers of registered home education programs jump from 495 in 2008 to 1000 in 2012. The latest figures show that there are now 11 000 students in Australia registered which is an increase of 7% since 2011. The number of unregistered children is hard to determine but estimates have stated 20 000 (however the numbers of unregistered is decreasing).
The most vital essential to successfully achieving confirmation of registration for your student/s is the educational tools and resources used in your home education program. The Accelerated Christian Educational Resources meets much of the criteria that are queried in the application forms in regards to the learning outcomes of the student. The essentials of the ACE program can be pivotal to a successful outcome in registration applications.
Each Australian state and territory has its own regulation. Registration for each child should commence from the compulsory school age. The compulsory school age in QLD is at least 6.5 years of age. Year 1 is the first year of compulsory education. Registration for home education would usually be undertaken from the beginning of the year in which the student commences Year 1.
The following information has been written by or (in part) as per Education QLD re: ‘Information in regards to Home Education.’
Home Education in QLD is a recognised and lawful education option available to Parents and families. To ensure a high-quality education the parents have the responsibility for the planning, implementing, and evaluating their child’s learning program as well as providing a suitable learning environment within their family home.
The following is a portion of information regarding the application documentation requirements as per the QLD Home Education Unit.
What are some sample approaches to documenting learning programs?
‘When it comes to documenting a learning program, you are encouraged to choose your own approach or style. We advise that the documents you present be especially useful to you since it is from this plan that your year ahead will be guided. Time invested by you in the early stages of developing a detailed and meaningful plan, will not only help you to address the registration requirements but just as importantly, provide you with direction for the learning year ahead.’
The Application for Registration for Home Education form for each child must be completed to be registered. Details about the documents and information which must accompany each application are outlined in the application form. Once the application forms have been completed and received by the QLD Home Education Unit the applicant automatically is issued provisional registration. Provisional registration expires when the registration for each child is granted. Registration is issued once the applicant has met all procedural requirements.
The Certificate of Registration Home Education for each child will be posted as formal proof of registration. Registration, once granted, is continuous and does not expire. However, there are reporting requirements that need to be met each year to continue the validation of the educational program for each child. Information for these requirements is posted with a detailed reporting pack in the sixth month of registration.
For my child to remain registered do I have to provide a written report? Yes. You are required to provide an annual written report on the educational progress of your child.
What sort of information will I need to provide in my child’s report? Ultimately, you will select, analyse and present a handful of your child’s work samples for the tenth-month report. How you might select this material is detailed in a reporting pack which is sent to you, each year, in the sixth month of the registration. These samples will represent aspects of:
- the learning experiences your child had over the year
- the outcomes you or your child were aiming to achieve
- pairs of comparative samples collected over time to assess your child’s learning growth and identify gaps and strengths in their learning
- the variety of genres your child may have studied including reports, stories, poems, reading logs, learning diaries, photographs, science observations, posters, essays, newspaper articles, letters, pamphlets, songs, projects, and models (to mention a few).
Why should I provide the HEU with a report about my child’s educational progress? Providing an annual written report is a standard condition of registration. Home education legislation is about respecting a parent’s rights to home educate their child while recognizing the right of each child to have a high-quality education. The report assists you to demonstrate that you are meeting the standard conditions of registration by providing your child with a high-quality education and that your child is making educational progress.
When is the report due? An annual written report is supplied by the parent. The report is due each year in the tenth month of the registration. For example, if registration was issued on 8 June 2015, then the report and new program are due in the following year, between 8 March 2016 and by 8 April 2016.
Can I seek a time extension to provide the report? No. There is a specific time frame in which the report and new program are due and you are required to comply, each year, in the tenth month of your child’s individual registration period.
What if I don’t send in a report? The registration could be canceled. If this were to happen you would firstly be posted a Show Cause Notice.