Home education is legal in Australia. However, laws and regulations differ from state to state. You will need to obtain a copy of the relevant Act for your state, and find out about local conditions and regulations or policies that may apply to home schooling. Australia may be one country but every state is totally different in regards to this.
Homeschooling networks can help you with legal information, but check for yourself - information may not be accurate or up-to-date. The information given on this page is written by someone without legal qualifications and is a general guide only to what is usually required of home educators and may not be applicable in your situation.
Always seek qualified legal advice if in any doubt as to your legal position.
The following links contain legal information and requirements for Home Schooling in each state in Australia
Board of Studies Manuals and Guides - PDF files covering Home Education Study and Consultation.
Enrolment of Students Policy - NSW Department of Education & Training.
Legal Requirements and Registration in NSW
Please visit South Australia Homeschooling Laws for more information.
Links to preface, procedure and schedule for homeschooling dispensation
Home Education - contact information, application, conditions and booklet.
Not all homeschoolers agree with the educational authority's interpretation of the laws and regulations regarding education or homeschooling.
Some feel homeschooling regulations and laws are fair and reasonable, but others argue they have no basis in law, infringe on basic human and parenting rights, and are discriminatory and inequitable.
Thinking carefully and becoming clear in your own mind about your role and the role of the authorities will offer you the most confidence in whatever path you decide to undertake.
For more information contact the Home Education Resource and Legal Information Network in your state. There is also a great little book available called "Legal Aspects of Home Education in Australia" Merrin Larsen available from either www.lem.com.au or www.kepl.com.au.
Parents are usually required to prepare a learning program for the children, which includes provision for social interaction with peers, and states how progress will be monitored. This is assessed by an officer of the educational authority, a process that usually takes less than a month and includes at least one interview. Review varies from annually, every two years, or negotiated. In some states you can also apply for re-registration through correspondence which makes it easier for years to come. Insha'Allah.
At all times read all paper work very carefully, and never sign anything you are not entirely happy with. Where possible state your case in your own writing, rather than simply signing forms presented to you. Be careful not to sign away present or future rights to resources, assistance or help for your children as homeschooling students. Keep records of any communication with authority officials, including tape recordings or transcripts of telephone conversations (where legal).
This professional and responsible approach offers you confidence in further dealings. Insist on written clarification of telephone communications and outlines of what will be discussed and dealt with during interviews. Keep records until the child is past compulsory schooling age.
The type of information sought by educational authorities in the process of 'approving' homeschoolers varies considerably, but the focus should be on the quality of the proposed learning program and learning environment.
Most authorities require a proposed learning program containing a broad outline of work for each child for the coming year. This consists of a brief statement on the curriculum areas to be studied, including short and long term objectives, a list of resources to be used and a brief description of the proposed teaching methods.
In Australia the curriculum includes the following subjects English; Languages other than English; Mathematics; Society and Environment Studies; Health, Physical and Personal Development; Science; The Arts; and Technology and Enterprise. It is possible to devise your own subject headings, for example Physical Development, History, Cultural Studies, Music, Geography, Physics, etc. The aim is to offer a broad and balanced curriculum over time.
Children do not have to be subjected to interviews. Be firm and assert that it is the learning program that is under consideration - not the children's current educational abilities and understandings. As the approved home educator it is yours, not the interviewing officer's, responsibility to monitor the progress of your child.
At the review interview you may be required to demonstrate educational progress of the children. This necessitates some degree of record keeping, an essential element of a sound educational program.In most cases a simple annual report prepared by you should suffice. When working through the review simply write brief summaries of what the children have done during the year, and then a brief outline of the next year's program. If you are feeling less than confident get help - many experienced homeschoolers are happy to assist or be present at interviews as observers.
Focus is always placed on socialisation and adequate provision for contact with peers. Most homeschooling families broaden their children social sphere by simply removing them from school which is a sterile environment for any normal socialisation to take place, with most children generally only being exposed to children mostly of the same age. Allhumdulilah Home Schooling broadens their opportunity for more realistic socialisation on a community basis with regular interaction with family and people from all age groups.
Families list cultural, religious, sport and personal interest social activities, as well as participation in homeschooling group activities.
It is a good idea to inform the educational authorities that you are in contact with local or state based homeschooling groups for support, advice and social opportunities.
Muslim Home Education Network of Australia is here to help in anyway we can so please email our team here for information and support.
Muslim Home Education Network Australia ( MHENA ) is a united group of Muslim Homeschooling mothers, with experience in all of the learning stages up to stage 5, from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Read More