An approved home education program is to specify how the relevant child’s progress under the program is to be evaluated.
SCHEDULE 1 – STANDARDS FOR APPROVED HOME EDUCATION PROGRAMS
EDUCATION REGULATIONS 2017
What does the Standard say for Evaluation and what does this mean?
Consistent evaluation of your child’s progress allows you to assess your child’s understanding and engagement as well as your own role as educator. You may often find that you need to modify your expectations or change your pedagogy to fully accommodate the specific needs or interests of your child.
It is expected that progress is seen over time depending on your child’s ability, health, life events and aptitude.
By its nature, this Standard is both backward and forward looking. You should describe your ongoing evaluation processes and how, if at all, you change or refine those processes.
This Standard is about the methods you will use to track your child’s progress and respond to their changing needs. Reflecting on strengths and challenges and making changes to your program throughout the year, shows evaluation in action. It is important to use strategies and methods that work for you and your family, so they are easy to maintain.
Commonly used methods of evaluation include:
- progress through levelled resources and/or curriculum aligned workbooks and programs
- diagnostic and review tests, and/or progressive data from online programs (progress emails, dashboards)
- marking and reflecting on completed work/projects/activities
- formal tests, grading, and competitions (e.g., NAPLAN, music, sports, dance, martial arts)
- observation, discussion, and narration
- feedback from tutors, teachers, trainers and/or specialists
- HESP writing which can also be a useful evaluative tool for reflection and review and identification of needs and interests for the coming year.
Record keeping is fundamental to effective evaluation. Records provide you with the information needed to build the bigger picture of your child’s learning and engagement with the program over time.
Commonly used record keeping methods include:
- diaries/journals – some people like to write things down and include all sorts of information in their diaries, from daily activities and work completed, to plans for the coming year which are ticked off as they are completed. It is not necessary to record everything your child does unless you want to. Some home educators only record those activities which do not leave a tangible item of evidence, such as baking and cooking, letter-writing, art/craft given away as gifts, models, science experiments, excursions, or appointments. Some people record their reflections of the day, week, or term along with a note of what they have changed to meet their child’s needs. Encourage your child to keep a journal of daily or weekly activities and their reflections on their progress (if they are old enough).
- logs (reading, viewing, research, discussions, etc.)
- portfolios/photographs of dated work samples (on which you can write comments or grades), certificates, etc.
- digital journal/record keeping programs (KeptMe, Evernote, OneNote, SeeSaw, etc.)
- display folders or slide shows of photographs, with your child supplying captions or comments, such as a PowerPoint presentation, or in photo books
- school reports/communication books/discussions with teachers (for part time enrolments) – include how you evaluate the effectiveness of this enrolment as part of your program.
What kind of information do I need to provide in my HESP?
As you would have written about your child’s progress over the year in the relevant Standards (Literacy, Numeracy, Range of Learning Areas, Wellbeing) throughout your HESP, you can simply give an evaluative overview of your whole program.
New Applications and Plans:
Your HESP should have enough information for your Registration Officer to understand how you plan to evaluate your program and check your child’s progress. Your HESP should explain the methods you will use to record and reflect on your child’s overall learning and experiences and how you will change your program (if necessary) in response to your child’s needs.
Your HESP should include details about how you will track and record information such as:
- whether your program suits your child’s needs
- any strengths and/or challenges your child experiences
- your child’s progress and development.
It will be much easier to write your next HESP if you have recorded and evaluated your program as the year progresses rather than trying to remember.
What kind of information do I need to provide at my registration visit?
During the visit, your Registration Officer will:
- discuss the information you have provided in your HESP
- view evidence of your child’s engagement with the program
- view evidence of your evaluation methods.
Evidence may be in the form of:
- notes and feedback on written work and/or workbooks
- dashboard records, certificates and/or reports from online programs
- photographs, screenshots, and videos
- journal entries, viewing logs, research logs and discussion logs.
What kind of information is included in the registration report?
Through the registration report, the Registration Officer:
- confirms or updates the information you have provided in your HESP, informing the Registrar about what was discussed and sighted at the visit
- writes about any new information, or any progress or changes to your program that are not already described in your HESP
- writes about suggestions or recommendations concerning the development of your program, that were discussed at the visit.
How is the overall assessment of the Standard determined?
The Office of the Education Registrar understands that every family, child, and program is unique.
The Registration Officer decides the overall assessment for the standard based on:
- the information in your HESP, and
- the discussion shared and evidence shown at the registration visit.
To ensure consistency and fairness, Registration Officers use a guide to decide on the overall assessment of the Standard. There are three possible outcomes: Meeting Standard, Not Meeting Standard, and Working Towards Standard.
- Evaluation methods are relevant to the pedagogy of the program.
- Record keeping is consistent and thorough.
- There is enough evidence presented for the Registration Officer to recommend registration approval.
Working Towards Standard
One or more of the following:
- Evidence collection/record keeping methods are still developing and/or are inconsistent or inefficient.
- The home educator is not checking the program and/or the child’s progress.
- There is not enough evidence presented for the Registration Officer to recommend registration approval.
Not Meeting Standard
- There is no evidence that the home educator is trying to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of the program or the engagement and progress of the child.
- There are no records of learning and/or the child’s progress throughout the year.
- There is a lack of interest and/or capacity to evaluate the program and progress of the child.
Assessment not Judgement
It is important to note that:
- Registration Officers do not make judgements about your chosen style and methods of home education or your child’s skills or ability in any given area. Registration Officers assess the capacity of your home education program to identify and cater for their learning needs and check their progress.
- Registration Officers are not educational consultants. The responsibility for the design of the program lies with you as the home educator.
- Receiving a Working Towards Standard or Not Meeting Standard does not mean that your registration will not be approved. If this Standard is assessed as Working Towards Standard or Not Meeting Standard, the Registration Officer will work with you to support the development of your program to meet the needs of your child. Your Registration Officer may suggest a follow up visit or support phone call to discuss your program further and to offer more support. In some circumstances, the Registrar may request a further visit by another Registration Officer.