Home Education Registration > Understanding the Standards

An approved home education program is to ensure that the relevant child will:

  1. experience environments that are rich in literacy; and

2. participate in activities that will develop the relevant child’s speech, reading, writing and communication.   



What does this mean?

An environment rich in literacy includes all aspects of reading, writing, speech and communication, spelling, listening, and creating with words.  This Standard asks you to show how you intend to use literacy as a tool for learning and a means of expression and communication.  What opportunities and resources will you use to support your child’s development in literacy?

What kind of information do I need to provide in my HESP?

Your HESP should include enough information for your Registration Officer to understand your program.

There is no requirement to follow the Australian Curriculum or any other curriculum.

New applications

Your HESP should provide information under the Plan heading showing your aims for your child in learning literacy skills.  Your HESP should tell us about your child’s strengths and challenges, and specific details of resources, activities and methods that will be used (titles and grade levels of the resources you will be using should also be included).   

Renewing applications

Your HESP should provide a Summary or reflection of the last year’s learning and achievement, an Evaluation of your child’s progress, and a Plan for the coming year, showing how your evaluation has informed the future program. 

Include titles and levels of books, texts, workbooks (whether completed or not) where applicable.

You can talk about things like:

  • how the methods and resources you have used have suited your child’s needs
  • strengths and/or challenges your child has experienced over the past year
  • any changes that you may have made (and why)
  • your observations of their progress and development.    

Examples of what you can write about in this Standard include:


  • learning to read (phonics or other method, online programs and games, or readers)
  • child’s preferred reading material (fiction, non-fiction, books, online)
  • reading for comprehension and/or other purpose
  • learning about literature (e.g., classical, popular, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, etc)
  • reading aloud:
    • parents to child (even for independent readers) may provide exposure to new vocabulary, help with listening skills, and may raise topics for discussion and/or further research
    • family activity with opportunity for discussion
    • child to parents can provide practice for developing skills and identification of issues 
  • opportunistic reading
  • emails, texting, gaming, use of computer programs, research skills, coding, online programs.


  • letter formation and handwriting (for beginner writers – fine motor skill activities, letter recognition, lower- and upper-case alphabet; for older children handwriting may focus on legibility, neatness, calligraphy, etc)
  • grammar and punctuation, spelling and vocabulary
  • composing texts and creating with words including creative writing, essays, reports, the various genres (persuasive, narrative, descriptive, explanatory, poetry, scripts, letters), notetaking, note booking, journal, projects
  • writing connected to learning in other areas such as Science, Social Studies, the Arts, History, etc.
  • writing for purpose / practical reasons for writing
  • type written work and touch typing.

Speech and Communication:

  • memorisation, recitation, and oral narration
  • discussions
  • listening to books being read aloud or audio books
  • debates
  • public speaking and performance (church, youth group, home education groups show and tell, concerts).


  • understanding visual elements (graphs, tables, maps, images, movies)
  • viewing opportunities – movies, plays/musicals, documentaries, You Tube videos, Scootle.

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 in literacy.

Your Registration Officer will be interested in seeing things like:

  • samples of written work, completed work in workbooks, books your child has read and is currently reading, any work done on the computer, and/or records of online literacy programs
  • photos showing literacy activities such as word building and whiteboard activities, word games, going to the movies or plays, reading environmental print, letters to family or friends
  • records of reading, viewing, discussions either through a log, search history or library receipts
  • you may like to display videos of your child reading, acting a part, reciting poetry. 

Your Registration Officer may also build the big picture of the program by:

  • asking your child about what they are reading (fiction and/or non-fiction). If your child does not like to read, explore other opportunities where reading is needed, such as workbooks, research, games, instructions, etc. The Registration Officer may ask about your child’s interests and discuss when/how/if reading is a part of this, such as magazines or fact books.
  • asking about other instances of literacy being applied over all the program, such as notetaking, research, and project work under Range of Learning Areas
  • encouraging verbal communication with your child at a visit.  Even if your child is reluctant or shy, once they become comfortable around the Registration Officer, they may want to share something of interest from their program.
  • asking about handwriting activities – how this is happening, how it is used and if your child uses typed communication.
  • discussing with you whether the resources being used are effective and your child is enjoying them. Your Registration Officer may note that little progress has occurred in some workbooks or programs and, through discussion, suggest alternative resources which may be more suitable. 

NOTE: This information is intended as a guide only and you do not have to include everything noted here. Every home education program is unique. What Registration Officers look for in the HESP and at the visit can vary from one program to the next, depending on the Pedagogy for that program and the specific needs of the child. 

What kind of information is included in the registration report?

Through the registration report, the Registration Officer:

  • confirms 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.

If there is not enough evidence available for the Registration Officer to view, you may be asked to supply more evidence after the visit. This is to help the Registration Officer decide on the overall assessment of the program.

To ensure consistency and fairness, Registration Officers use the following guide to decide on the overall assessment of the Standard. There are three possible outcomes: Meeting Standard, Not Meeting Standard, and Working Towards Standard.

Meeting Standard

  • The home educator can show that they are providing a rich environment in literacy which covers reading, writing, viewing, communication and listening.
  • The program suits the learning needs of the child and progress in developing literacy skills can be seen.
  •  There is enough evidence presented for the Registration Officer to recommend registration approval.

Working Towards Standard

  • A program is being provided in some of these literacy areas but not all.
  • An attempted approach has been unsuccessful, and nothing more has been planned.
  • The program is inappropriate for your child’s age and/or ability.  The learning opportunities may lack direction and relevance.
  • The home educator is not checking the program and/or the child’s progress. 
  • There is not enough evidence available for the Registration Officer to recommend registration approval. 

Not Meeting Standard

  • There is no evidence that a program is being delivered to address reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • There is a lack of interest and/or capacity to deliver a program.                                                            
  • The child’s learning is not progressing, and the program is inappropriate for their age and ability.
  • There is no sign that new materials are being trialled, or research is being undertaken to develop the program, or that the home educator is seeking help to address their child’s needs.

Assessment not Judgement

It is important to note that:

  • Registration Officers do not make judgements about your child’s abilities – they assess the capacity of your home education program to identify and cater for their learning needs.
  • 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. In the case of 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 in three to six months to discuss your program further and to offer extra support.  In some circumstances, the Registrar may request a further visit by another Registration Officer.