An approved home education program is to specify the learning methodologies that will be used to meet the aims of the program and how those methodologies will be delivered to the relevant child.
SCHEDULE 1 – STANDARDS FOR APPROVED HOME EDUCATION PROGRAMS
EDUCATION REGULATIONS 2017
What does this mean?
This Standard is about how you educate your child. It is about the methods and resources you use, and any particular approaches, theories or philosophies which underlie your methods.
What kind of information do I need to provide in my HESP?
There is no right or wrong way to home educate. You are able to organise your program to suit the needs of your child and your family.
There is no requirement to use the Australian Curriculum or any other set curriculum.
Your HESP should include:
- a description of why you are home educating and your aims for your program. This helps us understand why you have chosen certain methods and resources and how your program will suit your child. A HESP needs to be individualised and should include advice about your child’s learning needs, style, interests, strengths, and challenges.
- a description of what style of home education you will use, e.g., curriculum based (Steiner, Charlotte Mason, Classical, Christian, or Australian curriculum); unschooling or natural learning; or a combination of styles (i.e., eclectic). We understand that there are many approaches to home education, and it is common for families to combine elements of different methods to develop their own style. It is also useful to tell us about the main subject areas/topics you plan to include in your program
- a description of how your program will be delivered and how this applies to your child. You might tell us about your daily or weekly routine or seasonal rhythm if you follow one. You may be educating at home or on the road. You can write about your methods of delivery (E.g., direct teaching, strewing, independent research, family group work, one on one support, etc.), and resources you plan to use (e.g., textbooks, online programs, etc.).
If your child has a part time enrolment at school, you should write about it in this Standard.
For renewing registrations, your HESP should include a summary and evaluation of the above areas since your last HESP. This should include information about any strengths and challenges of your methods over the past year and how your program has developed to address these.
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. You might talk about:
- how you structure your routine (if you have one) to suit your child and your family and how extra classes/activities etc. fit in to this
- successes and challenges you have had with resources and methods over the past registration year
- adjustments you have made to your pedagogy over the past registration year or intend to make in the coming year
- the details of a part time enrolment at school if relevant. If you have not supplied documentation (In-Principle Approval from the school Principal) to the OER, you may supply a copy of this to your Registration Officer at the visit or forward this to the OER as soon as possible.
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 relating to your program delivery 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.
- A suitable and relevant home education program is being delivered and the child is engaging with the program.
Working Towards Standard
- The style and/or methods are still being established.
- The program lacks direction or relevance to the child.
- The child is not engaging with the program.
Not Meeting Standard
- There is no evidence that the home educator is trying to deliver a home education program. There is a lack of interest and/or capacity to deliver a program.
Assessment not Judgement
It is important to note that:
- Registration Officers do not make judgements about your chosen style and methods of home education. Registration Officers assess the capacity of your home education program to address your overall aims and meet the needs of your child.
- 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 to discuss your program further and to offer extra support. In some circumstances, the Registrar may request a further registration visit by another Registration Officer.