An approved home education program is to:
- ensure that the relevant child engages in a broad range of educational areas suitable to his or her education needs; and
- identify all the educational areas to be provided to the relevant child.
SCHEDULE 1 – STANDARDS FOR APPROVED HOME EDUCATION PROGRAMS
EDUCATION REGULATIONS 2017
What does this mean?
The Range of Learning Areas Standard is about the learning and activities that you will provide for your child aside from literacy and numeracy. This Standard allows the flexibility for you to provide your child with opportunities to explore and develop their interests, passions, curiosity, and talents.
Depending on the age of your child and the style of your program, your program may include some, or all educational areas (such as history, science, geography, technologies, the arts, languages, citizenship, economics and business, technologies, etc.). Although there is no need to include all educational areas, in the primary years, it is advisable to include a broad range to provide a well-rounded education for your child. Later, in the high school years, as your child develops their own interests, these areas may become more defined and focussed.
Some children display interests from an early age and the learning in this Standard can be focused to extend those interests. Often literacy and numeracy skills can also be integrated into these areas of interest and may be an effective method of engaging your child in these activities. For example, a child who doesn’t like writing may be more interested learning and developing that skill through documenting information about their interests. Similarly, a child can develop their reading and research skills through exploring their interests and finding information they need to learn about a particular topic. Another example is learning to draw through observation of the outdoors during bushwalks or visits to the beach.
Some children prefer to learn using workbooks. This can be an effective way of helping them learn about the world around them in areas such as science, history, government, geography, and the natural environment. Languages can be included and are often learnt through online programs or apps on a digital device.
Some children prefer to learn through practical experience and hands-on activities. Your child can be provided with opportunities to learn through discussions, watching documentaries, going on excursions, conducting science experiments, attending and/or taking part in performances and sports, gardening, construction, handcrafts, cooking and learning through play. They may grow produce or raise animals, learn about breeding, learn an instrument and/or take part in an orchestra or choir.
This Standard can also include activities and classes that are undertaken outside the home such as music or art tuition, involvement in sports and clubs, Scouts/Guides/Boys or Girls Brigade, and part time enrolment at school.
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. A strong HESP is an individualised HESP which tells us about how your program has/will suit your child’s needs.
Your HESP should provide information under the Plan heading describing your aims for your child to experience a range of learning areas for the coming year. Your HESP should tell us your child’s strengths and challenges, the areas of education you intend to include in your program, 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).
Your HESP should provide a Summary or reflection of the last year’s learning and achievement, an Evaluation of your child’s engagement with the program and progress since your last HESP, and a Plan for the coming year.
You can talk about things like:
- a description of the learning experiences your child has engaged in since your last HESP
- details of the subjects and/or areas of interest that your child has explored and what resources and activities have been used to achieve this
- for curriculum-based programs, a description of the subject areas that you have included in your program since your last HESP, including the names (and levels if relevant) of the resources you have used
- for other approaches (e.g., practical, unschooling, natural learning, etc.), a description of your child’s areas of interest and how these have been explored, nurtured, and extended over the year
- how the program has 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 your child’s progress and development.
There is no requirement to use the Australian Curriculum or any other set curriculum.
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 over the past year in the various learning areas you have listed and anything else not listed in your HESP.
Your Registration Officer will be interested in seeing things like:
- 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
- practical projects, performances, and demonstration of practical skills
- tickets/brochures/programmes/other information from excursions and outings
- other items or projects such as your child’s garden outside, or handmade models or Lego in their bedrooms. Please ensure that you accompany the Registration Officer with your child to other areas in the house or outdoors.
Your Registration Officer may also build the big picture of the program by:
- discussing with you whether the resources being used are effective and your child is enjoying them
- chatting with you about other opportunities your child may be engaged in that are not included in your HESP. Your Registration Officer may encourage you to consider documenting your child’s engagement and progress in these activities as part of your home education program.
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.
- A suitable and relevant home education program is being delivered and the child is engaging with the program.
- The resources, activities and learning opportunities encompass a range of subjects and skills which are relevant to the needs and interests of the child and the style of the program.
- There is enough evidence presented for the Registration Officer to recommend registration approval.
Working Towards Standard
One or more of the following:
- The style and/or methods are still developing.
- The program lacks direction or relevance to the child.
- The child is not engaging with the program.
- The home educator shows a lack of understanding of how to design, deliver and evaluate a suitable program.
- The home educator is not checking the effectiveness of 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 deliver a 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 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.
- 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 to discuss your program further and to offer support. In some circumstances, the Registrar may request a further visit by another Registration Officer.