An approved home education program is to demonstrate that –
- The education to be provided has been well researched; and
- The aspects of the areas of education to be provided are thoroughly understood by the person providing the program.
SCHEDULE 1 – STANDARDS FOR APPROVED HOME EDUCATION PROGRAMS
EDUCATION REGULATIONS 2017
What does this mean?
As the home educator, you are responsible for planning, delivering, and evaluating your child’s learning program. The Research Standard is about how you have prepared yourself to do this.
Research informs the development and delivery of your program across all other Standards. Your research may be general and apply to home education methods or the program overall, or your research might be quite specific in response to an identified need your child has (e.g., a targeted phonics program, record keeping tools, specific curricula, etc.). For families with a teenage child, research might include areas of career development, higher education options, and particular courses in their child’s areas of interest.
What kind of information do I need to provide in my HESP?
Your HESP should include:
- a description of your understanding of home education including how and where you have learned about home education (for example, chatting with other home educators, home education blogs, the OER website, etc.)
- a description of your understanding of the methods you have chosen and which subjects were/will be taught, along with how you will address these (for example, will you use a structured curriculum, eclectic, or natural learning approach?)
- a description of the resources you plan to use that suit your child’s learning needs, how and where you found these, and why you chose your particular program and/or resources, e.g. your child may have particular needs, such as finding resources for dyslexia, or a career pathway.
For renewing registrations, you should include a description of how your program is evolving and remains relevant, including information about ongoing research into home education approaches (where undertaken), and/or current research into specific curricula or resources.
What kind of information do I need to provide at my registration visit?
During the visit the Registration Officer may discuss with you how your research has influenced your program, your choice of home education approach, the resources you have chosen to use and how you use them. You may discuss the details of your favourite resources such as books, online programs, or apps. Your Registration Officer is able to provide suggestions about alternative resources if you ask.
Your Registration Officer may ask you specific questions about research to assess whether you are showing understanding of the program and its development and/or whether it meets your child’s needs.
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 such as further research you have undertaken and if/how that research will affect your program (for example, conversations with other home educators, attending an OER/THEAC or Home Educator forum, reading information on the OER website or Facebook page, etc.)
- 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 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.
- The home educator has researched, found, and is delivering a suitable education program to meet the child’s needs.
- The program is evolving to suit the needs, strengths, interests of the child, as they age and progress in their learning.
Working Towards Standard
- Research is limited and/or the home educator displays a lack of understanding of how to go about home educating.
- Research lacks direction or relevance to the child’s needs, and this is affecting the program (although the home educator is willing to learn and search other sources of information in discussion with the Registration Officer).
Not Meeting Standard
- It is clear through discussion and/or observation that the home educator has not done any research and does not understand what or how they will be teaching their child.
- There may be a lack of interest or refusal to seek or receive advice.
Assessment not Judgement
It is important to note that:
- Registration Officers do not make judgements about your ability to undertake a home education program or your child’s abilities in learning. Registration Officers assess the capacity of your home education program to meet the Standards for registration and the learning 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.