An approved home education program is to provide for the education of the relevant child in matters relating to safety, health and wellbeing.
SCHEDULE 1 – STANDARDS FOR APPROVED HOME EDUCATION PROGRAMS
EDUCATION REGULATIONS 2017
What does this mean?
This standard is about providing age-appropriate education to your child, within your family’s values, about how to care for themselves. You may choose to cover subjects like stranger danger, cyber safety, fire safety, water safety, personal care, nutrition, or reproductive health and development.
This Standard is NOT to be interpreted as relating to lifestyle, parenting, housekeeping or childrearing choices of the registered home educator.
There are many different areas within this Standard and it is not expected that you would use a particular program or resource. You are not expected to cover everything in every HESP and there are some areas which are more relevant to certain age groups. For many families, much learning occurs through discussion and modelling during activities like cooking, going on walks, and learning life skills such as lighting fires.
This Standard can be interpreted broadly. To some, wellbeing is a wholistic concept which joins the dots throughout the HESP. Good wellbeing is generally necessary for successful ongoing learning and what is taught or covered in other standards is underpinned by good wellbeing practices. An awareness of where wellbeing naturally plays into learning experiences and where wellbeing can be included/taught within other standards and individual subjects is useful.
Some definitions of wellbeing are important to give a clear understanding of what wellbeing is and helps us when we look at the big picture of the home education program.
The All-Tasmanian Government School Student 2020 Student Wellbeing Survey identified six key areas of wellbeing: (https://www.education.tas.gov.au/about-us/projects/child-student-wellbeing/student-wellbeing-survey-3/):
- feeling loved and safe
- being healthy (relates to emotions, emotional regulation, physical health, body image)
- having access to material basics (nutrition, sleep, music and arts, sports, organised activities)
- learning (displaying engagement, perseverance, and confidence)
- participating (at home, friendships, resilience, motivation, future/goal planning, confidence to achieve goals)
- having a positive sense of culture and identity (at school, with peers, performance goals and expectations, future).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes ‘wellbeing’ as a “resource for healthy living” and “positive state of health” that is “more than the absence of an illness” and enables us to function well: psychologically, physically, emotionally, and socially. In other words, wellbeing is described as “enabling people to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, form positive relationships with others and meaningfully contribute to the community”.
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.
Your HESP should provide information under the Plan heading showing how you will educate your child to care for their own health and wellbeing and what resources (if any) you will use. You should write about topics you intend to cover, and give a general plan of how you will do this. For example, enrolment in specific courses or groups, one-to-one chats/teaching discussions, ongoing or one-off teaching.
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 of books, texts, programs, courses, activities, workbooks and levels 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:
- volunteer work – charitable work is a way of being more outward focussed and contributing to the community. Giving and supporting those who are less fortunate is an important way of building one’s own wellbeing and learning to be part of a team. Some examples could include helping at local community centres, working in Op Shops, Meals on Wheels, animal refuges or rescue, recycling initiatives, etc.
- gardening and cooking
- sports and health and fitness activities
- stranger danger – online resources or conversation as the need arises
- cyber safety – this may include the use of online resources and/or discussion as the child interacts in online gaming communities, social media, or online programs
- fire safety – this may be discussion based or use online resources, workshops, and practical activities. Home educators have had access to the Tasmanian Fire Service programs for children in the past. Learning can include developing your own escape plan and emergency kit, particularly in bushfire season. Many enjoyable activities and learning can be based around camping, cooking over fires and bonfires. The Tasmania Fire Service gives details of brigades where children (10-17) can get involved.
- water safety – this may include structured Learn to Swim programs or may be based on discussion, practical and experiential learning. Home educators may access swimming programs in the community and children can also learn about this in outdoor activities at the beach, dams, local rivers and lakes, or backyard pools.
- personal care – this includes learning about healthy mindsets, spirituality, and activities to encourage positive wellbeing. Examples may include yoga, meditation, prayer and mindfulness activities. Often home educators use a study of the human body for children to learn about how to care for themselves.
- first aid – this may be through structured resources, workshops, and online materials or through discussion and practical learning
- nutrition – cooking, meal preparation and baking are all ways for children to learn about healthy eating. Some children like to make their own recipe book as they make favourite foods and there are many online programs as well as books which explain cooking skills for children.
- reproductive health and development – within the family’s own values and at age-appropriate levels.
There is no requirement to follow the Australian Curriculum or any other 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 in learning about topics relating to wellbeing.
This Standard may be interpreted broadly, and the visit may incorporate discussions, physical evidence, or both.
Your Registration Officer will be interested in seeing and discussing things like:
- certificates, photographs, journals, discussion logs or other physical evidence. In the case of an ongoing activity from the previous year, the Registration Officer may enquire about your child’s progress and how this is being assessed, for example, swimming lessons.
- sport and exercise (self-directed, groups, outdoor, park play, camping, etc.)
- safety courses, discussions, resources, practical application
- articles and discussions on topical issues
- cooking (includes safety and hygiene)
- gardening activities (may include using tools or driving outdoor vehicles, handling chemicals, safety)
- construction/building activities including use of tools and Personal Protective Equipment
- financial education
- charitable pursuits/support/sponsorship
- mindfulness/emotional regulation/resilience training/growth mindset
- pets and animals (e.g. training, responsibility, horse-riding, safety)
- life-skills deliberately taught
- professional services (e.g. psychology, occupational therapy)
- volunteer activities
- youth organisations
- character studies or religious devotions taught as part of the program
- preparation for driver’s licence (car/boat)
Your Registration Officer recognises that discussion in this standard may include some personal and/or sensitive information that you may not wish to have recorded in the report. If something is mentioned at the visit but not in the HESP and seems a personal/sensitive topic, please note this with your Registration Officer.
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, updates and/or elaborates on 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.
- 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 topics which are relevant to the needs and interests of the child and the style of the program.
- The home educator intentionally addresses topics relating to wellbeing as part 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 program is still developing, i.e., activities lack breadth, resources and/or style of delivery may still be developing.
- Plans or resources are listed but there is no evidence of action. The child may not be engaging with the methods, or the choice of topics.
- The home educator shows a lack of understanding about how to design, deliver and evaluate a suitable program.
- The child is not engaging with the program due to a wellbeing issue. Mental health issues, lack of ownership in program, inappropriate pedagogy or lack of goal setting may be contributing to lack of engagement by the child.
- 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 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 support. In some circumstances, the Registrar may request a further visit by another Registration Officer.