Home schooling

In Victoria, home schooling your child during their compulsory school years is a recognised alternative to attending government or registered non-government schools.

We recognise that home schooling can occur across a broad range of styles, from informal learning approaches to formal curriculum programs.

When you decide to educate your child from a home base, you assume overall responsibility for the planning, implementation and assessment of your child’s educational program. There are a number of minimum requirements, but a great deal of flexibility overall.

This page provides information if you are considering home schooling your child.

Eight learning areas

In Victoria, home schooling families provide regular and efficient instruction that, taken as a whole, substantially addresses the eight learning areas:

  • English
  • mathematics
  • sciences
  • humanities and social sciences
  • the arts
  • languages
  • health and physical education
  • information and communication technology, and design and technology.

These learning areas are outlined in more detail in schedule 1 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

We acknowledge that children in home education will be at different levels due to a range of factors, including disability (both diagnosed and undiagnosed). Instruction should be delivered according to the specific needs of the child.  

You may wish to consult the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) guidelines for students with disabilities for advice on how to deliver an appropriate and engaging learning program for students with disabilities.

Registering to home school your child

The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 requires that all children of compulsory school age (six to 17 years) are enrolled in a school, or registered for home schooling.

If you choose to home school you must register with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), a statutory authority responsible for the registration and accreditation of education and training providers. Home schooling registration is free.

For information on registration, see: Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority

Changes from 2018

Changes to the regulation of home schooling will apply from 1 January 2018 as part of the new Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017.

From 2018, you will need to submit a proposed educational program for your child (including a learning plan) when you apply to the VRQA.

The learning plan is intended to get you to think about what educational program will most benefit your child. It includes details of the subject matter that will be covered in the first year of registration and when and where instruction will take place. If your child is already registered for home education you do not need to create a learning plan.

A learning plan template is available if you are seeking guidance, but its use is optional. See learning plan template (docx - 50.9kb).

A range of completed learning plan examples are available on the VRQA website

The VRQA will notify you in writing of their decision in relation to your application within 28 days of receiving the complete application.

From 2018, the VRQA will start a home schooling review program to check whether regular and efficient instruction has been provided to a child who is being home schooled. The VRQA will select a sample of up to 10 per cent of registered home schooling families for review annually. The VRQA will provide you with written notice of the review and outline the scope, timelines and process.

Further information on these changes is available on the VRQA website

Further information on the review process that informed the changes to home schooling is available here: education and training reform regulations review

Victorian Home Education Advisory Committee

The Department has established the Victorian Home Education Advisory Committee (VHEAC) as part of the implementation of the new regulations. The VHEAC provides feedback to the VRQA and the Department on the operation of the regulations.

The VHEAC comprises members of the home schooling community as well as representatives from the VRQA, the Department and the disability sector, and a home education researcher.

A list of the home education representatives on the VHEAC and their contact details are provided on the HEN website 

Four VHEAC meetings were held in 2017 and the communiques from these meetings are available below:

Guide to home education in Victoria

This guide outlines the services and support available to families who educate their children at home. The booklet is designed to assist you to ensure that your home educated children are given the best opportunities to maximise their learning and development potential.

It includes information about:

  • considering the decision to home educate
  • registering for home schooling
  • requirements for education programs at home
  • reviews of home schooling programs
  • education resources and other support available to home education parents
  • post-school pathways for home educated students
  • useful contacts.

For a copy of the guide, see: guide to home education in Victoria (docx - 5.85mb) 

Partial enrolment for registered home schooling students

You can approach your neighbourhood government school to partially enrol your child in specific activities or subjects, as agreed between you and the school principal. This may include, for example, sport, art, science or a language.

For more information on partial enrolment guidelines, see: partial enrolment for registered home schooling students guidelines (docx - 35.82kb)

Immunisation

The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments fund vaccine programs for adolescents in secondary school Year 7 and Year 10 or at an equivalent age outside of school. Free vaccines can be accessed from either the student’s GP or a local council immunisation service.

  • Human papillomavirus and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine protections are offered for the Year 7 or age-equivalent group.
  • Meningococcal (A, C, W, Y strains) vaccine protection is offered for the Year 10 or age-equivalent group.
  • Vaccine protection against influenza is for any child with a high-risk medical condition. Families can discuss this with their GP.
  • If a vaccine course was started and not completed, the course can be completed with the missed dose/s regardless of the time lapse.
  • Free catch-up vaccines are available for all people under 20 years of age.

For a fact sheet, see Better Health Channel’s immunisation in secondary schools.

See also immunisation, school policy advisory guide.