Home Schooling

Purpose of this policy

To ensure that all children have access to high quality education.

Policy

Principals should advise parents/guardians (parents) proposing to home school their child:

  • of the home schooling requirements under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Act) and the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Regulations)  
  • that they can request partial enrolment at a school for their child for specific activities
  • that they must apply to the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) for registration.

Definition

In Victoria, home schooling during a child’s compulsory school years (6-17) is a recognised alternative to attending government or registered non-government schools. The Victorian Government supports parental choice in education and acknowledges that parents who choose to home educate their children do so for a variety of reasons and are willing to commit significant time, energy and resources.

Parents who decide to educate their child from a home base assume overall responsibility for the planning, implementation and assessment of their child’s education. While flexible, it is a requirement of registration in Victoria that a home schooled child receives regular and efficient instruction that:

  • taken as a whole, substantially addresses the eight learning areas set out in Schedule 1 to the Act, unless the VRQA grants an exemption; and
  • is consistent with the principles and practice of Australian democracy.

The eight learning areas set out in Schedule 1 to the Act are:

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

The following table describes the forms that home schooling may and may not take.

Home schooling Take the form of
may
  • a broad spectrum of styles, ranging from informal learning approaches to formal curriculum programs.
  • one or more parents instructing their child
  • groups of home schooling students coming together for activities with an educational or social purpose
  • attending excursions and playing sport
  • a tutor with specialised knowledge being employed by the parent.
may not a 'quasi' school arrangement where an instructor or teacher is employed to instruct a group of students:
  • in the eight learning areas
  • away from the home base
  • during normal school hours.
In this situation normal school registration processes apply.

Registration process

Parents who wish to home school their child must register with the VRQA.

Parents are able to register their child for home schooling if:

  • the child is aged 6–17 years, or if they turn six in the year home schooling will commence, and
  • their residential address is in Victoria.

Changes to the regulation of home schooling, including registration requirements, will apply from 1 January 2018 as part of the new Regulations. From 2018, parents applying to register their child for home schooling will submit their proposed educational program for their child, which includes a learning plan.

The learning plan is intended to prompt consideration of what educational program will most benefit their 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.

Parents whose children are already registered for home education do not need to create a learning plan. A learning plan template is available to support those parents seeking guidance, but its use is optional.

The VRQA must notify an applicant in writing of its decision in relation to an application within 28 days of receiving a complete application. For full details about home schooling registration requirements see the VRQA website: Home schooling

Further information is available in the Department’s Guide to Home Education in Victoria  (docx - 5.85mb)

Partial enrolments

The Department makes various support mechanisms available to home education families, which includes allowing home education students to partially enrol at their neighbourhood Government school for specific activities, as agreed by the school and parent.

A partial enrolment arrangement should be based on the following principles:

  • the parent/s registered for home education retain/s responsibility for providing an education program for their child (as per the requirements of registration)
  • a partnership approach between the school and the parent of a home educated student
  • full inclusion and participation in all aspects of the program or activity in which the child is enrolled.

Principals should accept a partial enrolment arrangement where they are able to do so, e.g. having regard to the class size limit in a particular year level and/or subject area.

The appropriate year level for the partial enrolment should be determined in consultation with the parent. Principals have the discretion to decline or cancel an enrolment where there are reasonable grounds for doing so, such as where the school’s capacity to accept the enrolment changes.

For further information about the requirements and processes associated with partial enrolment arrangements see the Guidelines for Partial Enrolment for Registered Home Schooled Students

Related legislation

  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017

Department resources