HOME SCHOOLING / INTERNATIONAL
Australia
Australia

February 2016

Legend

NSW New South Wales
QLD Queensland
SA South Australia
TAS Tasmania
Vic Victoria
WA Western Australia

Growth in Home-schooling in Australia

By Stuart Chapman

Each Australian State has its own legislation and policies regarding home education.  The following is a brief overview and comparison of each of the six states.  


Is home education legal?

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /20 20 20 10 20 20 20
 

Comments: It is legal to home educate in every state, except SA where home education is not formally recognised but there is a mechanism whereby students can get exemption from attendance from school.


Is government registration required?

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /20 0 0 0 0 0 0
 

Comments: Unfortunately, each Australian State Government has failed to recognise the Universal Declaration of Human rights, which declares, “It is a parent’s prior right to choose the kind of education that their child receives”.

All state governments infringe on this basic parental right and impose themselves on individual families with a requirement for registration.


Is government approval of a program required before registration is granted?

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /10 0 5 4 2 10 6
 

Comments: In NSW and TAS, approval must be given before a child can legally commence home education.  NSW families can wait up to three months for approval.  

Provisional registration is given in QLD automatically and a home education program typically must be submitted within 6 weeks. 
 
In WA registration is automatic but a face-to-face meeting is required within three months. 

In SA a child can be given exemption from attendance from school for four weeks from a local principal, whilst an application for longer exemption is made.  In Victoria, initial registration is automatic.  


The level of complexity and detail required in documentation for registration:

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /10 0 6 5 4 10 2
 

Comments: NSW requires the most detail and time to prepare and VIC the least.


Is a home visit required as part of the registration process?

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /10 0 10 0 0 10 3
 

In NSW, SA and TAS home visits are required. In WA a face-to-face meeting is required but it does not have to been in the family home.

We believe government officials have no right to enter our family home and find this a gross infringement of our rights.


Do students have to follow the curriculum set down by the state government?

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /10 0 5 5 7 8 1
 

There are varying degrees of flexibility in some states, but little or none in NSW or WA.


Rate of Home schooling by State:

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /10 3 2 4 10 4 6
 

Comments: Tasmania has the highest per capita rate of homeschooling in Australia, with 1% of students being home educated, and Qld has the lowest at 0.2%.


Growth in homeschool numbers over the last three years

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /10 5 10 5 6 3 7
 

Comments: QLD has recorded the fastest percentage growth rate in recent years but this is from a low base. Victoria has the greatest number of home educated students but is growing at a slower rate.

Overall Results

State NSW QLD SA TAS Vic WA
Score /100 28 58 43 49 65 45
Grade F D E E C E
 

Final comments

Victoria is the easiest state in Australia to home educate and scores an overall C. 

NSW is the worst state and scores a disappointing F.
 
Queensland scored a D while all other states scored an E.    

While home education is legal and is growing throughout Australia, there is much to be done to make it more accessible and flexible with less bureaucratic interference. 

In all states, home educators must be vigilant to stop encroaching regulation by over-zealous bureaucrats. 

This author believes it is time for an organisation such as Home-school Legal Defence Association to be established in Australia for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of home educators. 

In the meantime, Homeschool WA and Homeschool Christian Academy Australia assist with the registration process and have an excellent record in helping families gain registration when required.    


Stuart Chapman is the founder and director of Homeschool WA, the CEO of Homeschool Christian College and the Australian Representative of the Global Home Education Conference. He is the father of five children who were home educated.  

 Other Resources

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Australia page.