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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Home Schooling and Partial Enrolments

Policy

This policy outlines school requirements relating to parents wishing to home school their children and explain the policy and process for partial enrolment.

Summary

  • The Victorian Government supports parental choice in education, including home schooling.
  • Parents who wish to home school their child must register with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) if their child is of compulsory school age.
  • The Department makes various support mechanisms available to home schooling families, which includes allowing home school students to partially enrol at their neighbourhood government school for specific activities, as agreed by the school and parent. Further information for schools on partial enrolment is provided in this policy as well as the Guidelines for Partial Enrolment of Registered Home Schooled Students, on the Guidance tab.
  • Families wishing to transition from school to home schooling must ensure their children are enrolled in and attending school until their home schooling application is approved by the VRQA and they are provided with the formal registration notice.

Details

Principals should advise parents/carers (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 VRQA for registration

Background

In Victoria, home schooling during a child’s compulsory school years (6 to 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 8 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 paragraphs describe the forms that home schooling may and may not take.

Home schooling may take the form of:

  • 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

Home schooling may not take the form of:

  • a 'quasi' school arrangement where an instructor or teacher is employed to instruct a group of students:
    • in the 8 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 to 17 years, or if they turn 6 in the year home schooling will commence, and
  • their residential address is in Victoria

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 refer to: Home Education VRQA.

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 — for example, 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 refer to the Guidelines for Partial Enrolment for Registered Home Schooled Students, on the Guidance tab.

Transitioning from school to home schooling

Families wishing to home school their children must ensure their children are enrolled in and attending school until their home schooling application is approved by the VRQA. The VRQA will issue a formal registration notice to successful applicants. Schools must request to see the VRQA registration notice before cancelling a student's enrolment.

The VRQA cannot provide a registration confirmation notice to schools directly.

Relevant legislation

Department policy outlining school requirements relating to parents wishing to home school their children and the process for partial enrolment

Reviewed 02 March 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

School Education Programs and Support Strategy and Integration Division

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