Home Education

The Australian Capital Territory recognises that parents have the right to choose a suitable educational environment for their children. ACT resident parents may choose to register their children for Home Education or enrol them in a public school or registered non government school, or both.

In the ACT, all home educated children must be registered with the Liaison Unit of the ACT Education Directorate (the Directorate) in accordance with the Education Act 2004 (the Act).

Parents who choose to educate their children at home develop appropriate strategies, suitable for the individual learning needs of each child. The Directorate does not supply curriculum or curriculum materials to registered Home Educators; rather the Liaison Unit registers Home Educators who are able to provide a high quality education for each child.

Home Education Regulation - Community Consultation

The Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Yvette Berry MLA has released for consultation the Education Amendment Regulation 2018. Consultation is open until 12 October 2018.

The draft regulations complement the amendments to the Education Act 2004 introduced in 2017 and due to be debated in 2018. The draft regulations set out new arrangements that:

  • In the case of a child’s first home education registration: allow parents an arrangement tantamount to provisional registration by providing three months to develop an education plan, program or approach appropriate to their child’s needs before meeting with an Education Directorate authorised person;
  • In the case of renewal of home education registration: provides a simplified process that allows parents with demonstrated confidence providing high quality home education to renew registration by submitting documents only, and flexibility to conduct a meeting electronically;
  • For both first time applications and renewals: maintain flexibility about the information that parents provide about their home education plan, program or approach;
  • A child returning to home education after a period where they have not been registered of greater than 12 months will be regarded as a first time registration, which will ensure that the application is given robust consideration; and
  • Allowing three months for parents to develop and submit an educational plan, program or approach thereby responding to concerns around allowing parents to quickly and lawfully withdraw a child from school education.

Any member of the community can submit feedback or request further information on the draft regulations to Mr Chris Jones, Governance and Community Liaison, via email at chrisd.jones@act.gov.au

Home Education Registration Summary

Registration for Home Education involves:

  1. Provisional Registration
  2. Registration (initial)
  3. Renewal of Registration

Step Summary of the Home Education Steps

  1. Parent contacts the Liaison Unit to enquire about registration for home education and request an application form for provisional registration.
  2. Parent sends completed application form to the Liaison Unit, together with original certified copies of required supporting documentation.
  3. Provisional registration for six (6) months is granted and a Certificate of Provisional Registration is provided for each child.
  4. If home education is continuing, a home visit is scheduled with the Liaison Unit one month prior to the expiry of registration. See step A below, if home education is not continuing or registration has expired.
  5. The home educator provides a Home Visit Parent Report to the Liaison Unit at least one week before the scheduled home visit. A template for this report will be provided by the Liaison Unit.
  6. A home visit will be conducted by an Authorised Person from the Liaison Unit.
  7. A Certificate of Registration is provided for the home educated child for a period of no longer than two (2) years.
  8. Once a child is registered (initial registration or renewed registration), the home educator provides an Annual Report to the Liaison Unit between 1 December and 31 January.
  9. If renewal of home education registration is sought, repeat steps 4 - 8.

If home education is not continuing or registration has expired, and unless the child has turned 17 years of age, the child should be either enrolled in an ACT school within 10 days of the expiry or the conclusion of home education or the child should be registered again for provisional home education.

Questions and Answers about Home Education in the ACT

What is Home Education?

One or both of the child's parents provide a high quality education from their home base through a range of educational experiences.

Home Education is to be actively and regularly provided on a full or part-time basis. Home Educators may seek additional educational support from tutors, community based programs or activities at a location other than the home base. All components of the Home Education program are to be under the guidance of the main educator.

Who can be home educated?

All children of compulsory education age resident in the ACT who are Australian citizens, permanent residents or temporary residents with eligible visas may be registered for Home Education within the ACT.

Do I have to register each child?

Yes. Each child being home educated needs to be registered individually for Home Education.

Who can apply for Home Education?

An application for Registration will only be accepted if made by the parent/s or carer/s of the child. To establish that the applicant is a parent/carer of the child, a certified true copy of the birth certificate is to be included with the application. If a birth certificate is not available another document that establishes that the applicant is the parent or carer of the child may be provided.

A current court order may change a person's parental responsibility. If a court order exists for one or more of the children the parent is to provide a certified true copy of the court order.

Do I need to record my child's participation in Home Educational activities?

Home Educators are required to establish and maintain a record of each child's participation in educational activities.

Are there any fees or charges for Home Education?

No. Fees are not charged for Registration for Home Education in the ACT.

Is there any funding available to Home Educators?

There is no general funding available to parents who are Home Educators, however some parents or children may be eligible for funding for education through bursaries or scholarships under Sn 150 of the Act.

Low income parents of children in years 7-10 may be eligible for the ACT Secondary Bursary Scheme administered by the Education Directorate. Registered Home educated children over the age of 16 may be eligible for Youth Allowance, administered by Centrelink.

Do I have to follow a particular curriculum?

No. Curriculum choice is a matter for parents to decide, in accordance with their chosen approach to Home Education and the educational needs of each child registered for Home Education. The Liaison Unit section does not supply curriculum documents. The Liaison Unit encourages parents to become familiar with the developing 'Australian National Curriculum'.

How do I cancel Home Education?

Parents who no longer wish to educate their child at home are to inform the Liaison Unit in writing.

If the child is of compulsory education age, the parent must enrol the child in an education course with an education provider, within 10 days from the cancellation of Home Education Registration. This obligation does not apply if:

  • an exemption certificate is in force for the child
  • the child is participating in an approved training or employment alternative
  • the Director-General is satisfied that the child's parents have a reasonable excuse for non-compliance with the enrolment requirement.

Further Information

For further information on home education registration in the ACT, please see the Registration for Home Education in the ACT Manual word icon (119.4 kb).

For an application form, please contact:

ACT Education Directorate
Phone: +61 2 6205 5429
Online: Education Directorate Contact Form via Access Canberra

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