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About registration

What should I do before I apply for registration?

Deciding to educate your child at home is a major decision. There are a number of areas you should consider, investigate and research prior to this choice. Questions you might ask yourself include:

What if I have doubts about home educating my child?

Registration for home education should not be sought as a quick resolution to other problems which may be affecting your child or your family. If any of the above questions cause you to have doubts, you should consider other educational options. For a child of compulsory school age, this will involve enrolment in either:

For a child in the compulsory participation phase, it may be possible for them to pursue participation in another eligible learning option.

Where a decision to pursue home education is the result of a school-based concern, parents are advised to seek access to the many specialists who can provide educational support and guidance for children of any age. A resolution to the problem may be found without withdrawing your child from school.

The school's principal or deputy principal should be your first point of contact. Then, depending upon the school, assistance could be obtained through the school Guidance Officer, Year/House Co-ordinator, School Chaplain, Youth Health Nurse, Head of Special Education, Youth Worker, Head of Senior Schooling, Community Liaison Officer, Police Liaison Officer, Behaviour Management Support Team or the P&C Association. If very serious and ongoing circumstances exist which prevent your child from accessing an appropriate education, you should contact your District Education Office. See Useful contacts for phone numbers.

For more personal concerns that may be affecting your child or your family, help may be obtained by visiting your GP, other specialists, government agencies or counselling services.

Are there fees I need to pay when I register to home educate my child?

No. There is no fee to register your child for home education. However, applicants should consider the hidden costs associated with this form of education, including:

How and when do I apply for registration?

You must complete an Application for Registration for Home Education form Microsoft® Word document External Link for each child who is to be registered. Alternatively, the required number of forms can be posted to you from the HEU. Details about documents and information which must accompany each application are outlined in the application form.

You can submit an application for registration at any time throughout the year. The application must be mailed to the HEU. Because of original signatures and certifications, it is not possible for the application to be received by fax or email.

Do I apply for provisional registration or for registration for my child?

Currently, there are two types of application methods possible. Almost all applications come to the HEU using the Application for Registration for Home Education form. Applications received this way are automatically issued a provisional registration. Then, when the program is processed, the child becomes registered for home education. This application is made under section 208 of the Act. The provisional registration expires when the registration is granted.

The second method involves an application for provisional registration only. The provisional registration issued with this application remains current for only 60 days. The child is not issued with a registration for home education. This application is made under section 207 of the Act. The first method generally streamlines the registration process and means that the parent does not have to make two applications. Please contact the HEU if you require further information.

What is provisional registration?

Upon receipt of the completed Application for Registration for Home Education form, a provisional registration is issued under section 212 of the Act. This is an interim measure to give your child a legal status while the application is being processed and any negotiations in regard to the program you have presented are finalised. It expires as soon as registration is issued.

A written notice of the provisional registration is posted to the applicant. Provisional registration is issued within a few days of its receipt by the HEU. For registration to be issued all components of the form must be complete: that is the Statutory Declaration signed, photocopy of the child's full birth certificate (certified as a true copy of the original) and a program provided by the parent.

Provisional registration can be issued without the accompanying program for the child. If the form is posted without the program, a written notice will be posted to the applicant requesting that the program information is supplied within a specified time.

Does my child stay at school until provisional registration is issued?

It is recommended that a child remain enrolled at school until the day you can provide the HEU with all necessary documents described in the application form. Please ensure that you have obtained the required signatures and certifications. When you are satisfied that your documentation is in order, post the application to the HEU. Only at this time should you end your child's school enrolment. A child cannot be simultaneously enrolled at a school and provisionally registered or registered for home education.

When will registration be granted?

Registration is issued once the applicant has met all the procedural requirements. These are mentioned on the application form.

Where do I send my application and how long does it take to process?

Having completed the application form and attached all required documentation, you should post the application to the Home Education Unit. Please do not fax or email applications. Provisional registration is issued within a week or so of receipt. A notice of the provisional registration is posted to you.

Once you have submitted the application you should commence teaching your child at home in accordance with the program you have prepared while you await contact with or feedback from an education advisor. The processing time varies, and is directly influenced by how complete the information you have provided is, and how many other applications are before the education advisor at the same time.

An education advisor works with you and your application as it is processed to registration. You will be contacted and given written advice if further information is necessary.

Applicants are urged to check email and postal mail regularly throughout the application process. So that you receive relevant communications from HEU, it is essential that you inform the Unit if your contact details change.

If I am asked why my child is not at school, what documentation can I provide as proof that they are registered or that I have applied to register them for home education?

A notice granting provisional registration is issued in the early stages indicating you have applied to register your child for home education; and

A Certificate of Registration Home Education is issued for your child, and posted to you, once the registration is granted. This certificate is a legal document.

If official documentation has not been forwarded to you from the HEU at a time that it is required by an authority, please contact our office so confirmation of your application can be arranged.

Am I officially notified of my child's registration?

Yes. When the application process is complete, a Certificate of Registration Home Education for your child will be posted to you. You are advised to retain this document, as it is formal proof of registration. This certificate is issued only once (unless there is an address change in which case it should be returned for re-issuing).

Will I be notified if registration is not granted?

Yes. You would be advised in writing. However, every effort is made to grant registration and resolve issues which may surround your application. Should a registration be refused, an Information Notice is posted to you by registered mail and you will have a right to request a review of the decision.

How long does registration last?

Registration, once granted, is continuous. It does not expire. There are, however, reporting requirements which you need to meet each year in the tenth month of your child's registration. Information about these requirements is posted to you via a detailed reporting pack in the sixth month of registration. If you do not forward a report within the required time period, the registration may be cancelled. You would be notified via a Show Cause Notice if this was about to happen. At reporting time, you are also required to provide an updated annual program.

What are the 'registration date' and the registration 'anniversary date'?

A provisional registration date is allocated when your application is received. This date becomes your child's registration date once the application process is complete. The anniversary date is the same date one year later. The anniversary date dictates the due date for the report on your child's educational progress. For example: if a registration is issued on 8 June 2010, then your report and new program are due between 8 March 2011 and 8 April 2011 to complete all requirements by the anniversary date of 8 June 2011.

What should I do if I change my address/contact details?

If your child changes address, you are required to advise the HEU within 28 days after the change happens. A new registration certificate needs to be issued with your child's correct residential address. The old out-of-date certificate needs to be returned to the HEU for cancellation. If you change your phone number and/or email address please contact the HEU to ensure your details are up to date so that any communications from the Unit can reach you.

What should I do if I want to cancel the registration?

An enrolment at school or participation in another full-time eligible learning option means that registration needs to be cancelled by you (the original applicant).

Registration is surrendered by notifying the HEU in writing. When doing so, please:

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This page was last reviewed on 20 Feb 2013

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