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Home education

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In Queensland, registration for home education is a legal option for the provision of your child's education. Home education means the education of the child provided by one or both of the child’s parents, or a registered teacher, primarily at the child’s usual place of residence.

Information about enrolment at a school of distance education, where children do their school work at home using a school provided curriculum, should be sought directly from the school.

To be eligible for home education, your child must be at least 5 years and 6 months and less than 18 years on 31 December in the year registration takes effect. A child cannot be simultaneously registered for home education and enrolled in a school.

Your responsibilities

As your child's educator, you will be required to:

  • plan and implement your child's educational program
  • provide a suitable learning environment
  • provide the necessary resources to support their learning
  • monitor and assess your child's educational progress
  • continue to meet the standard conditions of registration, which includes the submission of an annual report demonstrating the educational progress of your child.

Home Education Unit

The Home Education Unit (HEU) can assist you to understand your obligations in meeting the standard conditions of home education registration.

Preparing an application

If you wish to register your child for home education in Queensland, you must submit an Application for registration for home education (DOC, 216KB) form and a proposed educational program and be granted registration. There are no fees associated with the registration of a child for home education.

Registration

If all procedural requirements are met and the chief executive is satisfied the standard conditions of registration will be complied with, registration is granted and a certificate of registration is issued.

Reporting

For registration to remain current, you must continue to comply with the standard conditions of registration which include the submission of an annual report on your child's educational progress.

Senior Secondary

Your child may be registered for home education, and remain registered, until 31 December of the year they turn 17. The HEU provides additional information about home education during the Senior Phase of Learning.

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 Frequently asked questions

What is home education?

Home education is a recognised and lawful education option available to Queensland parents when making decisions about the best form of education for their children.

When choosing to home educate, parents accept responsibility for planning, implementing, and monitoring their child's learning progress. Parents who choose to home educate provide a suitable learning environment. They also provide the resources necessary to support their child's individually tailored program. A parent choosing this educational option is required to provide a high-quality education for their child and report on their child's educational progress.

What's the difference between 'home schooling' and 'home education'?

The term 'home schooling' gives the perception of a 'school at home' and learning only in the home. The more contemporary term 'home education' encompasses a broader concept of educational experiences based in and beyond the home. Essentially there may be no difference in the two terms and they are often interchanged in current conversations and research. Indeed, home education programs are enriched by accessing a wide range of community resources such as local libraries, museums, sporting clubs, Scouts and other facilities which offer learning opportunities.

What's the difference between home education and distance education?

With home education, parents develop or adapt their own program for the child. The parent or a registered teacher engaged or employed by the parent, is the educator of the child. The educator plans, implements and evaluates the child's learning from one year to the next. The parent whose name appears on the application form is legally responsible for ensuring that their child receives a high-quality education, irrespective of whoever else may assist with the child's education.

With distance education, a parent enrols their child in a school of distance education and a school program is provided by that school for the child. Teachers are available to help monitor the child's learning and a teacher from the school reports on the child (as in mainstream schools). The parent is the supervisor or home tutor to the child within their home. There are state schools and accredited non-state schools of distance education.

What is the compulsory school age?

Compulsory school age in Queensland means the child is at least 6 years and 6 months and less than 16 years of age, or has completed Year 10, whichever happens first. All children in Queensland must be either enrolled in a state or non-state school, or be registered for home education during their compulsory school years.

There are also legislative requirements for enrolment in Year 1 at a state or non-state school which make the preparatory year the compulsory first year of schooling.

What is the compulsory participation phase?

The compulsory participation phase starts when a young person stops being of compulsory school age and ends when the person gains a certificate of achievement, senior statement, Certificate III or Certificate IV; or has participated in an eligible option for 2 years after compulsory school age; or turns 17 years. Queensland children who are in the compulsory participation phase must be enrolled at and attend a school or be engaged full-time in an eligible option, or be registered for home education or working full time.

I would like to home educate my child and we live in Queensland. Is registration required?

Yes. If you wish to home educate your child and they are of compulsory school age or they are in the compulsory participation phase, you must apply for, and registration for home education must be granted. Each state and territory has its own regulation regarding registration for home education.

Who can home educate a child?

The home education of a child must be provided by one or both of the child's parents or a Queensland registered teacher.

Where can home education take place?

Home education must take place primarily at a child's usual place of residence.

Can my child be taught, each day, by a registered teacher, in a group with other children?

No. There may be some group situations such as a weekly swimming lesson or a community art lesson that may be included in your child's program without you having to be the teacher. It is possible that a registered teacher setting up group learning for home educated children could be regarded as a 'school' and require accreditation.

If I want to enrol my child in a school of distance education, am I also required to apply to register my child for home education?

No. A child enrolled at either a state or non-state school of distance education cannot be simultaneously registered for home education.

Can my child attend some learning activities at a school and still be registered for home education?

This may be possible. A child cannot hold simultaneous enrolment at a school and be registered for home education. However, on occasions, an agreement may be formed between the school, parent, and child allowing the child to access some activities or facilities at school. Such an agreement is at the discretion of the school's principal. The school may require that you pay a fee for any access. Any participation at a school can only be minimal. If you consider your child needs to attend a school for more than a few hours per week then you should discuss an enrolment or flexible enrolment with the school and hence surrender your home education registration.

Can my child study some subjects at a learning institution and still be registered for home education?

Yes. Non-school forms of education such as TAFE may be accessed part-time without affecting registration. To access a TAFE component the child would need to be eligible under the institution's enrolment conditions. For more information, contact your local TAFE.

Can I surrender my child's registration for home education and enrol my child in a state or a non-state school at any time?

Yes. You can surrender the registration and enrol your child at a state school at any time. The school's enrolment procedures would apply. If you choose to discontinue the home education registration, you must return the child's registration certificate to the HEU within 14 days. This is a legal requirement.

Our family wants to travel around Queensland and spend some time in other parts of Australia. Can we apply to register our child for home education during this time?

If your family intends travelling outside of Queensland, you may be requested to provide additional information regarding your long-term intentions. Additional conditions on the registration may also be imposed.

Am I eligible for financial assistance because I am home educating my child?

Parents of children registered for home education who are age equivalent to Years 7 to 12 are eligible for the annual Textbook and Resource Allowance if it was not previously paid to a school due to a child's earlier enrolment in the year. In addition, you may like to contact Department of Human Services (previously Centrelink), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and/or Disability Services Queensland (DSQ) to check if there are any benefits that your family may be eligible for.

Last updated 31 July 2019