If you live in the ACT and you intend to home educate you must register your child if they are aged between 6 and 17 years of age.
ACT Education Directorate Home Education Team (ACT HomeEdu Team)
Full-Time and Part-Time Home Education
You can home educate full-time or part-time in the ACT. Speak with the ACT HomeEdu Team if you are considering part-time home education as the registration process differs from full-time registration.
Registering for Home Education in the ACT
There is information on the ACT Education Directorate’s website on what the requirements are to register for home education. They are more than happy to receive calls or emails from families about registering their child for home education. There is also a link on their webpage to the education legislation, which states the requirements for home education in the ACT.
If you can’t wait, here is a little information to get you started!
Initial Application to Home Educate
You must apply to register your child for home education no later than 10 school term days after the start of the school year, or from whence the child began to live in the ACT, if you have moved during the school year. You can also register for home education anytime during the year. You can withdraw your child from school at any time, but you must register for home education within 10 school term days after withdrawing your child.
Although there is a form on the ACT Home Education webpage that you can fill in to request the application form for home education, the ACT HomeEdu Team have said to just email them directly as the online form is really clunky (please use the email address listed above).
Once you have obtained the application form to home educate your child, fill in all the details and send it to the ACT HomeEdu Team together with a certified copy of either a birth certificate or passport for each child being registered, and a certified copy of proof of residential address, e.g., a utility bill or drivers licence showing your ACT residential address. The ACT HomeEdu Team will not accept rates notices or car registration, as you can live in NSW and hold these documents for a business or rental investment property. To register in the ACT the child must live, or usually live, in the ACT. If you live in NSW then you need to register to home school with NESA in NSW (link).
Once all your paperwork is submitted you are exempt from enrolment and attendance requirements while your application is being processed (provisional registration no longer exists). The ACT HomeEdu Team says they take about 1–2 weeks to process the application at this point in time, though if swamped it will be up to 28 days. You can remove your child from school providing you submit the application to register to home school within 10 days of removing your child from school.
Submitting a Plan
Once you fill in the application form and have provided all the documentation they require, the ACT HomeEdu Team give you 3 months to submit a plan that demonstrates how you intend to conduct home education for your child. The ACT HomeEdu Team have a template, which they can provide to help you. They can also assist you to complete your plan by offering a webinar, should you require it, or any coaching to help you get started. Don’t be discouraged, it’s straightforward and not as onerous as you might think. The ACT HomeEdu Team want people to succeed in home schooling their children.
The ACT HomeEdu Team are a very friendly bunch and many HENCAST members have chatted to them on a number of occasions, on a variety of topics, and some of us are NSW registered! You can contact them directly on the email address mentioned above, they really recommended you do contact them as they want to help people with the home schooling registration process.
Meeting with the ACT Home Education Team
Upon receiving your plan, an Authorised Person from the ACT HomeEdu Team will invite you to a meeting via video-conference. At this meeting they will guide you through discussing your plan. From here they will approve your application, or request that you provide further information before they can approve your application.
If you want to know more about record keeping, HENCAST can give you some pointers on what a number of members use to keep records. Preliminary information in available on our Home Education Q&A page (link). What is important is to find what works best for you so you can keep effective records of learning and progress. If you have home schooled before you will already have the method that works best for you.
You are also encouraged to connect with the ACT HomeEdu Team, as they can assist you with developing record keeping ways that will work best for your family. We suggest you do this before your video-conference with the Authorised Person. The record keeping is not as onerous as you might think.
You need to complete a Progress Report once a year, and they are due by 31 December at the extreme latest. In the ACT there is no set curriculum that you must follow, so your Progress Report does not need to link with the Australian Curriculum. However, you need to show evidence of progress in the following three areas:
- Intellectual (legislation requires that you address literacy and numeracy, so make sure you include it);
- Social/Emotional; and
Progress in these areas is all they are after. So really, they are giving you the best opportunity to tailor the learning completely to your child, as you are not required to follow outcomes or stage statements. You can choose what topics you want to teach and what your child wants to learn, providing there is progress in these three areas over the year. You will need to provide some examples of this progress. It is almost like having unschooling as a registered schooling option!
Curriculum in the ACT
The ACT HomeEdu Team said you do not need to purchase a curriculum. The ACT Education Directorate does not require you to follow a curriculum or syllabus.
Some parents prefer to purchase a curriculum to follow if they find it is suitable for their home education needs. It is totally up to you if you choose to buy a curriculum to follow. Just be mindful of curriculum providers that say “they can do the reporting” and/or “provide the curriculum for you to use, based on the ACT Curriculum.” Why you may ask? Well, as discussed above the ACT does things a little differently. Remember, you do not need to follow a curriculum, thus the report will not provide the ACT HomeEdu Team in the ACT Education Directorate the information they want to see based on the three identified areas of learning (i.e., intellectual, social/emotional and physical).
You can pretty much home educate your child and not spend money on a curriculum or resources. There are plenty of free resources out there, one in particular is the ACT Public Library. There are also a large number of educational supply businesses that have free resources, as well as many government departments and businesses/corporations that have an educational resources section on their website. Sometimes all that is needed is some internet sleuthing.
You do not need to outlay any money to a provider to help you get registered to home educate in the ACT, the ACT HomeEdu Team in the ACT Education Directorate is all you need.
If you happen to come across a document online for Registration of Home Education in the ACT published July 2013, please note this document is out of date as the legislation changed in 2019. Somehow it has not been removed from the internet yet.
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