Scarecow Competition - Alexandra Hills - Sept 15th

Oaklands Street Community Garden at Alexandra Hills, Queensland are holding a scarecrow competition at their Family Fun Day on Sunday 15th September and would like to invite members of HEA to build a scarecrow to include in the competition.  Please contact Gillian Tilney invitations and guidelines. 

"Home Schoolers in Action" Photography Competition

Enter HEA's photography competition, "Home Schoolers In Action" for Home Education Week.

We know sitting around the books is only one tiny piece of learning so now you have a chance to show us what you REALLY do for home schooling. Give us your best shot of learning in action. This could be sport, a field study, making a garden ...  ANYTHING!

Cash Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places


Competition  is open to all homeschoolers. 
Photo must be taken by the student. 
You may enter as many photos as you like.
Photos can be digital or printed.
Competition is open NOW and must be received by the end of Home Education Week. 
Please include your name and best contact information.
Submissions can be made via email or post.


Home Education Week Oct 28 - Nov 1st

Changes to NSW Syllabus

Last Friday the Office of the Board of Studies (OBoS), provided the HEA with the NEW ‘Registration for Home Schooling in NSW - Information Package’. This was conditional to the HEA agreeing the document would remain internal to the HEA committee (i.e. committee members only), prior to its publication. OBoS indicated that while they were open to meeting regarding any issues arising from the new information package, it was at a stage where it could not be amended prior to its publication. They briefed HEA on a number of changes and committed to meet with HEA & other Homeschooling Community Representatives (e.g. SHEN & Muslim Home Education Network) on a six monthly basis. An additional meeting was agreed to at a date to be determined, immediately following the release of the new information package.

On receipt of the new information package, the HEA compared both old and new information package documents. Some of the changes were as disclosed by OBoS in their recent meeting with the HEA. A number of changes were not disclosed. The differences are summarised below.

Expected Changes as per meeting with OBoS.

The document reflects the implementation of the NSW Syllabuses starting in 2014 which is based on the new national syllabus.

  • Home educators are to refer to Syllabus Outcomes explicitly when providing proposed learning plans to APs
    • Home schooling families can now access Program Builder via Scootle (optional)
    • Clarified that registration is specific to the home address (made more explicit - this was in the 2011 pack)
    • Clarified expectation that the child to be registered is expected to be present at the AP visit.
    • The option for renewal by documentation has been curtailed and an AP needs to visit at least every 2nd year.

Undisclosed changes

  • Minor wording changes that consistently refer to "meeting the requirements of registration (Part 2)"
  • Minor wording changes altering the AP visits from "discussing application" to "assessing written evidence"
  • Removal of “acknowledge of a spectrum of home schooling approaches” and any reference to natural learning in the home. The amended pack states:- "regardless of the approach to learning/teaching or the educational philosophy, the requirements for registration must be met at all times in the registration period" - a subtle, but important difference.
  • Removal of the reference to children working above or below their age peers at schools if they have special needs. This is amended to a new requirement that says if you are working above approved year level with a child, then you need to contact OBoS who will send out an AP and adjust the Year Level on the certificate if they approve. This wording will impact the flexibility of a lot of families.
  • Removal of the "curriculum guidelines" from Part 4 of the pack and instead refer to the syllabus links and the stage statements - parents will now have to go out and look these up.
  • Removal of "how is my privacy maintained" FAQ, which in practice probably doesn't mean any changes, but will be concerning to some families.
  • SHEN and the Muslim Home Education Network have been removed as contacts. Only HEA is listed.

The publication has seen numerous amendments and overall there is an increased emphasis on documentation and its compliance with the new syllabus.

HEA representatives will be meeting with OBoS as early as next week to provide feedback on the new pack, raise concerns, clearly articulate the impact of amendments to homeschoolers and to establish what the application of the new package means in practice/application at ‘ground level’ for homeschoolers.

The HEA has been working hard behind the scenes and will continue to do so. What we NEED NOW is for you to have your say. Please provide us with feedback on the new information pack and your perception of its impact in home educating your child/children. Your concerns, questions and feedback will be collated and taken to the next meeting with OBoS. Please be sure to email through to the HEA no later than 5pm Tuesday 3rd September   to collate feedback in readiness for the meeting with OBoS. It would be appreciated if your emails could be kept to a maximum of 300 words.

The link for the Registration for Home Schooling in NSW - Information Package’ can be found here:

NSW - Information Pack - Update #6

 As yet we have received no confirmation that the Information Pack will be withdrawn so we wish to ask that you write to your MP requesting the NSW August 2013 Information Pack be removed until good community consultation can occur. Please feel free to use and share these supporting documents throughout your home school community.

Notices/Newsletter: Can you also please check if your HEA friends are receiving these emails? If they are not receiving them please tell them to log in and check their settings. Log in, click Members, Newsletters & Emails, Edit Email Subscriptions. If they discover their email address is wrong let us know directly to correct it. If all your settings are correct, please check your email filters.

many thanks

From the HEA volunteers

NSW - Information Pack - update 5#

This afternoon HEA met with representatives from the Office of the Board of Studies (OBoS) for two hours. At the behest of our members a copy of the PDF letter sent yesterday (linked here) was presented to them and a formal request made to withdraw the August 2013 Information Pack (IP).

OBoS expressed concern regarding the feedback they had received regarding homeschooler's reactions to the Information Pack and requested an outline of issues causing specific concern. HEA provided OBoS with a list of priority issues as collated from emails sent to HEA by home schoolers since the publication of the Information Pack. The HEA were able to provide clear examples of the resulting impact. (linked here)

OBoS agreed the Information Pack had wording issues, stating it had never been intended to impose the restrictions it was perceived to engender. The OBOS are about to publish a Q & A document and have indicated they will hold off until they can incorporate HEAs concerns. They will also consider writing an open letter to the home schooling community and will undertake to respond to the HEAs letter within 48 hours but may take up to five business days. OBoS requested feedback on the sort of language that has set a different 'tone' to previous packs and this is being provided to them.

OBoS are aware the IP is a matter of great concern, impact and distress in the homeschool community and one which will see homeschoolers actively voicing their discontent in liaising with MPs and so forth. Whilst the OBoS indicated they would like to work through issues with HEA, the HEA clearly indicated the only acceptable starting point for consultation would be the removal of the Information Pack.