This article deals broadly with legal requirements in NSW and the registration process.
It is notable that one of the principal objects of the Education Act (1990), is (s5):
to allow children to be educated at home
The Act gives primary responsibility for the education of children to the parents of the child (s4(b)):
the education of a child is primarily the responsibility of the child's parents
The State's responsibility to regulate home education is often based on section 4(c):
it is the duty of the State to ensure that every child receives an education of the highest quality
However, it is also argued that this duty is satisfied through the provision of public education (s4(d)):
the principal responsibility of the State in the education of children is the provision of public education
Parents may find that some of their reasons for home educating their child could be drawn from the objects outlined in section 6 of the Act.
Schooling is compulsory for all children "of or above the age of 6 and below the age of 15" (s22) and this requirement can be satisfied by registering for home schooling (s22(b)).
Minimum curriculum requirements are listed in sections 8 (primary) and 10 (secondary). These are very general and home educators using various education styles (eg natural learning, classical education etc) have no trouble fitting their education philosophy into the requirements.
It is suggested that parents read Division 6 of the Act (sections 70 to 74) – "Registration for home schooling".
The Office of the Board of Studies (OBoS) have been appointed by the Minister to oversee the registration process. Parents can contact 02 9367 8149. An application form will be sent, to be completed by the parent. After this has been submitted, an Authorised Person will contact you and arrange to interview you in your home.
Please refer to the BOS web page on home education: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/parents/home-schooling.html.
In general terms the interview will seek to establish that you have educational objectives for your child and resources to ensure that these objectives are carried out.
It is suggested that parents wishing to apply for registration in NSW read the articles on programming provided in the Resources area of this website.
Registration is generally recommended for a period of between three months to a maximum to two years. After two consecutive two year registrations parents can apply for registration by documentation, in which no interview is needed.
Added 18th Oct 2010: When an authorised person comes to visit and you get a interim letter with dates and approval of registration , that is a legal document stating the registration. The formal certificate that comes later is just that a formal certificate but parents can show the school the letter signed by the authorised person as legal document that they are homeschoolers. If schools don't accept that then it is up to the school to pursue not the parent as they are legally registered.
The OBoS have published an Information Package, which details issues related to registration.
Author: Janelle Hardy