Friday, 17 April 2020

All States & Territories Update:

It is pleasing to note that most jurisdictions have implemented flexible arrangements for home education registration during this time; there is a summary below. Families learning at home but still enrolled at school during this time do not need to register.

See below for each State and Territory changes...

 

Victoria

The registration process is usually via email or mail. Email is preferred as VQRA staff are working from home, but applications sent by mail are still being accepted. Phone enquiries are still being answered but there may be delays.
The review process is not occurring in person, but will still go ahead. Flexible methods of completing reviews are still being developed, but will include phone calls and video conferencing. Reviews will be later this year, as the families for review have not been chosen yet. More information is available of VQRA's website, and on their FB page.

NSW

NESA has announced the following adaptions:
reviewing documentation
using audio and video technology
granting shorter periods of registration in the absence of a home visit
for some experienced home schooling parents, granting a six-month period of renewed registration.
More information can be found on NESA's website. The HEA is particularly concerned about shorter registration periods, and has been advocating for 6 months extensions/provisional registration for the last few weeks. Good regulation has fairness and consistency; this approach has neither.

Tasmania

Home Visits are still available, details of changes on website. Other options also being developed including:
A visit in the office instead of at home (for as long as the office is open and accepting visits).
Online meetings using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Messenger, Skype in consultation with your RO (although Teams is preferred).
Phone visits with a follow up in-person visit later in the year to confirm evidence.
Online or phone visits will take the same format as face-face visits and children are expected to be present and communicate with the RO as normal. Where possible evidence should be available to be shown to the RO over the webcam. In some circumstances you may be required to provide additional evidence by mail or email.

More details on OER's website and newsletter update

Queensland

The Home Education Unit (HEU) has made some adjustments to its usual business arrangements, including:
Telephone service is suspended. Please email the HEU instead
Applications for home education are being accepted by email .
Reports are being accepted by email and attachments
Reports and applications are still being accepted by mail for those unable to submit via email, however response times may be longer
More details can be found on the HEU website

South Australia
Regular home visits are not being conducted at the moment.
Reviews are being conducted using alternative online methods. They will be contacting families before their exemptions expire to work out what access each family has to online platforms (zoom, skype, facetime etc.) and arrange a method that works for the family. Filling out the review forms properly will help with this process.
Those families who have been home schooling for a long time and have evidenced learning may be given extensions. This is being reviewed month by month, case by case as exemptions become due.
Families should not feel that lack of social interaction will effect their review or application at this time. When filling out forms include the social interaction children would have during normal circumstances.
Northern Territory

The office is still open. They are moving to an online process in semester 2 which will include an online form & emailing in plans. Where home visits are needed, flexible options such as teleconferences will be provided. If there are any concerns identified during the teleconference, a home visit may be arranged later in the year. The new process will be available on the website before May 1

Western Australia

WA has 8 different regional offices, which all take slightly different approaches. At the time of writing, not all of the regions have responded to our inquiry, however on the whole there seems to be a flexible common sense approach.

North metro
Initial visit is optional
Flexible non face-to-face options are in place - phone, Skype, Facetime etc
New registrations are talking on the phone with the moderator
Goldfields Region
Home School moderators in the Goldfields area and are conducting visits by phone and documentation scanned through. Home visits are not being conducted at this time.

Southwest region
Registration process is already online, we speak to families and provide the necessary registration paperwork.
Offering online meetings vi videoconferencing or phone calls.
Flexibility being offered around meeting dates, taking into consideration impacts of illness and job losses
Encouraging emailing of program materials prior to meetings, and have developed a template to assist. Neither of these are required.
The moderator is encouraged to make contact with the family within their first few weeks of registration to introduce themselves. The registration process is slightly different within our region – in Bunbury and Albany the moderators speak with the families first, then provide the registration paperwork.
South Metro
South metro is offering remote meetings eg via Zoom, email, phone, FaceTime etc to parents as 5e preference. Face to face meetings are possible if the parent requests it, with social distancing principles implemented.

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