We think it does! And we need you to get involved too.
Welcome to part 1 of the HEA's Position Paper in response to the Consultation Paper released by the QLD Education General Provisions Act (EGPA) Review. This is what we think about the proposals made. Our full paper and ways you can be involved are at the bottom of this page.
The HEA welcomes the review of the EGPA. It is an opportunity to improve educational opportunities for all students in Queensland, and in particular for home educated students. However, flaws in the process and the content of the review may mean that this opportunity for improvement is not realised.
It appears that the review has been primarily motivated by the regulator's need to manage increasing home education student numbers without a corresponding increase in available resources, rather than a genuine desire to improve regulation.
Although the HEA was advised the review was to occur in late 2021, the Government did not release any information on the scope of the review until Monday 28 March 2022. On that date, the Department of Education released their Consultation Paper to registered home educators and identified key stakeholders. It has not been released to the general public.
The Consultation paper was developed by the Government in the absence of any consultation with the home education sector, and is based on multiple flawed assumptions. Examples of flawed assumptions include:
That children in the Provisional Registration period do not receive a high quality education.
That home educators do not observe holidays or weekends.
That parents applying under Provisional (S207) are generally able to meet the requirements of full registration but simply choose not to.
That Registration Certificates are obsolete and not used by anyone
That parents find it difficult to determine if their educational program will meet the standard of a high-quality education. Parents are generally confident their educational program provides a high-quality education. Their fear and difficulties are regarding whether the HEU staff assessing their report have the expertise of home education required to understand that a high-quality education has been provided.
The lack of clarity about a definition of high-quality education is not what makes it difficult for decision-makers to deliver consistent and confident statutory decisions and minimise compliance costs. The real issue is the decision-makers’ lack of real understanding of home education philosophies, practices and processes.
It also makes assertions without providing adequate data to support those assertions. Examples of these include:
That Provisional (s207) applications are made several times per year.
That internal review periods are unreasonably extended by holiday periods.
The time-frame for the review is rushed, with only one month from the release of any information until submissions are to be received. While this is only one part of the process, the Department of Education aims to have the review finalised and enacted by the end of 2022, which in their own words has been described as ‘ambitious’. We are uncertain why the process is being rushed. The Government has known of this review - and obviously been active in formulating consultation papers - for over 3 months and yet has neglected to consult with the home education community in that time.
We note that several comparisons with practices in other jurisdictions have been made. This is an opportunity to adopt the best parts of the legislation used around Australia. It seems, however, that the proposals are instead based on many of the most problematic parts of other states' Education Acts. This represents a missed opportunity that we hope to see corrected during the consultation process.
In scope/out of scope proposal
The Government proposes the following:
However, the HEA proposes that the following be considered in scope and out of scope
How can you be involved?
Send your response to the consultation paper either
directly to the Department (use your link) or
to the HEA for anonymous submission (email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Write to your MP
Ask your friends and family to write to their MP’s
What resources are available to support your participation in the review?
The HEA has released a position paper in response to the consultation paper
A form response letter for the review
A form response letter for your MP
View the HEA's full position paper here:
Need help to write your response to the DoE consultation paper? Here's a template you can use:
Write to your MP
Book a time to talk with HEA President Karen Chegwidden
Dr Rebecca English (PhD)
(07) 3138 3323
Part 2 found here - the HEA’s Position Paper in response to the Consultation Paper released by the QLD Education General Provisions Act (EGPA) Review.