The Queensland Education Act is currently under review.
Now is the time to make our voices heard. We encourage all QLD home educators, regardless of registration status, to provide feedback to the Department of Education on the consultation paper they have presented. Home educators not currently residing in Queensland who wish to share their views are welcome to do so also by sending a submission to the HEA for inclusion in our organisational submission.
If you did not receive a copy of the Consultation Paper, the HEA can email you a copy. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
The HEA does not collect information about registration status.
The HEA does not disclose contact details to third parties. Our Constitution takes your right to privacy seriously.
The links sent by the Department of Education contain unique identifiers. If you are not comfortable responding to the department unless you can do so anonymously, or you did not receive a response link and would like to participate, please send your submissions to email@example.com and we will de-identify them and include them with our submission.
Submissions must be made before 29 April 2022.
What's the Review about anyway?
Based on the communication that the Home Education Association (HEA) has received, it would appear that the purpose of this 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.
The Consultation paper was developed by the Government in the absence of consultation with the home education sector and it is the position of the HEA that it is based on multiple flawed assumptions, presents incomplete data and a partial review of practices in other states.
Scope of the review
In-scope/out-of-scope is how the Government defines the parts of the Act they are willing to review. The scope was made by the Department of Education (DoE) without consultation with home educators.
Here is what the HEA recommends should be included in the review:
The HEA proposes that
a modern definition of Home Education that recognises the ‘home’ in home education is about who takes responsibility for the child's education, rather than where it occurs, and
a home education advisory board comprised of experienced home educators/experts in home education
would solve many of the issues in the regulation of home education in Queensland.
The DoE is proposing a single registration pathway. This would mean a loss of the option of Provisional Registration (s207), and less time for families to prepare their educational summary.
This would be a great loss to Queensland Home Educators, especially in the context of the 90 day application processing time.
The HEA opposes all proposals in this section.
Meaning of ‘a high-quality education’ in the context of home education
The DoE is proposing that high-quality be defined within the Education Act as
Following the Australian Curriculum, or
provides educational opportunities for emotional, social, physical and intellectual development (with opportunities for intellectual development including development opportunities in literacy and numeracy);
The HEA opposes the introduction of a definition of ‘high-quality’.
The HEA opposes mandating any particular curriculum
The HEA partially supports the use of a framework that is based on emotional, social, physical and intellectual development, but only with the removal of the emphasis on literacy and numeracy.
Reporting on educational progress
The DoE is proposing that reporting moves away from showing the child's progress to detailing the way the learning program has been delivered. They suggest that samples of work would be provided using an approved form. “Approved form” means that this is the only acceptable way to respond.
The HEA supports the removal of the reporting on progress requirement however we oppose the requirement to provide samples/evidence in an approved form.
Regulation needs to focus on the parent meeting their obligations under the Act rather than on the performance of the child or young person. This could be done by providing a report on the learning experiences/opportunities provided.
We believe that a flexible approach is needed, that recognises there is no one way to record or report on learning opportunities provided. Home educators need to be free to demonstrate their child’s learning in a way that supports the educational needs of their children.
The DoE is proposing that you will continue to submit reports each year, but that they will only read and respond to a sample of those.
The HEA supports a sample based approach but believes that only the reports to be read should be submitted. We propose a system similar to the Victorian system, which has protections built into it that mean you get notice of needing to report, and don’t need to report on all of your children or every year.
The regulator needs a deeper understanding of home education and a mechanism for the community to provide feedback. An advisory body would assist the regulator in decision making and assessing high quality education, just as THEAC does in Tasmania.
Removing requirement to issue a Certificate of Registration
The HEA opposes this proposal
Producing a certificate of registration is not an onerous task for the DoE. In this technological age, we expect that it would be largely automated. If that is not the case, it may be more effective for the Government to update their systems rather than seeking to alter the legislation.
Certificates of registration are used by many families as evidence that they are registered. Their removal may disadvantage the most vulnerable in our community.
Changing calculation of time periods for internal review decisions
The HEA opposes this proposal
The move to calendar days represents a significant reduction in time for home educators. For example,
20 school days = 4 weeks but
20 calendar days = almost 3 weeks.
This proposal is based on a flawed assumption that home educators do not observe weekends and holidays.
Expanding grounds for cancellation of registration
The HEA opposes this proposal
The only valid grounds for cancellation is failure to comply with the standard conditions of registration.
If a school is not meeting requirements, a body moves alongside them and helps them, holds their hand to be successful. We need to have the same approach with home education. In cases of failure to comply with the standard conditions of registration, support and assistance should be provided to assist the parent to comply. This could be provided by the Government by means of an Advisory Board, or the parents could be referred to community organisations such as the HEA to access support.
The question must be asked: why is the Queensland Government seeking to add reasons for cancellation?
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