It seems that one Victorian MP understands the impact that Covid restrictions have had on home educated students.
On 11 November 2020, Victorian MP Ms Cindy McLeish made the following statement:
Ms McLEISH (Eildon) - "Homeschooled children have certainly been forgotten during COVID restrictions. Many parents contacted me as they were concerned for their children’s wellbeing under the lockdown restrictions. Unlike children who when they returned to school were with friends, homeschooled children remained isolated. This is incredibly concerning for growing children, who need peers for social interactions and stimulation to learn to play. Zoom sessions do not offer the same benefits as face-to-face communication. If it is safe for kids to be back at school, it is safe for homeschoolers to hold small catch-up and education sessions as well."
It is certainly true that right across Australia, Home Educated students have not been given the same freedoms to gather for group learning and social development as their traditionally schooled peers during the Covid restrictions. This seems to have been an oversight on the part of our governments - possibly based on the misconception that home educated students stay home anyway and so are unaffected by Covid restrictions. The HEA has been lobbying governments for many months about this situation, and as the 2021 school year is about to begin, we are continuing to work towards equity for home educated students. In this situation, that means home educated students having the freedom to meet together for group learning opportunities, whenever schools are open, in similar sized groups and conditions to their traditionally schooled peers.
The HEA gives home educators a voice at government level. By joining the HEA, you add your voice to the chorus. If you believe that home education should remain a legal option; if you believe that registration requirements should not be onerous; if you want educational equity, we invite you to join us. We are stronger together.