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Home education research opportunity: Bullying in Schools and the choice to home educate

Updated: Mar 18, 2022


We are looking for home educating parents to participate in a research project. The purpose of this research is to explore how bullying experiences in schools influence the decision to home educate.

[Edit 18/3/2022] Thanks to everyone who responded - this study is now full!

Why is the study being conducted?

This research project is being undertaken as part of a pilot study into how previous experiences of bullying influences home educators to withdraw from schools.

The purpose of this project is to explore why home educating families choose home education and to examine the role of bullying in that decision.

You are invited to participate in this research project because you:

  • Are currently home educating at least one child in Australia, registered as a home educator in any Australian state or territory

  • Are home educating because they have had experience with their child being bullied at school.

  • Have some time to participate in an online (Zoom) interview that will take around 35 minutes.

What does participation involve?

Your participation will involve an online individual interview with the team using Zoom. You can do the interview from home, or another location that suits you. It will take approximately 35 minutes of your time. The interview will be audio and video recorded. The video recording is not needed and will be destroyed immediately after the interview. Only the audio recording will be retained.

Interview questions will include:

  1. What kind of school did your child attend?

  2. What kinds of approaches did you make to the school when your child was bullied?

  3. How did you come to choose home education? How did you find out about it?

  4. Do you have other children? Are they home educated or are they at school?

After your interview has been transcribed one of the team will email you with a transcript. The transcript may have some parts highlighted and we will invite you to review your transcript and return it to Rebecca via email within 2 weeks. Reviewing the transcript might take approximately one hour of your time.

Your participation in this research project is entirely voluntary. If you do agree to participate you can withdraw from the research project without comment or penalty. You can withdraw anytime until you have returned your reviewed transcript. If you withdraw before this time, on request any information already obtained that can be linked to you will be destroyed. Your decision to participate or not participate will in no way impact upon your current or future relationship with QUT or the Home Education Association, who so graciously allowed us to advertise for this research project.

What are the possible benefits for me if I take part?

It is not expected that this research project will benefit you directly. The outcomes of the research, however, may benefit the wider community by helping us understand how schools could better manage bullying incidents so that families do not feel they have to leave school and home educate. You will be sent a short summary of the findings of the study and pre-print drafts of any papers we write and submit based on the data we collect.

What are the possible risks for me if I take part?

There are some risks associated with your participation in this research project. These include:

  • inconvenience associated with the time taken to review this information, complete and return the consent form, participate in an interview, and review your interview transcript.

  • the possibility of discomfort during the interview, particularly if this is the first time you have participated in research, or shared the experiences you had. You may also be concerned about loss of privacy or identity disclosure.

Please know that the researchers will take all reasonable steps to ensure the experience is as convenient and comfortable for you as possible. These steps include prioritising your schedule, needs, and preferences when arranging and participating in the interview. You will be invited to choose a pseudonym, so there is no risk that you may be identified at a later date. During the interview, there are no right or wrong answers. What matters to us is your experience and views of the transition from home education for you and your child. Your participation and experiences are valuable to us and will be treated with the utmost respect.

What about privacy and confidentiality?

Data collected as part of this research project will be stored securely as per QUT’s Management of research data policy. Consent forms will be stored for 15 years and then destroyed. Data will be stored for a minimum of 5 years, and can be disclosed if it is to protect you or others from harm, if specifically required by law, or if a regulatory or monitoring body such as the ethics committee requests it.

Any personal information that could potentially identify you will be removed or changed before files are shared with other researchers or results are made public. The information that will be removed includes names, dates, and place names where they may contribute to identifying you or your child.

As the research project involves an audio recording:

  • You will have the opportunity to review your interview transcript, make amendments, and suggest exclusions before data analysis begins.

  • The original recording will be retained for the minimum retention period of 5 years after the last research activity.

  • The recording will not be used for any other purpose.

  • Only the named researchers will have access to the recording.

  • It is not possible to participate in the research project without being recorded.

Every effort will be made to ensure that the data you provide cannot be traced back to you in reports, publications, and other forms of presentation. For example, we will only include the relevant part of a quote, we will not use any names, or names will be changed, and/or details such as dates and specific circumstances will be excluded. Nevertheless, while unlikely, it is possible that if you are quoted directly your identity may become known.

How do I give my consent to participate?

We would like to ask you to sign a consent form (enclosed) to confirm your agreement to participate.

Valid consent can be returned via email to Rebecca in one of the four possible ways:

  1. by printing, signing, scanning, and returning the consent form as an email attachment.

  2. by inserting an electronic signature and returning the consent form as an email attachment

  3. by sending a reply email indicating your consent to participate in the text of the email

  4. by printing, signing, and photographic the consent form and sending this as an email attachment.


We are inviting parents who:

  • Are currently home educating at least one child in Australia, registered as a home educator in any Australian state or territory

  • Are home educating because they have had experience with their child being bullied at school.

  • Have some time to participate in an online (Zoom) interview that will take around 35 minutes.


Your participation will involve a personal interview via Zoom for approximately 35 minutes. Please view the attached Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form for further details on the study.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact me via email and I will be glad to help.

The study has been approved by the QUT Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 5312).

What if I have questions about the research project?

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact one of the listed researchers and we will be glad to help:

Dr Rebecca English 07 3138 3323

Professor Marilyn Campbell 07 3138 3806

What if I have a concern or complaint regarding the conduct of the research project?

QUT is committed to research integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects. If you wish to discuss the study with someone not directly involved, particularly in relation to matters concerning policies, information or complaints about the conduct of the study or your rights as a participant, you may contact the QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team on 07 3138 5123 or email

Many thanks for your consideration of this request.

Dr Rebecca English

Senior Lecturer

School of Teacher Education and Leadership | CIESJ

E Block | Level 3 | QUT Kelvin Grove

t (07) 3138 3323 | e

Professor Marilyn Campbell

School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education/Faculty of Creative Industry, Education and Social Justice

Queensland University of Technology

Kelvin Grove 4059/

3138 3806

01_F_ETH_Interview_Information-Sheet_V2_24012022 (1)
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