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What is High Quality?

Updated: Apr 15, 2022

Welcome to part 3 of the HEA position paper in response to the DoE Consultation Paper. If you don't have a copy of the Consultation paper send us an email and we can send you a copy: contact@hea.edu.au

The full position paper and templates to help you respond are at the bottom of this page.

You can read part 1, then part 2 here.



Meaning of ‘a high-quality education’ in the context of home education


Would a definition for a high-quality educational program be beneficial to demonstrating compliance for registration purposes?


The HEA opposes the introduction of a prescriptive definition into the EGPA.


High quality education is

  1. Used but not defined in the education declarations. “High quality is a goal not an objective and cannot be reasonably measured” (Dr Rebecca English).

  2. Generally not defined in the academic literature.

  3. Prescriptive and likely to advantage some at the expense of others.

  4. Already sufficiently defined within the EGPA.

    1. Section 5 of the EGPA states as its first object


The objects of this Act are—
(a) to make available to each Queensland child or young person a high-quality education that will—
(i) help maximise his or her educational potential; and
(ii) enable him or her to become an effective and informed member of the community;

Since a high quality education helps a young person to maximise their individual potential, a high quality education for one student will look different to the high quality education for another student. Home education is ideally placed to provide truly individualised and responsive education. A rigid definition of high quality education would be unnecessarily prescriptive, likely to advantage some groups at the expense of others, and unlikely to actually improve the quality of education provided to home educated students generally.


Do you support the suggested aspects of the definition? If not, why?


The HEA does not support the requirement to follow a set curriculum, including ACARA.


  1. It is a restrictive approach that inappropriately applies a traditional model of education onto an alternative educational model.

  2. It risks alienating parents who are philosophically opposed to traditional school.

  3. ACARA is written for teachers who provide education to students within institutional schools.

  4. ACARA is loaded with educational jargon that is not accessible to ordinary families.


The HEA would support one part of the proposal:

  • provides educational opportunities for emotional, social, physical and intellectual development

However, we would not support the inclusion of the part in brackets emphasising literacy and numeracy. Whilst literacy and numeracy are highly valued amongst the home education community, various factors such as disability, learning differences, experiences at school, mental health issues, age and cultural background can mean that other aspects of education supersede literacy and numeracy for primacy in an educational program for some or all of the child or young person’s time spent in home education.


This type of approach - addressing holistic development without specific requirements - is similar to the ACT model, is less prescriptive and provides a basis that both home educators and regulators can easily understand and apply.



Are there other aspects that need to be considered to support home education philosophies?


Yes, there are.


  • The Government deleted the words “or educational philosophy” from Section 208 (1)(c)(ii) of the Act in 2019 without consultation. We would like to see it returned, as it speaks to the philosophical underpinnings of home education that may assist both regulators and home educators to understand educational summaries or programs in context. Furthermore, the ability to submit an educational philosophy instead of a summary provides choice and flexibility for home educators which has now been lost. A growing body of research has shown that educational philosophies which may lack a clear educational program, such as many of the self-directed learning philosophies, are valid and effective in achieving the aims of a high-quality education.


  • The HEA recommends the inclusion in the legislation of a board similar to the Tasmanian system (THEAC). Tasmania involves home educators in the regulatory process, which results in greater compliance and satisfaction from home educators. In the last 12 months, the number of cancelled/declined registrations in Tasmania was zero. A key feature of Tasmania’s successful model is that THEAC includes experienced home educators in its make-up. This would need to be an essential feature of a Queensland home education advisory board. The other jurisdiction that had no cancellations/refusals in the last reporting period was the ACT. A feature of the ACT system is excellent communication and consultation between the regulator and the community, both of which are lacking in the Queensland system.


Previous reviews into home education in Queensland have recommended the formation of an advisory board, however this has never been adequately implemented. The QLD HEU does not undertake client satisfaction surveys, planned community consultation or provide an annual report outlining their performance according to any KPIs.


How can you be involved?

  1. Send your response to the consultation paper either

    1. directly to the Department (use your link) or

    2. to the HEA for anonymous submission (email to contact@hea.edu.au)

  2. Write to your MP

  3. Ask your friends and family to write to their MP’s


What resources are available to support your participation in the review?

  1. The HEA has released a position paper in response to the consultation paper

  2. A form response letter for the review

  3. A form response letter for your MP


View the HEA's full position paper here:

Position Paper - QLD EGPA review
.pdf
Download PDF • 267KB

Need help to write your response to the DoE consultation paper? Here's a template you can use:

Response to DoE Form Letter
.docx
Download DOCX • 18KB

Write to your MP

Letter to Member of Parliament
.docx
Download DOCX • 9KB

Media Enquiries:

Book a time to talk with HEA President Karen Chegwidden

Dr Rebecca English (PhD)

Senior Lecturer

QUT

(07) 3138 3323


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