In accordance with the Education Act 2004, you can choose to educate your child at home during any stage of their schooling (K-12). However, every single home educated child must be registered with the ACT Education Directorate (the Directorate). You will also be required to renew your registration at least three months before your registered home education period ends.
Registering for homeschooling in Australian Capital Territory
You will need to submit a registration form to the Directorate with key information about your child, including their age and year level, special needs and reasons for home education. You will also be required to submit the following documents to support your application:
- A certified copy of your child’s birth certificate
- Proof of ACT residency
- Any extant court orders
- An educational program based on the Australian National Curriculum
- A plan or method for recording learning activities
- A plan or method for recording achievement and progress
A Home Education Liaison Officer will then assess your application and grant you registration. You will be sent a certificate of registration via mail, which will list the dates when progress reports and applications for renewal are to be submitted.
More information on the process and requirements of home education can be found in the Directorate’s 2019 handbook.
When you have all of your documents ready, you can contact the Directorate to request a home education application form.
Requirements of homeschooling
According to the Directorate, the following must be met in order to satisfy the requirements of home education in ACT. Parent(s) of the registered child must:
- Provide a high quality education for their child
- Document the program and educational opportunities offered to their child
- Document the strategies utilised to help their child to learn
- Submit home education programs, materials or other records
- Conduct the majority of learning experiences from the home base listed on the registration certificate
- Apply in writing for registration renewal at least three months before registration ends
- Complete a progress report on the educational achievement of their child every year
Records of implementing your child’s educational program must be kept to show how the program has been delivered and how the requirements for registration are being met..
How Cluey supports homeschooling in ACT
Our flexible, online model means that your child can log in to our online learning platform from anywhere, utilising video, audio and collaborative whiteboard capabilities.
You can choose the areas you'd most like to focus on and specify your learning goals. Our programs can be tailored to your teaching philosophy and the needs of your child. What's more, you'll receive a report at the end of every session which can form part of your evidence of learning progress.
What do I need to consider before I homeschool?
Although you will eventually need to develop a home education plan, homeschooling is first and foremost an incredible time commitment. It’s important to consider whether you have the patience, dedication and energy required to teach your child, and whether this will get in the way of paid work or other commitments.
How old must my child be before I register them?
Children are eligible to begin kindergarten (or register for home education) if they turn five on or before July 31 of that year. They must be enrolled or registered for home education by their sixth birthday.
What happens after I register?
Once you submit a written application along with the required documents (see above), an authorised person from the Directorate will review your documents and grant or refuse registration within 28 days.
How long will the application process take?
Although every approval process is different depending on your individual circumstances, recent amendments to the home education process in ACT gave the Director General 28 days to notify parents of their decision to register.
What happens if my application for registration is refused?
If your application for registration is not successful, or if your child’s registration was approved for a shorter period than you applied for, you can request an internal review of the decision. This application must be in writing to:
The Director, Governance and Legal Liaison
PO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Your application must state your name and address and set out your reasons for making the request. Further information about reviews may be found in Sn 140 of the Education Act 2004 and the Directorate’s policy page.
How can I make sure I get approved?
Your application will be assessed based on your ability to provide a quality education for your child, and to document the educational opportunities you’re offering to your child. This includes identifying ways in which your program fosters your child’s unique emotional, physical, social and intellectual needs.
In order to successfully register, you should do your research on what’s required, including gathering the relevant documentation and developing a detailed learning program.
Will I be monitored or reviewed while homeschooling?
You will be required to submit a progress report on your child’s educational achievement over the previous calendar year.
Progress reports should include evidence of implementing your child’s educational program to show how learning has been delivered and how the requirements for registration are being met. These reports demonstrate to your authorised person that a high quality education has been provided to your child.
Your child’s registration certificate will list the dates when your progress reports should be submitted to the Directorate.
What are the essential subjects/curriculum I need to teach?
Although there is no set homeschooling curriculum, the Directorate encourages parents to model their home education program on the Australian National Curriculum.
How much time should I spend on each subject?
You might find that a four day week works best, or five half days. You need to ensure you cover the requirements in the Australian National Curriculum, but the way you teach it and the time you spend on each module is entirely up to you.
What if my child has special needs?
If you have a child who for any reason doesn’t fit the “ordinary” box, homeschooling could be a positive option. Homeschooling can often take the stress out of structured lessons, allowing children to learn at their own pace and in their own way. For special needs, always seek as much support as possible, both to ensure you’re teaching to your child’s unique needs, and to connect with other parents or teachers who might be experiencing similar challenges.
How do I plan my homeschool/learning program?
You could plan your own curriculum based on the learning outcomes detailed in the Australian National Curriculum. There are also several out-of-the-box homeschooling programs, many of which are developed by education experts and based on different approaches and teaching philosophies. Just ensure that the program you choose takes into account the requirements of registration in Queensland and aligns with the unique needs of your child.
And of course Cluey offers homeschooling support programs.
How do I document my homeschooling progress/portfolio?
There’s no one way to document your child’s progress at home. You might put together a collection of work, which would look different depending on the age and ability of your child. A written diary or essay samples are one example. Maths worksheets, stories based on historical understanding and other creative, inquiry-based studies are other options.
Do I need formal teaching qualifications to homeschool?
You don't need any formal training to become a homeschool teacher. As long as you meet the requirements and show evidence of learning, you're set!
What do I do if I'm overwhelmed?
Will you be able to cope with the mammoth undertaking that is homeschooling? The short answer is yes, when there's a will there's a way. But it's important to understand the realities of homeschooling and seek support in the form of outside tutoring if you feel yourself burning out.
Does my homeschooled child really need to complete Year 11 or 12?
Like mainstream education, progressing to a senior level is entirely up to you and your child. If your child has university in his or her sights, you will need to enrol them in a government or independent school so that they may become eligible for a Year 12 certificate and ATAR.
You could also consider senior studies through Open Universities, which offers a Year 12 equivalent certification or tertiary study options.
How does a homeschooler complete Year 10?
Children registered for home education are not eligible for Year 10 or Year 12 certificates. You will need to enrol your child in a government or independent school if you would like to qualify for a Year 10 certificate.