Homeschooling in Australia
I would like you to see the letter below recently sent to the Hon Julie Bishop MP. There is a severe crisis within many education departments in dealing with the rapid increase of new homeschooling families. Outdated policies, antiquated assessment processes and a culture of intimidation and bullying by education staff. We are deeply concerned that there are no reliable statistics of how many children are homeschooled, with so many parents opting out of the registration process now. We are currently campaigning to ensure a safe, fair and realistic assessment system for all homeschooled children.
Australian Homeschool Legal Advisory Service
The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Education, Science and Training
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6277 7460
Fax: (02) 6273 4116
As Minister of Eduction we request an urgent in-depth and comprehensive review into the homeschooling Assessment process in Australia. With the growing trend of homeschooling in Australia, we need to ensure a safe, fair and realistic assessment for families to ensure they have a viable option to legally homeschool their children.
At the present time there are no reliable statistics in regards to registered homeschooling families, although we know this a growing trend. Many departments are overloaded with new applications and inadequate procedures to deal with them. In South Australia there is approximately 700 registered homeschoolers with new applicants on the rise. There may also be an equal amount of unregistered families. It has been impossible to obtain any statistics in regards to numbers of homeschooling families. There has been no research into this sudden surge of homeschooling and the current legislation and laws are outdated.
The current assessment system as it stands is wholly inadequate and provides little use to either the education departments or homeschooling families. The assessment does not take into consideration the many varied teaching techniques used by individual homeschooling families and make no allowance for these within the assessment process.
The assessment should be carried out or at least overseen by a non-governmental independent body. This body should comprise of both teachers who have an interest and knowledge of homeschooling and homeschooling parents who are aware of the difficulties experienced by homeschooling families under the present system.
There are many unnecessary and time wasting procedures in place which have no relevance to the well being of homeschooling children or the monitoring of their education. Many parents now opt out of registering their children to homeschool because of the inconsistent and unpredictable way in which assessments are carried out.
The Legislation in some states can only be described as â€œsketchyâ€