Home Education Rights & Responsibilities
There are several key documents that relate to your rights and responsibilities as a home educator. We recommend bookmarking or saving a copy of these documents because they can be useful if you have questions or concerns about your rights and responsibilities.
Home education documents
The School Education Act 1999
This is the law that pertains to schools and home education. The home education section is Part 2, Division 6. Click here to read.
The Home Education Policy & Procedures
This is an internal Department of Education document that interprets the School Education Act 1999 and governs the actions of Department employees concerned with implementing the act with regard to home educators. Click here to read.
Statement on Student Diversity
This statement explains that all students in WA have the right to an education that is equitable and that embraces diversity. Click here to read.
Principles of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
These principles are what the WA Department of Education is stating publicly that they believe about teaching, learning and assessment. The Principles of Teaching & Learning are particularly worth noting. Although not legally binding, one can reasonably expect the Department of Education and its employees to act in accordance with their publicly stated values and principles. Click here to read.
What are your responsibilities as a home educator?
Your responsibilities according to the School Education Act 1999 (the law) are:
- Register for home education by the last Friday in February in the year you intend to start home educating your child OR within 14 days of removing your child from school.
- Be responsible for your child’s educational program.
- Notify the Department of Education if there are any changes to the details in your registration application – change of phone number or address, or if your child goes back to school.
- Arrange for an annual moderator visit (by law this is the responsibility of the home educator but in practice, moderators will arrange the meeting. You should contact the Department of Education if your moderator has not made contact to arrange the annual visit).
- Show that your child has an educational program and is making educational progress.
Other expectations of home educators include:
- Providing a suitable learning environment and age-appropriate resources for your child.
- Providing evidence of the educational progress your child is making.
- Show that your child’s educational program and progress align with the WA Curriculum or approved alternative.
What are your rights as a home educator?
1. Your children have a right to an education that is equitable and embraces diversity.
2. As a home-educating parent, you have the right to provide that education.
3. You have the right to access a copy of your moderator meeting report.
In addition to these rights, it is reasonable to expect employees of the Department of Education to act in accordance with the Principles of Teaching, Learning & Assessment, the Home Education Policy & Procedures, and the Department of Education Code of Conduct
Why is there confusion about home education requirements?
You may have noticed that on social media groups or when talking to home educators that people have different ideas and opinions about what the home education requirements are.
The main reasons for this confusion about exactly what is required of home educators are:
- The Education Act 1999 does not prescribe that home educators must use the WA Curriculum when delivering their child’s educational program, however, the Education Act 1999 does state that the WA Curriculum is a standard against which a child’s educational progress may be judged if the moderator reports a concern.
- The WA Curriculum is used by most moderators as the standard against which a child’s educational program and progress should be assessed, whether there is a concern or not.
- The Home Education Policy & Procedures document is interpreted differently by different moderators.
- Additionally, there is a lack of consistency between different District Offices and how they implement the Home Education Policy & Procedures.
If you are unsure about the home education requirements as they pertain to your circumstances, please contact HEWA: [email protected]