In answer my question on 19 September 2013 – the Government responded in NSW Parliament on Thursday 24 October 2013:
HOME SCHOOLING INFORMATION PACK
The Hon DUNCAN GAY: On 19 September 2013 Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile asked me a question regarding a home schooling information pack. The Minister for Education has provided the following response:
(1-4) The Office of the Board of Studies [the office] is responsible for administering the provisions of the Education Act 1990 [the Act] for home schooling registration. The requirements and processes for registration are described in the office’s Registration for Home Schooling in NSW— Information Package [the information package] as published on the Board of Studies’ website. Applications for home schooling are assessed by authorised persons appointed by the office under the Act.
From time to time, the information package is amended. Previous amendments have reflected the increased school leaving age and the introduction of registration for years of schooling. The most recently updated information package was published on the Board of Studies’ website in August 2013.
The main reason for updating the information package was to provide information about the staged implementation of new Kindergarten to year 10 board syllabuses in English,
mathematics, science and history from 2014 to reflect the Australian curriculum.
All children in New South Wales have to follow an educational program based on the board’s syllabuses in force at any given time regardless of whether they are in school or being home schooled.
The updated information package also responds to requests from parents for clarification and more explicit information about the requirements and processes for home schooling registration.
The updated information package also has regard to suggestions made by the NSW Ombudsman to improve the openness and transparency of the registration process and to raise awareness of home schooling applicants of the way in which home schooling is monitored in New South Wales.
The clarified and explicit information has not changed the requirements for home schooling registration.
(5) Extensive and open consultation was conducted during the development of the new syllabuses. Information about the development and publication of the syllabuses has been available on the board’s website for more than a year. In August and November 2012 the peak body for home schoolers, the Home Education Network, provided information for families about the development and publication of the new syllabuses. The office’s authorised persons have been discussing the new board syllabuses with
home schooling families for more than a year.
In July and September 2013 board officers met with the Home Education Association to discuss the updated information package and other relevant issues. In September board officers also met with the Sydney Home Education Network [SHEN], another peak body in New South Wales. Further meetings with these peak bodies are planned. The office continues to be open to consideration of matters raised by the Home Education Association, Sydney Home
Education Network and other home schoolers.
The office is aware that there are differing views about the updated information package within the home schooling
The office has published additional information on the
home schooling page of the board’s website in the form of questions and answers in response to issues raised in correspondence and on social media to explain areas that may be unclear and to clarify any misunderstandings. The link to the home schooling page follows: http://www. boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/parents/home-schooling.html
For home schooling families who were meeting the requirements for registration prior to the publication of the updated information package, the updated information package has not created a need to change the approach to home schooling; nor has it created less flexibility; nor has it made it harder to be registered.