Are you trying to decide on the options for your child’s schooling in 2017 or planning ahead for 2018?
The below post will only state the facts.
In order to make a decision on your child’s schooling you will need to take into consideration their
- physical needs
- emotional needs
- social needs
- educational needs
- your families circumstances
- your educational beliefs
- other siblings
- the options in the area you live
You may be able to do this on your own or like to have opinions from the medical profession or Early Childhood educators.
Legal School Age Requirements
More information available at legal requirements in Australian states and territories.
New South Wales their first school year is Kindergarten beginning in January, children need to be 5 turning 6 by 31st July.
Victoria their first school year is Preparatory beginning in January, children need to be 5 turning 6 by 30th April
Queensland their first school year is Preparatory beginning January, children need to be 5 turning 6 by 31st July.
South Australia their first school year is Reception beginning January, children need to be 5 years 6 months by January 1st.
Western Australia their first school year is Pre-Primary beginning January, children need to be 5 turning 6 by 30th June.
Tasmania their first school year is Preparatory beginning January, children need to be turning 6 by 1st January.
Northern Territory their first school year is Transition beginning January, children need to be 5 turning 6 by 30th June.
Australian Capital Territory their first school year is Kindergarten beginning January, children need to be 5 turning 6 by 30th April.
Once your child is a legal school age, you will need to decide which schooling option will best suit your child’s needs and family circumstances.
There are three obvious choices:
Home-schooling Australia State Requirements
- NSW and Queensland have the strictest documentation guidelines for registration. When you register you are usually expected to show what you are planning on teaching your children and how it corresponds to their guidelines. The below links will help you with this.
- Victoria is the easiest state to be registered in as it only requires you to fill out a form and notify the Vic Department of Education. You can also homeschool part time in Victoria.
- Australian Capital Territory also allows part-time homeschooling. The ACT Department of Education requires you to fill in registration documents. You will need to show a learning program but they don’t require you to follow ACT curriculum or the National Curriculum.
- Western Australia has a large homeschool community. Registration involves a visit from a WA Department of Education moderator and evidence of a learning program based in the WA curriculum framework.
- In the Northern Territory you register to homeschool with the NT Department of Education. You are required to fill out a form and are granted an interim registration. You will need to show a learning program but they don’t require you to follow NT curriculum or the National Curriculum. You will receive registration when they have been approved by a moderator.
- In South Australia registration is relatively simple. You will need to apply through SA Department of Education. After you have submitted your registration form you will need to provide a broad overview of your learning program including the eight key learning areas (following the completed aspects of the National Curriculum). You will also receive a home visit.
- In Tasmania the process is also relatively simple. You are not required to follow the National Curriculum. The Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council handles the application.
(Information from https://www.homeschoolingdownunder.com/homeschooling-australia/)
Independent schools are a diverse group of non-government schools serving a range of different communities. Many Independent schools provide a religious or values-based education. Others promote a particular educational philosophy or interpretation of mainstream education. Independent schools include:
- Schools affiliated with Christian denominations, for example Anglican, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Uniting Church, Seventh Day Adventist and Presbyterian
- Non-denominational Christian schools
- Islamic schools
- Jewish schools
- Montessori schools
- Rudolf Steiner schools
- Schools constituted under specific Acts of Parliament, such as grammar schools in some states
- Indigenous community schools
- Schools that specialise in meeting the needs of students with disabilities
- Schools that cater for students at severe educational risk due to a range of social/emotional/behavioural and other risk factors
(Information from http://isca.edu.au/about-independent-schools/)
Each state and territory in Australia has strict guidelines for schools in their state or territory to follow. These are compulsory for schools to follow and often will be audited or need to be reported on. Policies will need to be re-written and revised every few years.
My Schools Website https://www.myschool.edu.au/ is a good place for statistical information for parents. However, I recommend going to a school to ensure you and your family will feel connected to the school.
School visits are an important step, and often school tours will provide you with an opportunity to gain a feeling about the school and your educational beliefs that statistics will not provide.
The Australian National Curriculum is a compulsory guide for all government schools to follow. http://www.acara.edu.au/default.asp
Other Schooling Options
Distance Education/School of the Air
Both of these schooling options have eligibility criteria. Students programs are given to them to complete in their home environment. They have a teacher who they connect with via internet. For more information
School of the Air http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/school-of-the-air
Unschooling or no-schooling is a term which is used for parents who take their children out of school without teaching from a set curriculum.
The unschooling philosophy argues that all children are born with a natural and insatiable curiosity and will learn best if self-directed. http://www.kidspot.com.au/could-unschooling-be-right-for-your-child/
The legality of unschooling is dependent on each state’s requirements for home schooling.
Education is a partnership between home and school.
Remember to keep the lines of communication open, to ensure your child has the ability to reach their full potential.