Home About Articles Books Curriculum Resource Directory Advertise Kids Pages Facebook Contact

Tap into Beverley's
Educating Parent
experience through her books

You are being redirected to Always Learning Books where you can purchase Beverley Paine's books on how to home educate your children


Download your free copy

Download Beverley's free The Educating Parent Resource Directory for information about getting started, support groups, blogs and an extensive list of books about homeschooling and unschooling

Want to learn how to write your
own education plans to suit
your unique children's
individual learning needs?


Looking for quality curriculum
and teaching tips ?


Over 1000 reassuring and
informative articles to help
build your confidence as an
Educating Parent

Beverley's books are excellent for building confidence as a home educator says Tracey, homeschooling mum.

Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Join Beverley's The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook or Yahoo online groups.

Tribunal Recommendation in Respect to Both Signature Requirement on Applications to Home Educate

By Beverley Paine

Home educators have long been frustrated by the requirement by regulatory authorities that both biological parents' must sign the application to home educate in all or some situations (such as where shared responsibility has been granted through the Family Court). They argue that as enrolment in public or private school requires only one parent's signature it makes sense that the same should apply with home education registration.

Each state and territory has different policies as to whether single or dual parental consent is required to home educate. In SA and the ACT both signatures are required except when one parent is excluded from parental responsibility by a court order. In VIC and QLD only one signature is required and if one parent is non-consenting the matter is left to the Family Court to decide. The NT has no policy in place yet. In WA only the consent of one parent is generally required but where there is disagreement the status quo is maintained, that is, the child either remains at school or continues to home educate until the Family Court resolves the dispute. In TAS and NSW (until this week) the consent of one parent is required except when there are court orders giving shared parental responsibility for education, in these circumstances the consent of both parents is needed.

The two signature requirement means that parents who no longer live with their children, have little or no contact with them, and do not pay child support (maintenance) are able to suddenly re-enter and disrupt the life of the family and thwart the other parent's attempts to provide a quality educational experience that meets the individual needs of the children. Such difficulties almost always occur in circumstances where there is a history of domestic violence. Policies that require consent of both parents may put women and children at risk. This mainly affects single parent families but has also caused problems for blended families who wish to home educate.

The only option for these families to pursue home education has been for the parent with whom the child lives to seek and obtain sole parental responsibility for the children, a lengthy and stressful process that opens old wounds and causes considerable disturbance to family life.

This week an important decision was handed down by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal that recommended that applications for home education registration be "considered on their merits and not be refused because of the court order and the father's not consenting to the application".

This has implications for families across Australia with shared parenting orders who wish to home educate their children and who are required to obtain the other biological parent's signature on the application form.

The Tribunal argued that it was not the role of the regulatory authority BOSTES to "consider whether the applicant should have sole parental responsibility or unilateral responsibility to decide to apply for home schooling for the children" and that its role is "to consider an application for registration for home schooling made by a parent of a child pursuant to s 71 of the Act." It determined that BOSTES should have considered the application "taking into account relevant information, including that it had obtained from the father about why he opposed registration for home schooling, to the extent that it is relevant."

Refusing to fully consider the application on the basis of non-consent of the other parent was not accepted by the Tribunal. It determined that "if the applicant or the father disagrees with the outcome, he or she may not wish to pursue the matter further" through the Family Court. It stated that is not up to the BOSTES to determine if both parties have kept to the terms of the shared parenting orders.

While specific to this particular appeal process and this family's circumstances, the decision is being interpreted by home educators as a significant outcome and hopefully will help to change what is an untenable situation. It appears to shift the onus onto the non-consenting parent to protest any concerns through the Family Court instead of the registering body assuming authority as the arbitrator of conflicts about the education of the children between parents.

This lines up with what already happens when the principal carer enrolls a child in a school the other parent isn't happy with; it's up to that disgruntled parent to take the principal carer through the Family Court to establish new orders regarding the child's education.

The Home Education Association supported the parent who challenged the registration authority in NSW, assisting her to obtain free legal representation and providing moral and emotional support through the process. It may be possible for the dual consent process to be challenged in other Australian jurisdictions. Advice and support can be obtained from the Association: www.hea.edu.au .


Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you? Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating offering encouragement and reassurance to families wanting better outcomes for their children.

Thank you for your gift contribution!

Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.

Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people."

"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!"

"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others."

"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
2am in the morning, I 've been encouraged!"

"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful."

I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.

Welcome to the World of Home Education and
Learning without School!

We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

Advertise with The Educating Parent

Access all the content plus BONUSES from the Australian Homeschool Summit

Stocking all of Beverley Paine's, the educating parent's, books!

30% discount off ReadyEd Publications for homeschoolers until 31st December 2016

Find out more about Brain Builder by clicking here!

Link to Educate and Assist for home educating families Educating the World One Student at a Time AOIA Online Education

Supervised school of distance education

click to go to the Sunshine Collective providing ‘Brilliant Boxes’ to families of pre-schoolers and primary school aged children, throughout Australia

Belinda Cowie Whisper Waters Educational Resource for Home Educating Families STEM tutoring

Click here to go to Home Learn cover the 'core' with room to explore! Sydney Dance/Sports Classes for home educating students

cover of Getting Started with Homeschooling by Beverley Paine DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!
Great value $60
Natural Learning
and Unschooling Pack

Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review

Only $29 or $33
Select A4 or A5 Diary

Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.

animated Australian flag

Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!

Support Centre
Contact Us | Join a Support Group | Beverley's Books | Resource Directory | Blog | Donate

About The Educating Parent
Beverley Paine | April Jermey and Always Learning Books | Advertise with us


What is Home Education Why Home Educate Getting Started & Registering Different Ways to Home Educate
Life as a Home Educator Resources & Support Teens and Beyond Curriculum and Teaching Tips
Unschooling & Natural Learning Travelling & Home Educating Other: just for fun, general, etc Children's Pages

animated smiling face Thank you for visiting!

Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
nor do they endorse or recommend products listed in contributed articles, pages, or advertisements.
This website uses browsing cookies and conducts other means to collect user information in order to display contextual ads.
Site Map. Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2018.