Can I De-Register as a Homeschooler?
© Beverley Paine, July 2007
"Is it possible to deregister and therefore become a unregistered homeschooler? My family is already registered, but if we move interstate and didn't register there would we be hunted down by the authorities there? Are there any laws that allow you to homeschool without being registered?"
This question came up at the 2007 National Home Education Conference in Adelaide.
My first question, however, would have to be, why would you want to deregister? It is becoming increasingly obvious that our current federal government is doing its best to make it extremely difficult to receive any financial benefit at all through the welfare or tax system without some kind of registration process for home education. It is something to keep in mind when making decisions to 'slip off the radar'.
Victoria was the last state to allow home education without some kind of government intervention but the law changed on July 1st 2007. It may be possible to homeschool without registration in any state of Australia but I personally would seek a legal opinion from a qualified person as to what I actually need to do to comply with the law. It would also be a good idea to fully explore the ramifications this decision would mean both now and into the future. Please remember that each state has different laws with different names for the registration process and different procedures. At present the HEA is looking for a lawyer interested in giving a definitive opinion on what families have to comply with to homeschool legally in each state.
In the past to 'deregister' in SA all I had to do was not seek extension of the exemption from attendence at school for my children. This was easy for us me because they never initiated contact and if I didn't chase them they left us alone. I knew of several families this also happened to, however it was over a decade ago - things have changed both here and interstate. The education department are more effecient. Although the onus is placed on the parent to contact the department for the annual review, most families receive a letter in the mail regarding their 'review visit' each year.
Moving interstate to avoid registration is a possible ploy, although if you are 'dobbed in' by a neighbour or interested busybody in the community, there is the chance you will then need to go through whatever registration process is in place there, or challenge it - in the worst case scenario this might lead you to proving your case through the court system. The political climate in Australia isn't giving me much heart at the moment and I suspect they are going to pay attention to homeschoolers with greater diligence, particularly if there is a change of government at the federal level later this year. We could easily find cases finding their way to court as non-attendance at school is tied every more closely to child-abuse. Court cases might end up as the only way the homeschooling community can prove home education is a legitimate and successful option to school based education.
If you are currently having problems with the educational authorities where you live I strongly urge you to contact a lawyer and obtain legal advice, prefably in writing. If you are reluctant to do this for any reason try to get a professional advocate (health worker, etc) that can act as an objective third party whenever you meet with the educational authority. Where families have had problems in the past and have sought and obtained legal advice and worked with advocates the outcome has been favourable for the family.
You may not be 'hunted down' if you choose to move at present and you may be able to homeschool in relative freedom for several years, but as I said above, there has been a considerable change in government policy and public feeling over the last few months. This is bound to have a negative impact on many homeschooling families in Australia in the short term.
Secondly, as someone who has moved house to find better educational options for our children and experienced the personal upheaval and stress this causes, I would caution against it. It was an expensive and stressful option that did not give us what we sought and we ended up doing what we'd been doing before. It also meant that for quite some time we lived in considerable financial hardship, which ultimately meant that our children did without many of the opportunities and resources we would have loved to give them. The myth that the grass is always greener over the fence is just that, a disappointing myth.
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
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 supporter 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." Vanessa
"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!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"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
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"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." Gythaa
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
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'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
Over 30 presentations!
For $29 you get
lifetime access to recordings
of all the workshops, all associated resource guides, dDownload all video and mp3 files
Amazing homeschooling help!
ESSENTIAL STEP BY STEP GUIDES
Let experienced home educators Beverley, Tamara and April walk you through HOW to create a learning plan that builds on solid foundations that works for YOUR family AND ticks all the boxes for home educaton registration!
"Your guidance, understanding, support & words of wisdom changed our lives." Leslie
"I feel specially inspired by Beverley's words and, the more I read her comments, the more inspired I feel, since
my need for support, respect for different parenting styles, and information are fully met." Marijo
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.
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!