Home-schooling parents in Victoria are concerned with proposed new regulations that allow the Government to control what they teach their children, largely destroying the benefits of homeschooling.
Victoria’s Minister for Education, James Merlino, says the new regulations will help Victoria strike “the right balance between making sure home schooled students get the best education and giving home school families the freedom to deliver their child’s education”.
In practice, the new regulations only strengthen the power of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority at the expense of parents.
Disappointingly, it appears there has been little to no stakeholder engagement or input from homeschooling families who now fear the regulations will make it difficult for people who already homeschool to continue and much more difficult for new parents to register.
The vast majority of parents will naturally feel that they, and not the government, are best-placed to determine the course of action most beneficial to their child at any point in their child’s life. If that entails removing children from detrimental influences at a moment’s notice – because of bullying, for example – most families would assume this was their prerogative. But the new regulations will change this, making it the decision of the Authority “whether it is appropriate for a child to continue to be registered for home schooling” at any point.
Far from suffering academically, homeschooled children often out-perform their contemporaries in mainstream schools. There doesn’t seem to be a problem with the system as it now operates, so parents are confused about the motivation for the changes and suspicious of the government’s reasons for proposing them.
In the low-trust environment created by the Andrews government’s forceful promotion of programs such as Safe Schools and Respectful Relationships, this has led some homeschooling parents to speculate on the real reason for these changes might be to ensure that, even in the safety of their own homes, Victoria’s children will not be safe from gender ideology.
ACL submitted several concerns to the Victorian Education and Training Reform Regulations Review on 28 February 2017.
You can read and share our full submission here.