Schooling and Travelling

Schooling and travelling Australia with your kids - it has to be one of your main concerns.  Luckily we can help.  Valerie Marett, was registered as a teacher for 43 years and has run Homeschooling Supplies Australia now for 24 years.  When I was told about her business from another traveller; after trying to give teaching my kids a red hot go myself, I cannot tell you the relief I felt (you can read about that here) to know that I had back up and a plan to school my kids.

For now though here, Valerie would like to give you her thoughts and experience when it comes to registering for home schooling and travelling......

Registration in Regard to Home Schooling and Travelling Australia - Valerie Marett

I received a copy of the following email from the Education Department to parents who were travelling around Australia with children and wanted some more information.  The Education Department said this:

“If you wish to be registered for home education, you will need to be present for the 12 month evaluation, and obtain an address in WA.  You will also have to be able to show evidence of your children’s education program and education progress.  If you are unsure when you will return, (will not be here for the 12 month evaluation), or if you do not obtain an address in WA, you will not be able to be registered for home education (in WA).  This just means that your children are still enrolled at their previous school and their attendance will be marked accordingly. “

Before anyone panics, let me address what has been said. Firstly, the clerical officer in the Education Department has outlined the clerical problems of the school or homeschooling section.

When the school is notified that children are being withdrawn from the school they should delete them from their register. In fact, to maintain maximum funding the school keeps the childrens’ names on the register until they receive a transfer notice from the next school. All the parent is legally required to do is notify the school they are withdrawing their children.

Regarding registration for homeschooling the parent must have a “fixed address” and comply with the 8 key learning areas. This is obviously not possible when travelling.

To overcome these problems most families are urged to register for Distance Education and the children's address is listed as the Distance Education office. This way funding is retained. Distance Education requires the student to be available on the internet for up to 6 hours a day and return assignments at set times. Obviously, this is impractical when travelling.

A customer informed me recently that a school near her had told a parent they would keep the children on the roll and all the parent had to do was send occasional photographs. 

An additional problem with all of these types of registration is that when a state border is crossed the law changes. Some states do not accept any form of registration in other states below tertiary level. 

For the department to prosecute parents for truancy, it is necessary to prove that on a given day  children were not present in a school in that town. That may be simple in a small country town where there are perhaps two schools, but impossible in Werribee, where I live, where there are at least 20 schools! 

This process would need to be repeat several times over several weeks. By that time most families have travelled on and may have even crossed state borders. So, what  Education Departments have decided to do, if they can not persuade a parent to enrol children in one of the ways I have previously mentioned, is to ignore travelling families altogether. They are just too hard to deal with.

So, no, you do not need to register. The spirit of the law is that children should be “regularly and efficiently educated,” so, at Homeschooling Supplies,  I suggest that parents purchase English, Maths and Spelling if the children are in Primary School and English, Maths, Spelling and Science if the children are in Highschool. This means they need to study between one and a quarter hours and one and three quarter hours per day. This is easily achievable while travelling. 

Valerie Marett

Homeschooling Supplies Australia

Don't Panic about schooling and travelling!

There are options out there and this is one of them.  Don't be put off by the education departments around the country, they do not make it easy.  At the end of the day we want to education our children and more importantly; your kids will not want to be behind their peers when they return.  Schooling and travelling is possible and you can do it, I did and I am not a teacher.

We took our 3 children out for 2 years, I told our principal we were going to travel Australia. He apparently thought (I found out later) I was doing SIDE (WA's Distance Education) but I wasn't - I did not want to be locked in to such a massive commitment, I wanted to enjoy our time on the road, but also educate them as we went.  Homeschooling Supplies worked for me and no, I do not get any commission from you using them.  I'm just wanting you let you know what we did and how this worked for me. (One of my children went into the Academic Extension Program when we returned after 2 years on the road). 

So do not get too caught up and worried about schooling and travelling - there are so many other families doing it and you can too!

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