This is a guide to help you understand the homeschool registration process
- to Unschool it is the same process
Home school / Unschool Registration
New South Wales
– contact a homeschool group; talk to other parents; consider the resources available to you;
find learning style that suits your family; review the requirements for registration
Plan your approach
– identify your child’s learning strengths and needs; start to prepare your child’s educational program; consider the
records you will keep;gather resources; organise learning spaces; be ready to show your planning and
educational program to an Authorised Person.
– complete and submit your application form.
Prepare for implementing
– gather your records of previous educational history and achievement, your child’s educational program based on
NESA syllabuses, methods for learning activities, methods for recording achievement and progress,
resources and suitable learning spaces.
– An Authorised Person will contact you to review your educational program and records.
– Registered children receive a certificate from NESA to confirm the registration
Did you know?
The home schooling registration process in NSW can take upto 3 months ( 12 weeks ) in total
- usually alot less, but currently because of the everchanging covid situations
more and more parents in NSW are choosing to homeschool so the 12 weeks are standard
the registartion process involves the following key steps:
you submit application to NESA ( week 1)
application is received by NESA - they allocates the application to an Authorised Person ( weeks 1-3)
the Authorised Person makes contact with you and arranges a time for a interview with you to assesses your application ( weeks 2-6)
The authorised person and you have the arranged meeting, to go over your proposed learning plan or if applying for re registration then also your current plan records (weeks 3-8)
the Authorised Person provides a report to NESA with a recommendation relating to home schooling registration ( weeks 4-10)
NESA considers the authorised persons recommendation for your home school registration & makes a decision ( weeks 5-11)
Your homeschooling registration certificate is issued ( if you are approved ) - its rare to not get approved
- this is sent via email,
once you have your certificate you can legally pull your child out of school and start your homeschool / unschooling journey (weeks 6-12)
Parent submits application form to NESA-
(NSW Education Standards Authority) there is a form on there website or below.
(A separate application is required for each child you chose to homeschool)
You fill out the required information on the form (you and your childs details) also tick all the appropriate boxes that suit your situation, tick YES to all the following even if you haven't already created a learning plan
tick YES to , records of your childs previous education , a educational program based on the NESA syllabus, a method for recording learning activities, a method for recording child learning achievements and progress and tick YES to sufficient resources & a suitable learning area.
Only the parent/caregiver who intends to homeschool needs to sign the application
if there is a court order - attach a copy of the order. If there is a out of home care arrangement - attach a letter from department of communities or relevant agencies stating they consent for you to homeschool
If your are not the childs biological parent but there legal guardian. you will need to also send supporting documentation -All this is sent
fastest way is via online/ email to the NESA email
or mail it to home schooling unit,NESA PO BOX 5300 Sydney NSW 2001.
If you haven't already now is the time to start creating your childs learning plan (educational program)
More info on how to write a
Once you send all your required documents and home education initial registration application form the education department NESA - will allocate a authorised person to be the one who assess your educational program,The authorised person are the ones who inform NESA if your educational plan meets requirements and if registration should be approved.They will make first contact "call you" to arrange a time for a interview,- they will arrange a interview for the upcoming week or two. They will also explain some things they expect ect
the interview is to go over your learning plan (educational program ) you have created for the child you want to homeschool,- this will determine if you are approved to legally home educate.The interview is usually done by arranging a house visit but due to covid restrictions there is a temporary ban. Interviews take place by phone/skype and sending documentation through email for the meantime.
NOTE: the first point of contact with the authorised person is not the interview for registration approval it is to arrange a interview
Once you have arranged your interview with the authorised person,(a employee of NESA)this is usually by home visit, but now because of covid there is a temporary pause. It will be conducted by skype. Its best to have your documentation (learning plan) organised as you will have to read some of it out and hold it up to camera , The focus of the Authorised Person’s assessment during the home visit ( skype interview ) is the educational program for the child and whether the program demonstrates a capacity to meet with the requirements for home schooling registration should the child be registered - they are not there to assess your child,but note your child/children must be viewed by the authorised person at this meeting , they do not need to be part of the meeting -they just get them to say hello .The authorised person will also want to see where the learning area is - you do not need a school like space - if your are unschooling simply show them a dining room table - maybe you can set up pencils / books/paper /paint / other resources you intend to use on a shelf or storage cube - " this will let the authorised person see your child has opportunities to create/work/learn" -You are encouraged to explain your learning approach and how you will keep learning records as relevant to the educational needs of your child and the requirements. The Authorised Person understands that education in the home is different to school education. They expect to see how the child’s learning needs are being addressed and how the educational program is being implemented in the context of each family.Everyone finds interviews nerve racking - but NESA understands parents have the right to educate there child using whatever "learning pedagogy that suits there family - its best to be organised , agree to any recommendations they have and If your are Unschooling - its best to refrain from saying the word instead you could say natural learning,although unschooling is perfectly legal in NSW, it saves unnecessary conversations,- once your interview is finished , they will usually let you know if you are approved and for how long - sometimes they do not.Your child has to remain at school until you receive your certificate of registration.
Following assessment of the application, the Authorised Person makes a recommendation to NESA. A recommendation for registration will specify the curriculum for home schooling and the recommended period of registration.In relation to the curriculum, the recommendation could be for a Year or Years of schooling . Alternatively, the recommendation could suggest primary education, secondary education and/or senior secondary education. The Authorised Person’s recommendation will consider the parent’s preference and educational plan.
Example- your child does not have to be registered as a year three but instead it could say primary education if you are following a natural learning approach and your childs learning might exceed that of a year 3 or vies -versa
NESA takes this recommendation into account and issues you with a home school certificate ( this is sent via email) - The certificate specifies the child’s name, the child’s home address, the Year level or stage of the curriculum and the period of registration
homeschool registration periods were typically approved for 3,6,12 and 24 months months at a time due to covid first time registrations are typically granted for long periods - 12 months now and renewing registration - 24months
note: If an Authorised Person recommends that an application for home schooling registration be refused, - this is rare
you may seek an internal review of the recommendation. The most common reasons for recommending that an application for home schooling registration be refused are when:
a parent is not available for the application to be assessed despite repeated attempts to make contact by phone, email and/or mail;
an Authorised Person finds that the requirements are not being met or would not be met. If a recommendation to refuse registration is made, the parent is notified in writing. The notice explains the reasons for the recommended refusal and provides an opportunity for the parent to seek an internal review within 30 days of the date of the notice.
At the end of your registration , you are required to do the whole process again, this time you are required to fill in the application for renewal registration form ,1 for each child - this is found on NESA's website or here.
send it of via email or post again Tick yes to the appropriate boxes and send with required documents . You are encourage to apply for re - registration 3 months before your registration expires .You will have to create a new learning plan one for each child for the new upcoming year (registration period).You will then have another interview with the authorised person they will contact you and let you know how the appointment will be if it will be via home visit, phone/skype - or documentation review (home visits are currently on hold due to covid) on the interview they will review your NEW plan and look at the Samples/records of your childs current learning plan they have been doing (basically show them your learning records you have been keeping over the year or so of your registration, its good to have written a progress report / achievement report of what your childs been learning in the registration period, and any goals they require -
if you are unschooling, and haven't got much " recording stuff"
you can keep any "hard copy" work they have done - if they have written on paper, done drawings, artwork ,written lists,any math stuff ,and if you have taken photos of the activity's/trips they have been on -you can put all these into a plastic sleeve folder ( portfolio) also you can take screenshots and print of - your childs Roblox/ Minecraft builds/ writing anything "subject like " that they have done online and add it to the "portfolio".
The authorised person will once again tell NESA their registration recommendations and you will be issued a registration certificate stating the new registration period (years you are registered until ) - via email.
Children residing in NSW may be registered for home schooling at the beginning of the calendar year if they turn five years of age on or before 31 July of that year. Children may be registered up to the age of 18 years and for a continued period, up to two years, in order to complete the planned educational program based on NESA’s syllabuses.
Note: In NSW, children younger than six and older than 17 are not required to be enrolled in a government or registered non-government school, or be registered for home schooling
Parents can apply for registration at any time in the year but are advised to apply three months in advance of when they want to start or continue home schooling.
- Further advice and programming support for children with disability can be found in each syllabus and on the NESA website
- you are not allowed to have your child partially enrolled in a school while home-schooling in NSW
- You may provide learning activities for their children in multi-age groups, using common themes or topics; parents may adjust the pace and/or content of the educational program in response to the identified learning needs and intended learning outcomes of their children.
- (basically you can use the same learning plan for each child - but tweet it to suit your childs learning needs and ability)
- NSW is considered a hard state for homeschool registration , It is only because it requires alot more documentation, re registration and usually " home visits" then other states.
- NSW considers natural learning / unschooling as a acceptable teaching method
- you are not meant to travel while homeschooling in nsw, but if you register and do not mention you are going to travel, and be back for the next re-registration period it will be fine.
- you can not get a exemption from a subject, you can alter it to suit your childs learning needs