Home education review

In recent years home educators have raised a number of issues and concerns about home education policy and practice. As a result, in 2014 the Ministry undertook a review of home education.

Changes to home education as a result of the review

We have made a number of operational improvements to the way the Ministry manages home education:

  • we have updated and simplified the application form and made it available online
  • you can now apply for an exemption when your child is 5 and the exemption can commence when your child turns 6
  • we are improving the information about home education on our website, including adding new information on access to special education support, and links to online resources
  • the statutory declarations that need to be provided to the Ministry while you're home educating your child no longer need to be signed by a Justice of the Peace
  • we are holding regular teleconferences with national office and regional staff to ensure our practice is consistent across the country.

The Minister of Education considered and confirmed that senior secondary aged home educated students:

  • can access NCEA courses from Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu - Te Kura (formally known as the Correspondence School) on a fee-paying basis.  At the age of 16 they qualify for government-funded access to Te Kura through the Youth Adult Gateway  
  • do not have access to the Gateway programme. Students can approach local employers directly if they want to gain work experience. Useful information on pathways into a range of qualifications and careers is available on the Vocational Pathways website.

The Ministry will continue to work with ERO whenever ERO reviews a home educator.

The full report

You can download a copy of the full review report, Homeschooling Review March 2015.

The report covers issues raised regarding:

  • the application process
  • access to resources
  • special education
  • funding
  • ERO
  • Qualifications and Te Kura
  • complaints and revocation process
  • statutory declarations.

The review process

  1. August 2014 - the Ministry began a review of home education in New Zealand in response to issues and concerns raised by home educators.
  2. September 2014 - feedback was sought from the home educator community.  The Ministry got in touch with around 2,480 home educators that they had email addresses for.  This represented approximately 84% of all home educated families.  The Ministry received 365 responses.
  3. October 2014 - feedback was also sought from Ministry home education staff, the Education Review Office, and Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura, formally known as the Correspondence School).
  4. November 2014 - a summary of feedback was provided to home educators for further consultation.
  5. November 2014 - further feedback was received from the home education community
  6. March 2015 - home education review report published. 

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