Homeschooling in Australia

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

Homeschooling is legal throughout Australia and is regulated by territorial government. The requirements for each territory vary slightly. Read on for specific information about each territory.

Homeschooling in Australian Territories

The compulsory ages for school attendance in Australia is 6-15. Australia has a national curriculum found in all public schools across the continent. The curriculum sets forth expectations and goals for every school-aged child in the entire country. While the curriculum is available to homeschoolers as well, it is up to each individual territory whether to require that parents use the National Curriculum in their homeschooling.

Australia Capital Territory

Parents who wish to homeschool within the Australia Capital Territory must register with the director-general every two years. In order to be approved for home education, families must submit all curriculum and study goals planned for the registration period, as requested. In addition, coursework and assignments must be submitted for review once per year during the approval period and be available for inspection. Families may request renewals in two-year increments if all conditions have been met.

New South Wales

Families in New South Wales who wish to homeschool must register with the Office of the Board of Studies. To gain approval to homeschool, a home visit to assess the proposed educational program is required and is also a contingency for renewal. Initial approvals may be for less than two years. Parents must follow Australian National Curriculum syllabi according to the following grade levels:

Grade LevelsCurriculum
Kindergarten to Year 6 English, mathematics, science, history, art, health and physical education
Year 7 to Year 10English, mathematics, science, history, art, health and physical education
Year 11 and Year 12Two units of English, six units of courses developed by the Board, three 2-unit courses, four subjects

Records must be kept in the form of portfolios, progress reports, and weekly learning logs and are a part of the renewal process.

Northern Territory

Parents in the Northern Territory must apply for registration, and through the approval process, will have a home visit by an authorized official. The student's particular education needs, the educational plan, homeschool site, and planned homeschool hours will be analyzed during the course of the approval process. If approved, the registration to homeschool is good for one year, at which time the parent must seek re-registration. Families who homeschool in the Northern Territory must follow either the Australian National Curriculum or another curriculum approved by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.


Queensland families may opt to homeschool by registering and being approved to do so. Once approved to homeschool in Queensland, families do not have to re-register, provided they meet the yearly reporting requirements. These reporting requirements consist of submission of a portfolio of the student's work samples, along with outcomes the child completed and educational experiences he or she had. The report may also include types of study materials the child worked with throughout the year, including projects, models, observations, logs, stories and essays.

South Australia

In South Australia, parents wishing to homeschool must take a circuitous route. Before applying to homeschool, parents must first enroll their child in a South Australian school. They then apply for an exemption from compulsory attendance, at which time a home study will be conducted, along with an examination of the study plan that is to be aligned with the Australian Curriculum. If approved, the exemption will last twelve months. Student progress is reviewed annually and the exemption is renewable upon satisfactory progress.


In Tasmania, parents who wish to homeschool must apply to the Tasmania Home Education Advisory Council for approval. Application materials must include a Home Education Summary and Plan (HESP). This includes a list of books and materials to be used and goals to be reached over the course of the academic year. Curriculum is determined by the parents and does not need to follow the Australian National Curriculum. After being granted permission to homeschool, parents can expect an initial monitoring visit 1-2 months after the application is approved. Annual or biennial follow-ups will be required to determine children's progress on their academic plan.


Families in Victoria may apply to homeschool their children on an annual basis. Parents must agree to provide instruction in eight specific areas, including math, English, and science. The specific lessons and curriculum to be used are determined by the individual families. While further evaluation is not usually required, parents should document their children's progress in all subjects, in the event that there is a concern regarding a child's advancement.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, parents may homeschool after applying to the Department of Education and receiving approval to educate their children at home. There is no standard curriculum or any lesson plans that parents must use, but significant progress must be made each academic year. Annual visits from moderators of home education will be made to review each student's academic record in accordance with the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Parents should keep a journal or portfolio of the child's work in all subjects to demonstrate their progress. At the time of the visit, if there is cause for concern that the child is not progressing academically, approval to homeschool might be cancelled. Otherwise, the consent to homeschool will remain in effect for another year.

Preparing to Homeschool

Parents wishing to homeschool would benefit from several lessons found in the Curriculum Development for Teachers course. In addition, provides homeschooling courses that provide subject-specific lessons and supplemental resources. Online courses are available in academic areas for elementary, middle and high-school students and provide interactive quizzes and the ability to connect with expert teachers if students have any questions. Check out some of the available courses below:

Grade LevelSample Courses
High School Precalculus Algebra, Biology, 11th Grade English, U.S. History
Middle School Middle School Geography, 6th Grade Language Arts, Middle School U.S. History
Elementary School 3rd - 5th Grade Math

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