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New Laws Require Home Schooling to Align with Australian Curriculum

In Queensland, there has been a 195 percent increase in students registering for home education, with the Queensland government introducing legislation in parliament to ensure that home education aligns with the Australian government’s curriculum.

This increase comes as the number of students being homeschooled in the state nearly triples since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Minister Di Farmer presented the Education (General Provisions) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 on March 6, including amendments related to homeschooling.

According to Ms. Farmer, under the proposed changes, students who are homeschooled must follow the government’s syllabus for senior subjects. She highlighted that more than 10,000 students are currently registered for homeschooling in Queensland.

Additionally, the legislation aims to provide safeguards for student well-being, emphasizing the need for a high-quality program for students. The bill also establishes a guiding principle that centers on the best interests of the child or young person.

After being introduced to parliament, the bill was referred to the Education, Employment, Training, and Skills Committee for further review without debate.

Home Education Australia spokesperson Samantha Bryan expressed concerns that the mandate could lead to more parents resorting to underground home education. She suggested a dual enrollment option that would allow families to combine part-time homeschooling with part-time school attendance.

Under the legislation, parents will need to provide evidence of the child’s educational progress during annual reporting. Gendered language was also removed from the bill to align with contemporary practices and approaches to gender and sex.

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