3.1 INFORMATION LETTER TO PARENTS
Kia ora. Nga mihi nui ki a koe.
Thank you for your request for information on homeschooling for your child. I enclose an application form for your use should you decide to apply.
The Education Act 1989 There are no changes to this section.
In New Zealand it is the right of all children to have an education. Sections 20 and 25 of the Education Act 1989 state that children between the ages of 6 and 16 must at all times be enrolled at and attending a registered school whenever it is open.
However, you as parents/guardians have the right to apply for a certificate of exemption from enrolment at a registered school for your child under section 21 of the same Act.
Please remember that until this certificate is issued your child, if aged over 6 years, must be enrolled at and attending a registered school.
Certificate of Exemption
There are two changes to this section.
- 1. Feedback from applicants indicates that some have regarded a request for more information as a rejection of the application. The added sentence clarifies the situation.2. The word??refused’ has been replaced by??declined’.
When your application and information statement have been received by the Ministry of Education, the Manager or a designated Ministry Officer will decide if the application shows that the child will be taught ??at least as regularly and well ?? as in a registered school. If they need further information they may write to you, telephone you or ask to see you. It is important to understand that asking for additional information is common practice in assessing applications for exemption, and should not be interpreted as a rejection.
On approval of your application you will receive a certificate of exemption and you may begin homeschooling your child.
If you are declined a certificate of exemption you will receive a letter explaining the reason for the decision. You have the right to seek a review of this decision. To request a review you should write to the Secretary for Education who, after considering a report on the matter from the Chief Review Officer of the Education Review Office (ERO), will confirm the decision or grant a certificate. The Secretary’s decision is final.
Change of Circumstances
The words??you will need to’ have been replaced by??should’ to be consistent with what follows in the paragraph.
You should write to the Ministry of Education if circumstances change after a certificate of exemption has been issued. You should write if you have a local change of address or if you move to another part of the country. You should also write if you decide to enrol your child at school, as your certificate of exemption will lapse at this point.
Homeschooling Supervision Allowance and Statutory Declarations
Two sentences have been added to this section. The sentences explain why all homeschoolers need to provide twice-yearly statutory declarations and who can sign them.
The homeschooling supervision allowance is paid in January and July each year, and covers the preceding six months. The first payment for a child new to homeschooling will cover the period since the date of the issue of the certificate of exemption. Payment is subject to confirmation that you continue to meet the requirements under which the certificate of exemption was given. This confirmation is by way of a statutory declaration to be provided twice each year.
Even if you do not wish to receive the supervision allowance you must complete a statutory declaration twice each year. This assures the Ministry that homeschooling is continuing.
The statutory declaration needs to be signed by a Justice of the Peace. (On the statutory declaration there is a description of who qualifies as a Justice of the Peace).
The annual amounts paid are:
- First child $743
Second child $623
Third Child $521
Subsequent children $372
The Education Review Office
Three changes have been made to this section.
- 1. A phrase has been inserted to the first sentence to indicate the wider role the ERO has.2. Applicants are advised in a new sentence that they do not need to forward applications to the ERO.
3. A concluding sentence has been added to this section making applicants aware that local homeschooling groups may be able to offer assistance.
The Education Review Office (ERO) monitors schooling in New Zealand including homeschooling programmes. Before visiting you, an ERO staff member will contact you to provide information about the visit and arrange an appropriate time. Please note that to assist the ERO to perform its role, the Ministry will provide the ERO with a copy of your application. You are not required to provide the ERO with a separate copy.
You may like to contact one of your local support groups for more information about how to prepare for an ERO review.
Three sentences have been added summarising why updates might be required and assuring applicants that such requests are rare.
From time to time you may be asked to provide the Ministry of Education with an update of your homeschooling programme. This will need to take into account the changing educational needs of your child. This is intended to assure the Ministry that you are able to continue to provide an educational programme appropriate to the age and needs of your child.
Requests for updated information are rare and might arise where a review by the ERO has not occurred within the usual expected cycle. In the normal course of events an update will not be sought.
Two sentences have been added to this section referring applicants to a reliable source of information.
Your child is entitled to the same services as children attending registered schools, such as health nurse, dental, hearing and vision services. Queries regarding health services (e.g. access to dental nurses) should be directed to local health providers. The Ministry of Education is not able to advise on healthcare services and it is important that parents seek information where it might be reliably found.
This section is new. It is intended to alert applicants to assistance that may be available if they wish to access it, and indicates that this is optional.
If your child has special needs they may be entitled to additional resources. There is no requirement to apply for or access resources to meet special educational needs. You may or may not choose to seek support.
There are no changes to this paragraph.
Homeschooling can be satisfying and rewarding. It is also a tremendous commitment for you as a parent. If you need more information before making an application, please contact staff at this office.
3.2 MAKING AN APPLICATION
Before deciding to apply, there are a number of things you should consider.
Reference is made to Application Appendix A in this section to show where the information may be found.
3.2.1 The Education Act 1989 says that the Secretary for Education must be satisfied that your child will be taught at least as regularly and well as in a registered school. This is to protect the rights of your child to an education. The information you provide with your application should be detailed enough to satisfy this requirement. To help you in your application, you will find enclosed (Application Appendix A) an explanation of the Ministry’s interpretation of the key words??at least as regularly and well as in a registered school ??, referred to above.
Reference is made to Application Appendix B and Application Appendix C in this section to show where the information may be found.
3.2.2 If you decide to go ahead with an application, please complete the personal details required on the enclosed form. Attached as Application Appendix B are some notes to help you to complete the question on ethnicity. In support of your application please provide the information which is outlined as follows. The information is needed to assist the Ministry of Education in making an informed decision on issuing a certificate of exemption from enrolment.
A checklist is also included for your convenience (Application Appendix C).
3.2.3 Broad Curriculum Areas
This subsection (184.108.40.206) is new. It is intended to prompt applicants to consider whether a child has special needs and to alert applicants to assistance that is available should they wish to access it. (This is an existing requirement under the Act?? section 21(1)(b)(ii).)
220.127.116.11 Needs – Describe your child’s educational needs. Please describe any special educational needs of your child. The Ministry of Education Group Special Education can assist you if assistance is appropriate and sought by you.
There have been no changes to this subsection (18.104.22.168).
22.214.171.124 Knowledge and understanding – Describe your knowledge and understanding of the broad curriculum areas you intend to cover as you educate your child.
This subsection (126.96.36.199) is rewritten to make the matter of curriculum clear to applicants and adds reference to the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).
- 1. It shows that the National Curriculum Framework is an option available.2. It summarises the National Curriculum Framework for applicants who wish to know what it covers.
3. Applicants who will be homeschooling a student of secondary school age are prompted, if they wish, to consider NCEA. The wording of this new part of the application applies only if it is relevant to a particular application. It is only relevant if an application refers to a student of secondary school age intending to pursue NCEA unit standards. Five year olds do not study NCEA-level topics so for them, and any other students of primary school age, it is not relevant. The Ministry is available to provide advice and guidance in this case, if it is sought.
188.8.131.52 Curriculum – Describe your curriculum. Outline what you intend to cover with your child in different areas of your stated curriculum.
The National Curriculum Framework may serve as a guide but use of this is not compulsory. It lists seven essential learning areas and eight groupings of essential skills. These are listed below for your information should you wish to use the National Curriculum Framework as a guide.
Health and Well-Being (Hauora)
Self-management and competitive skills
Social and co-operative skills
Work and study skills
For students at senior secondary level, list and comment on the delivery of the subjects your child will be studying.
Note how any relevant National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) requirements will be met. Should your child not be pursuing NCEA, simply state that this is the case. NCEA is unlikely to be relevant to primary age students. Consequently applications for primary-aged students do not require any reference to NCEA.
Whatever source of curriculum guidance you select, you should be specific about the skills you want your child to learn and you should be clear about the maturity level and abilities of your child in relation to your curriculum.
184.108.40.206 Teaching methods?? It is also important to explain how you intend to teach your child, by outlining your method(s) of teaching for each subject area. This does not require you to give a detailed description of every method used in every lesson. An overview of some of the usual methods you may employ is sufficient.
There are no changes to this section (3.2.4).
To help the Ministry understand how your curriculum vision translates into practical terms, we ask you to include a description of how you would approach the teaching of one topic of your choosing.
We are looking for the following elements in your statement:
The Topic Title
The Aim – what you are going to teach your child
Resources – what materials you would use to teach the topic
Method – what steps would you take to communicate/teach the
material to your child (please be as clear as possible)
Evaluation – how you will test/measure the effectiveness of your teaching.
There are no changes to this section (3.2.5).
3.2.5 Resources and Reference Material
Please provide a comprehensive list of all resources and reference material available to you. Also list the type of material you may intend to include in the future.
There are no changes to this section (3.2.6).
3.2.6 Study Area
Describe the work/study area(s) in the home where the major part of the child’s homeschooling will take place.
There are no changes to this section (3.2.7).
State how you will use the environment and your community to extend and enrich your child’s education. Please include in this a description of any educational visits you hope to make.
There are no changes to this section (3.2.8).
3.2.8 Social Contact
Describe how you intend to provide for your child’s needs for wide social contact with others.
A sentence has been added to this section (3.2.9) to highlight??evaluation’. An evaluation is the conclusion about learning progress that might be drawn from an assessment. An evaluation may be a statement for an applicant’s own information about how effective teaching has been and what will be the next step.
3.2.9 Assessment and Evaluation
Outline how you are going to assess and evaluate the progress your child is making. Please include how you will also evaluate your teaching methods in terms of your children’s learning.
There are no changes to this section (3.2.10).
The legislation requires a commitment to regularity. In explaining your routines, show how you will meet the requirement that your child will be taught at least as regularly as in a registered school.
There are no changes to this section (3.2.11).
3.2.11 Other Information
Please make any other comments you consider relevant.
This section (3.2.12) has been added to alert applicants to sources of information and assistance that are available should they wish to seek help.
3.2.12 Advice and guidance
Many groups and organisations of homeschoolers operate throughout New Zealand. They are able to provide assistance and support to homeschooling parents in many ways. To find out about such groups, the World Wide Web (using searchwords such as homeschooling nz) or your local telephone book are likely to provide contact details.
A local Ministry of Education office can also provide advice and guidance. You may wish to contact a member of the Student Support team in an office near you.
Local Offices are:
Whangarei (09) 430 4910
Auckland (09) 374 5400
Hamilton (07) 858 7130
Rotorua (07) 349 7399
Napier (06) 833 6730
Wanganui (06) 349 6300
Lower Hutt (04) 463 8699
Nelson (03) 546 3470
Christchurch (03) 364 3330
Dunedin (03) 471 5200
Invercargill (03) 211 3610
There have been four changes to the Application Form.
- 1. The application form has been reformatted for ease of reading.
2. A new statement regarding delegation of teaching has been inserted to assist Ministry staff. Where some teaching is to be delegated to a known provider that has been shown in the past to be reliable, an application may be processed with more ease.
3. A Privacy Statement has been included. This makes applicants aware of why information is collected on the form and how information may be used.
4. A section on??at least as regularly and well’ has been removed. This is already covered in Application Appendix A.
Page 1 of 2
(A separate application is required for each child)
First Name _________________ Family Name _________________________ male/female
Date of Birth _______________ Present Year Level _________________________
Present School ________________________________________________________
Planned date to begin homeschooling ______________________________________
Ethnic identity (for statistical records only) __________________________________
FULL NAME OF PARENT(S)/GUARDIAN(S)
Mr/Mrs/Ms First Name ___________________ Family Name _________________________
Mr/Mrs/Ms First Name ___________________ Family Name _________________________
Home Address ______________________________________________________________
Telephone No.(home)______________(Business) _________________ ( Mobile) _____________________________________
Fax: ______________________________ E-mail:__________________________________
Postal Address if different from above ___________________________________________
I have received help in compiling this application. YES/NO
I intend to delegate some teaching responsibility. YES/NO
(If YES to either or both of the above, please state briefly the nature of the assistance and/or delegation.)
Page 2 of 2
NAMES OF OTHER CHILDREN IN THE HOME WHO HAVE A CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION
Names Date Certificate Issued
Signature(s) of Parent(s)/Guardian(s) If making application as guardians, state relationship to child.
Date ____________________________ (Proof of Guardianship is required.)
The information collected may be used by or disclosed to other agencies, such as the Education Review Office, the principal of your child’s current school or (in the case of a child who has never attended school) the Public Health Nurse, for these purposes. Your information will not be disclosed to any other person or agency unless it is authorised or required by law.
The information about your child’s ethnicity is for statistical purposes and will not be published in a form that could identify an individual.
The Ministry of Education will hold the information collected and you have the right under the Privacy Act to request access to and correction of this information.
The word??will’ has been replaced by??is likely to’ in this section.
Application Appendix A
The following is intended to help you to understand how the Ministry of Education interprets the wording of the Act.
- The homeschooling situation can provide an opportunity for a more flexible approach to organisation than that which is likely to operate in the average school. Nevertheless, the Act requires you to teach your children??at least as regularly…. as in a registered school. ?? Homeschooling applications should, therefore, provide evidence of a commitment to certain routines appropriate to the maturity level and abilities of the child and should outline these. This is because the Ministry is concerned to know that regularity extends to the treatment of elements within your stated curriculum. It would be helpful to provide a specific timetable for a typical week, or you may describe your organisational routines in sufficient detail to enable the Ministry to assess the regularity of your programme. However, unsupported statements such as??John will let us know what he wants to study ?? are not acceptable.
- Section 35A of the Act (which deals with the registration of private schools) says that one of the elements necessary to ensure registration is the existence of a suitable curriculum. To indicate that you will teach your child??at least as well as in a registered school ?? you must, therefore, communicate to the Ministry something of your curriculum vision. Your statement should be more than an overview – it should give some indication of issues that will be addressed in different areas of your stated curriculum. Some people will want to use a commercially prepared course of some kind. There is no problem with this but it is likely to be insufficient if your application simply says,??We will be following such and such a course. ?? You will need to show that you at least know where the course is taking you. It is not possible, of course, for the Ministry to judge the quality of your teaching in advance, but Ministry officers will look for some evidence of the planning and balance that we would expect to be a feature of curriculum organisation in any registered school. ??Iwi’ has been inserted into this section.
Application Appendix B
ETHNIC IDENTITY?? NOTES FOR PARENTS
Like all Government Departments, the Ministry of Education collects information related to ethnicity for statistical purposes. In collecting information we are required to comply with the Statistics New Zealand standard classification of ethnicity. The codes for the items in the standard classification are shown below.
Code – Description
EUR – NZ European/European/Pakeha
NZM – New Zealand Maori- Iwi: ________________________
SAM – Samoan
COO – Cook Island Maori
TON – Tongan
NIU – Niuean
TOK – Tokelauan
FIJ – Fijian
OPI – Other Pacific Island
CHI – Chinese
IND – Indian
OAS – Other Asian
OGR – Other Groups
When completing the question on the application form, please use the appropriate code to show the ethnic group with which your child identifies. (If your child identifies with more than one group please put the main group first). This information will not be published in a form that could identify the individual concerned.
There have been two changes to this section.
- 1.??Broad Curriculum Areas’ has been removed. This has been replaced by the first four items in the checklist making the checklist a more comprehensive and therefore useful tool for applicants.2. Applicants are prompted to advise the principal of a school that a student may be attending, that the student may be about to leave to be homeschooled. This is to safeguard applicants from the possibility that a school may refer a non-attending student to a truancy service. Advice to the principal ensures that, once an application is approved, the student is able to leave the school without any further need for the school to be involved.
Application Appendix C
CHECKLIST FOR HOMESCHOOLING APPLICATIONPlease feel free to use this checklist when completing your application to make sure that all the necessary elements of your application have been included.
- Child’s needs have been described
- Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the broad Curriculum
- Curriculum coverage for the first year has been described
- Teaching methods described
- Study Areas
- Use of Environment and community resources
- Social contact
- Assessment of progress
- Application form completed
- Copy of Birth Certificate
- Principal notified of your intention to homeschool (in the case of children currently enrolled in a school).