October 24, 2014


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Going overseas: exemptions and allowance

A home educator who had recently returned from overseas looked into his exemption applications for his children. He questioned whether he should be filling out new exemptions for his children. Candida from the Hamilton local MoE office looked into it for him and found that he did not have to submit new exemptions (Thanks Candida). Wonderful news. Candida contacted the National MoE office and now we have the official word on it from Lucy:

We have sought clarification with our legal team regarding the rules around having to reapply for an exemption when returning to New Zealand after residing overseas for a while.

Home Educators do not need to reapply for their certificate of exemption after leaving NZ and then returning.

We do however, need to be informed when they leave and return to NZ as the funding will cease when they are away.

I will be changing our deskfile to make this clearer, and will also be sending a message out to all of our regional homeschooling staff today.

The deskfile will say:

Homeschool Parents Leaving New Zealand for Holiday or Extended Period

The maximum time a home schooling family can leave New Zealand and remain eligible for full home schooling allowance is 28 days. However the 28 day rule can be slightly flexible.

If a family leaves New Zealand for up to and including 28 days they still remain eligible for the full home schooling allowance for the overseas period.

If a family leaves New Zealand for more than 28 days but less than six months and returns to New Zealand to continue home schooling a ‘less days’ payment will be made. Please inform the Resourcing Division in the National Office of any home schoolers that will be out of New Zealand for more than 28 days, so a note can be made for the payment period.

If a family leaves New Zealand for more than 6 months they will need to re-apply for their homeschooling allowance, upon their return. This does not mean having to re-apply for the exemption but rather inform us they are back so the payments can resume.

 

This has been mentioned in some of the feedback provided to us that I have seen so far. Can you please let your members know of this?  I will also add it into our communications when we go back to the home educators with the collation of feedback.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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MoE offices processing exemption applications

“It is best that the exemption applications be sent to the “old offices” and then they can distribute them if need be.”

Please see my email below to Lucy and her reply regarding which offices we should be sending our exemption applications to.

Are all the local MoE offices now processing exemptions?

These offices will be processing the exemptions:

There is confusion about these other offices since they are not in the link above yet:

Tai Tokerau
BOP/Rotorua/Taupo
Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne
Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu

1.  It would be helpful to have:
a) a list in the above link of the offices that are now processing the exemption applications
b) and if they are not yet when the expected date is.
***
The other confusion people have is – which office to send the exemption to.

2. It would be helpful to have a map of New Zealand in the link showing the catchment for each local MoE office.

This is Lucy’s reply:

I will add this to the feedback for collation, thank you.

In terms of your first question – it is up to the regional directors of each region whether they will be processing the applications in their office or not. Some have not made that decision yet, and I am not sure when the decisions will be made.

So for now, it is best that the applications be sent to the “old offices” and then they can distribute them if need be.

Once I hear more I will let you know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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Scoping Survey: Long term plans for our personal “survey/email”

Craig with children and timelineMany home educating families are wondering what will be happening to the Scoping Survey/email they sent into the MoE. So I wrote an email on Friday:

Scoping Survey feedback future

Thanks for your letter saying

“You have expressed some concerns that have been voiced from some home educators. We would like for them to know that no one will be getting an ERO review because of the feedback they have given – that wasn’t the point of the feedback process. The feedback will not be used at an individual level and no one will be penalised because of any individual feedback given.”

Home educators have been greatly relieved that they wont be getting an ERO review as a result of what they have put in the Scoping Survey.

There has been some more discussions about the information that people have given to the MoE. We thank you for your assurances that the feedback will not be used at an individual level and that no one will be penalised because of any individual feedback given.The next question that many home educators have is what is going to happen to the feedback once you have finished with it?

Home educators are wondering:

  1. Will it be destroyed?
  2. Will it remain on the files for someone in the future to do something else with the feedback
  3. Does the information still have individual names attached to the individual feedback forms/surveys/emails and if so, if the feedback is not destroyed after you have finished with it, will they be removed?

Home educators want to know that when those responsible for the information (Jim, Sonya and Lucy) leave your current jobs, that no one else will be able to come in and use the feedback in any way that can be used against individual home educators, nor that it will be used for any other purpose than the scoping document.

Here is the reply from Lucy:

Good Morning Barbara,

Once we have finished collating these feedback forms for the purposes of this exercise, they will be destroyed (hard copies) and deleted (emailed ones) so they cannot be used again.

Hope that clears things up, let me know if you have any further questions.

Kind Regards,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Links:
-Home Education Foundation letter which covers exemption form, beneficiaries, International home educators and Keystone.

MoE/ERO issues

Changes in the MoE

MoE discussions introduction to the Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings

Preparation for the MoE discussions with Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings andrelevant for the Problem Scoping Survey
- Discussions home educators had online at Clutter buster group or (for ease of reading as not everyone can get onto the Google docs) here…http://hef.org.nz/coming-events-archives-2012/red-tape-cluster-buster/ (Also a lot of very good information to aid you in filling out the Problem Scoping Survey)

Record of Progress and Achievement (an example of the new National MoE office staff understanding home educators)

Truancy and the Home Schooler/Home Educator (another success with the National Office in that Megan showed us alternatives)

Scoping Meeting 15 July 2014 – Getting to know you

2nd Meeting 28 July 2014 – Red Tape Cluster Buster Meeting

MoE scoping Home Educators – email

Feedback Form (Problem Scoping Survey) on MoE website

Email to the MoE about the Scoping Survey from a Home Educator

Problem Scoping Survey: ideas and deadline

MoE’s reply to Yumiko’s email about the Scoping Survey

MoE Problem Scoping Survey: please make it known and fill it out

The last of Craig Smith’s writings before he died 3 years ago

MoE Problem Scoping Survey

- Home Education Foundation’s Problem Scoping Survey

- Scoping Survey: Barbara Smith

- Problem Scoping Survey – Update

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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Letter to MoE re Scoping Survey 7 October 2014

Craig with children and timeline
Email to the MoE 7 October 2014

Dear Jim, Sonya and Lucy

I am really excited about the Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings, the Problem Scoping Survey and the interactions we have had with you so far.

Thank you for allowing the deadline to be extended out to 9:00am on Tuesday morning. I trust a few more people have taken advantage of that.

I am still hearing of people who have not received the email from you and do not spend a lot of time on the internet so they have not heard from us either. I think if you were to do something like this again in the future it would be good to combine it with the home schooling declaration letter.

I would like to think that a lot of people have sent in Problem Scoping Surveys with all the positive interactions that they have had with the MoE. Over the years we have had some wonderful people in the MoE dealing with our exemption applications and ERO reviews. I trust that people are telling you this. But I suspect that it is the ones who have been hurting that you might hear more from. But also in saying that I know that there are many who are really hurting and afraid to answer the Problem Scoping Survey.

As people are trying to fill in this Problem Scoping Survey it is bringing back to them the fear and frustrations of getting their exemptions particularly from some local MoE offices and especially if they have special needs children.

Here are the comments that I am getting from people who are not willing to fill out the Scoping Survey or send in an email – even anonymously.
“I know you need the surveys and I get that they could help and I really do appreciate the work you’re trying to achieve but I have to tell you……..I’m too scared to fill one out. And I know we can do them anonymously but they will be able to tell who we are by the problems that we had. I’m very much afraid that the education department could retaliate in the future and we cannot afford for that to happen…”

(Plus seven other comments including the rest of this comment.)
And comments from those who have filled out the form:
“…I have to be honest. I reread it after I sent it again and burst out crying! I had a panic attack and thought, Oh my goodness what if the Advisor I was talking about is on the review board? But it is done and if it helps…yay. If I suddenly get an ERO then I know it was all a farce and I will not fall for it again…”

(Plus two other comments)

And this is a comment that I saw recently – not sure if it is in a submission to your or not – but thought it was good for you to see.
“…Quite frankly ours was a nightmare…”

(And the rest of this comment)
(I had permission to pass these comments onto the Problem Scoping Survey team.)
After reading these comments and many more from other home educators I am beginning to see one reason why home education isn’t growing in New Zealand like it is in some other Countries. There are several reasons, I am sure, but a growing conviction I have is that it sounds like, as I put in the Home Education Foundation’s Scoping Survey, that some Principals and some local MoE office staff have been making it very difficult for families to get an exemption, and even trying to put them off home education.

The other concern I have about the home education statistics is the number who stop home educating after 1 – 3 years. We have tried to address this with workshops/conferences/seminars around the Country. There are a lot of local support groups and a lot of online support groups these days for encouragement and advice so it is disappointing to see that the numbers giving up home educating continues to be so high each year. Again, I am now seeing, as a result of the Scoping Survey process, another reason why home education is not growing in New Zealand and I have a growing conviction that it has in part to do with the hard time some people have in getting their exemptions. Once the home educators have their exemptions, because of the terrible time they had getting it, they are keeping exactly to what they wrote in the exemption, putting untold stress on the family by “Schooling” at home instead of developing a lifestyle of educating their children at home. They are scared that if they deviate from what they wrote in their exemption form (timetable and all) that the MoE will send the ERO in to review them. This is burnout material. I think many have burnt out and instead of changing what they are doing (out of fear of the local MoE) have put their children back in school even though they would rather keep them at home knowing that it is better for their children to be at home with them.

Home educators save the MoE/Government a lot of money. I would think in these days of the Government trying to save money where they can that they would welcome families home educating their children. I love the fact that you consider Home Schooling your largest school and the sentiments that go with that. We would like to see this attitude in all the local MoE offices.

Again I look forward to seeing the results of the Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings and the Problem Scoping Surveys and being able to comment on them.

Regards
Barbara Smith
www.hef.org.nz
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lucy addressed part of this email in this email that she sent to me…
“You have expressed some concerns that have been voiced from some home educators. We would like for them to know that no one will be getting an ERO review because of the feedback they have given – that wasn’t the point of the feedback process. The feedback will not be used at an individual level and no one will be penalised because of any individual feedback given.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Links:
-Home Education Foundation letter which covers exemption form, beneficiaries, International home educators and Keystone.

MoE/ERO issues

Changes in the MoE

MoE discussions introduction to the Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings

Preparation for the MoE discussions with Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings andrelevant for the Problem Scoping Survey
- Discussions home educators had online at Clutter buster group or (for ease of reading as not everyone can get onto the Google docs) here…http://hef.org.nz/coming-events-archives-2012/red-tape-cluster-buster/ (Also a lot of very good information to aid you in filling out the Problem Scoping Survey)

Record of Progress and Achievement (an example of the new National MoE office staff understanding home educators)

Truancy and the Home Schooler/Home Educator (another success with the National Office in that Megan showed us alternatives)

Scoping Meeting 15 July 2014 – Getting to know you

2nd Meeting 28 July 2014 – Red Tape Cluster Buster Meeting

MoE scoping Home Educators – email

Feedback Form (Problem Scoping Survey) on MoE website

Email to the MoE about the Scoping Survey from a Home Educator

Problem Scoping Survey: ideas and deadline

MoE’s reply to Yumiko’s email about the Scoping Survey

MoE Problem Scoping Survey: please make it known and fill it out

The last of Craig Smith’s writings before he died 3 years ago

MoE Problem Scoping Survey

- Home Education Foundation’s Problem Scoping Survey

- Scoping Survey: Barbara Smith

- Problem Scoping Survey – Update

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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Problem Scoping Survey – Update

Craig with children and timeline

Email from Lucy Ambrose

We have received feedback from 365 people. Thank you very much for your help in getting this form out to home educators.

We will be collating the feedback over the next few weeks. We will summarise what is working well and anything that people would like to see changed. The summary of this collated feedback will be provided to the home schooling sector by the end of November 2014.  We will seek feedback from the sector on this document to ensure we have accurately captured what is working well and what people would like to see changed.  Any proposed next steps will be provided to the home schooling sector for comment also by the end of November 2014.

You have expressed some concerns that have been voiced from some home educators. We would like for them to know that no one will be getting an ERO review because of the feedback they have given – that wasn’t the point of the feedback process. The feedback will not be used at an individual level and no one will be penalised because of any individual feedback given.

Kind Regards,

Lucy Ambrose

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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