MoE/ERO Reviews

Some-one asked on hefnetnz and Trademe Message Board

“Is it TRUE that the MoE have decided to review every home schooled child in the next 12 months?”

Here is Craig’s answer:

Gidday all,

I think you can relax about this. Back in 1997/8 it was found that
neither the MoE nor the ERO actually had the legal authority to conduct
reviews of home educators. The Education Legislation Amendment Act (No.
2) closed up that loophole by adding sections 328A through 328D to the
main Act plus a couple other bits and pieces. So now it appears that the
ERO (not the MoE) has the power to order either general or specific
Reviews. The MoE buys a certain number of Reviews from the ERO each
year, about 600 or so, I believe. That’s just under 10% of the home
educated children out there.

For all of the approximately 6,500 home educated children to be reviewed
in the next 12 months would be a massively expensive logistical exercise
in terms of money, time and personnel. It won’t happen. They have to
give each of you one month notice (don’t ever accept less than this),
and then some of you will sadly inform them that the date they suggested
is totally out of the question for this or that reason.

It wouldn’t hurt to, at this time, check out what the Education Act
actually says in this regard. You can go to:

and click on “Acts” search and then type in “education act” under “quick
search title”, then click the first item in the list, “Education Act
1989” and read through Sections 323 through 328D. It doesn’t hurt to
have a squizz at the enrollment, attendance and exemption bits in
Sections 20 through 35A and the bit about truancy officers in Section
31. It is all very instructive.

I cannot find anywhere in the Education Act or any of its Amendments
that any school is required to teach anything in particular. Section
35A(1)c requires private schools (not state schools) to inculcate the
sentiments of patriotism and loyalty, but I cannot find that state
schools are required to do any more than be open and provide teaching of
a secular character…that is, it doesn’t appear to me that schools are
required by law to teach reading, writing, arithmetic or anything else.
And a read through Sections 60 through 64 does not convince me that even
state schools are required by law to follow the national curriculum
guidelines, which themselves don’t seem to require much of anything
either, except sexuality education all across primary and secondary


Craig Smith
Moderator, Hefnetnz

National Director, Home Education Foundation