Home Education in New Zealand and Australia: State responsibility and parental choice

Wolf Legal Publishers
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Education Law and Policy, 2008, 4 (1-2), pp. 54 - 66
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There is evidence that more and more parents in the developed countries worldwide are choosing to educate their children at home. This is despite, or because of, the existence of comprehensive government education systems which assume state responsibility. New Zealand and Australia, in common with countries in the European Community, the United States and Canada have education legislation which aims to ensure that education is free, available and compulsory to all children generally between the ages of 5 and 15. I Government schools are publicly funded and this funding inevitablyco'mes withvarying degrees of statecontrol:-Thereis also, in New Zealand and Australia,. private and church education available for those parents who want a formal education for their children outside the government system. Despite these alternatives, parents are increasingly electing not to entrust the education of their children to any of the formal systems and are choosing instead to assume sale responsibility for this education. How do governments respond to this exercise of parental choice? This paper examines the current legal position of home education in New Zealand and Australia. It considers the reasons so many parents are now choosing to opt their children out of schools and keeping them at home; and the extent to which the state supports them in this choice
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