We register children for home schooling in Victoria under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017.
There is no national register for home schooling , and different registration procedures apply across states and territories.
Home schooling in 2020
At 31 December 2020, there were 7296 students in 4663 households registered for home schooling in Victoria.
There were 1,004,950 students in Victorian schools in August 2020. Home schooled children make up 0.7 per cent of school-age enrolments.
We do not ask parents why they register their children for home schooling.
Figure 1: Home schooling in 2020
Trends in home schooling
Chart 1: Home schooling trends
The number of children registered for home schooling grows each year. In 2020 there was particularly strong growth in registrations, coinciding with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The number of children registered increased by 20 per cent, or 1224 children, compared to 2019.
Home schooling participation by gender
Chart 2: Home schooling participation by gender
Male and female children participate in home schooling almost equally. Male participation is slightly higher.
(a): This information is collected at the time of registration. We added an option for self-described gender to the home schooling registration form in 2019.
Home schooling participation by age
Chart 3: Home schooling participation by age
Children of compulsory school age (6–17 years) must be enrolled in a school or registered with us for home schooling.
Children spanning ages 5 to 18 are registered for home schooling. This includes five-year-olds turning six in the year schooling commences. At the other end of the age group, children can be registered for home schooling until the end of the calendar year they turn 18.
Home schooling registrations begin to drop once children reach 16. This may be because some decide to enrol at a school to gain a senior secondary school qualification such as the VCE, VCAL or the International Baccalaureate Diploma. These qualifications can only be awarded by a registered school or education provider. They cannot be awarded through home schooling.
Home schooling participation by region
Figure 2: Home schooling participation by region
(b): Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016
A relatively high proportion of home schooling households are located in rural and regional Victoria.
Greater Melbourne is home to around 76 per cent of the Victorian population, but only 57 per cent of the home schooling households. Of the home schooling households that live in Greater Melbourne, a high proportion live in the outer suburbs, where there are larger numbers of young families.
While rural and regional Victoria accounts for around 24 per cent of the Victoria population, it is home to 43 per cent of the home schooling households. Anecdotal evidence collected during home schooling reviews suggests some families may choose to home school their children to give them a learning experience more aligned to a rural lifestyle, with a greater volume of learning delivered through topics like farm economics and animal management. Home schooling offers the flexibility to support this more practical learning style.
For previous years' home schooling statistics, see: