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More Qld parents keeping kids at home during school years

Heather Haines has home schooled both her children to give them the best education possible. (In photo) Poppy Haines, Heather Haines (mother) and Samuel Windall.
Heather Haines has home schooled both her children to give them the best education possible. (In photo) Poppy Haines, Heather Haines (mother) and Samuel Windall. Kristy Muir

HOME education in Queensland has almost doubled in the past four years with more parents in regional and remote areas choosing to keep their school-aged children close to home.

Gympie has one of the highest registrations for home schooling in the state with 41 registrations logged with the State Government - an increase of 46% since 2008.

Further west and Toowoomba is not far behind with 38 families choosing to educate their students at home in 2012.

A majority of the home schoolers in the Darling Downs town are seven or eight years old.

Unsurprisingly, in metropolitan Brisbane, where having too many education options rather than none is the problem, only one child is recorded as being home schooled this year.

In Rockhampton, home schooling numbers are also low, with only one registration in 2012.

The figures, provided by the Queensland Education Department and broken down into postcodes, show the growing trend, which has traditionally been a favoured option for rural families or children on the move.

Parents can employ a registered teacher to formulate and carry out an educational program for their children, which can include after-school activities such as sport and scouts.

Overall, Queensland has seen the number of registered home education programs jump from 495 in 2008 to 951 in 2012.

Generally, home education across the state involves young children between six and 10 years of age.

The Education Department had 21 registrations for domestic schooling in Caboolture this year and 16 in Buderim.

Unregistered home schooling can lead to prosecution in Queensland after legislation was introduced in 2006 requiring parents to register their arrangements with the Education Department.

Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek attributed the legislation to fostering the rise in home school registrations.

"A greater public awareness of this legislation, combined with population growth, is the most likely reasons why there's been an increase in the number of students registered for home education," he said.

"The Newman Government supports parents in having the freedom to choose how their child is educated."

 

HOME EDUCATION IN REGIONAL QUEENSLAND 2012

Gympie: 41
Toowoomba: 38
Bundaberg: 28
Caboolture: 21
Mackay: 20
Hervey Bay: 17
Buderim: 16
Ipswich: 12
Gladstone: 7
Maryborough: 6
Maroochydore: 3
Warwick: 3
Rockhampton: 1

*Source: Queensland Government

Topics:  education, home schooling, queensland government, school




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