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THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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South Australia Home School Laws

South Australia Education Code For Homeschooling

This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at your public library.

What is home education?

In South Australia, parents may choose to educate their child(ren) at home rather than accessing a school based education program.

When choosing to home educate, parents undertake responsibility for their children’s education and must be able to demonstrate that their child(ren) have access to:

  • an appropriate learning program which addresses eight areas of learning
  • resources to support the learning program
  • opportunities for social interaction
  • a suitable learning environment.

Home education is distinct from Distance Education in which the Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) is responsible for the provision of the education program.  Students who qualify for Distance Education can access their education program through the Open Access College.

Although Open Access College students undertake their learning at home, they are considered to be attending school and do not require an exemption from attendance at school.  More information about the Open Access College and eligibility criteria can be found at:

Open Access College
Website:  http://www.oac.sa.edu.au/
Telephone:  1800 882 328
Email:  enquiry@oac.sa.edu.au

Home education programs

Home education programs need to align with South Australian Curriculum Standards, Accountability (SACSA) Framework, which describes eight Learning Areas, five Essential Learnings and seven Key Competencies.


All eight areas of learning should be addressed.  The areas of learning are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Design and Technology
  • Studies of Society and Environment
  • The Arts (Music, Art, Dance, Drama)
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Language Other than English (LOTE).

Information about the SACSA Framework is available on the websitehttp://www.sacsa.sa.edu.au/.  The SACSA Companion Documents provide ideas for planning and assessing programs in each of the eight areas of learning.  These are also available on the SACSA website or hard copies can be purchased from the Department of Education and Children’s Services, Curriculum Services on telephone:  8226 1932.

Successful home education programs:

  • are planned in advance to align with SACSA.
  • integrate the Essential Learnings and Key Competencies into learning tasks.
  • utilise a range of resources.
  • have clearly identified learning outcomes.
  • incorporate a variety of teaching, learning and assessment methodologies.
  • involve students in the planning of stimulating education programs and encourage student negotiation of learning.

Condition of approval

Approval for exemption (home education) is conditional upon the following:

  1. The home education choice is exercised with the full knowledge of parental responsibilities in relation to the provision of a suitable education program, resources, learning environment and opportunities for social interaction.
  2. Acknowledgement that the Department of Education and Children’s Services is under no obligation to provide local support or resources.
  3. The name of the South Australian school at which the child(ren) is/are enrolled is provided.
  4. That a home visit meeting between the family and Department of Education and Children’s Services officers has been conducted to discuss the application and intended program.
  5. That parents participate in an annual home visit to review the education program.

Legal requirements

In South Australia, the Education Act (1972) specifies that children of compulsory school age must be enrolled in and attend a Government or a registered non-Government school.

The age of compulsion is currently defined as a child who is at least 6 but not yet 16 years of age.  This will be raised to 17 years in 2009.  The Minister for Education and Children’s Services has delegated the authority to approve exemptions from attendance at school for home education to the Director, School and District Operations.


Exemption from attendance for the purpose of home education can be approved in the first instance for a period of up to 12 months.  A condition of the granting of an exemption from school attendance is that children of compulsory school age must be enrolled in a Government school or a registered non-Government school in South Australia.

Interstate schools or institutions are not covered by the South Australian Education Act.  Therefore, it is essential that all children be enrolled in a South Australian school, before an exemption for home schooling will be approved.

Process required for home education

If you wish to apply for an exemption from school attendance for the purpose of conducting a home education program, contact the Home Education Project Officer on telephone:
8226 1327.

The Home Education Project Officer will forward an application form. On the form, Application for Exemption from Attendance at School for the Purposes of Home Education, you will need to provide the following details:

  • the name of the school within South Australia at which your child(ren) is/are enrolled and currently attending
  • the proposed home education program to address the eight areas of learning and an outline of a typical timetable
  • how your child’s achievement will be assessed and monitored
  • a description of the work space and learning environment
  • opportunities for social interaction available to your child
  • the name of the person(s) responsible for the provision of the educational program.

The application will need to contain the signatures of both biological parents, except where one of the parents is excluded from custody or guardianship by a Court Order.  Where a Court Order exists a copy should be attached to the application form.

On completion, the application form should be returned to the Home Education Project Officer.  The Home Education Project Officer will then arrange a time to conduct a home visit to discuss in detail the information provided by you.

During the home visit, the Home Education Project Officer will explain that, should you wish to continue with your home education program for a further 12 months, a review will need to occur before the current exemption expires.  At the review, the achievement of the child(ren) will be discussed.

At the initial home visit, the Home Education Project Officer will discuss strategies for documenting the implementation of the learning program and the monitoring of student achievement throughout the year.

Following the home visit, a report and a recommendation regarding the approval of an exemption from attendance is forwarded to the Director, School and District Operations.

A letter will be forwarded advising you of the Director’s decision. If your application is successful, an exemption of up to 12 months will be granted.

Changed Circumstances

Any changes to circumstances, such as a new address or contact details, or a return to school, must be reported to the Home Education Project Officer.

Ms Sally Robbins
Home Education Project Officer
School and District Operations
Department of Education and Children’s Services

6th Floor, Education Centre
31 Flinders Street
ADELAIDE  SA  5000

Telephone:  8226 1327

Email:  robbins.sally@saugov.sa.gov.au

Transition to Year 8

From Year 8 home educated students are able to access a distance education Languages Other Than English (LOTE) program from the Open Access College at:

Open Access College
Website:  http://www.oac.sa.edu.au/ 
Telephone:  1800 882 328
Email:  enquire@oac.sa.edu.au

Year 7 and 8 transition enrolment information is available at: http://www.oac.sa.edu.au/

Contact officer for further information

Ms Sally Robbins
Home Education Project Officer
School and District Operations
Department of Education and Children’s Services

6th Floor, Education Centre
31 Flinders Street
ADELAIDE  SA  5000

Telephone:  8226 1327

Email:  robbins.sally@saugov.sa.gov.au

More South Australia Home Education Information.

Home education – sa.gov.au
Parents can choose to educate their children at home instead of sending them to school.

Home Education SA
Support group for homeschoolers in SA, keep in touch with events and activities organised for homeschoolers.


Exemption from attending school
A parent or guardian must apply for an exemption from school attendance if they wish to take their child out of school temporarily or permanently. Students must attend school regularly until the exemption has been approved.

Return to Australia homeschooling information.

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  1. Australia Homeschooling | A2Z Homeschooling on August 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    […] South Australia Home School Laws […]

  2. […] a2zhomeschooling.com asla.org.au/ aussieeducator.org.au/education/specificareas/homeschooling.html […]

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