Moderators and Reporting
Moderators and Reporting
The Department of Education publish a policy statement on home education with background information and the required procedures for Department employees. You can download the Policy Statement from the WA Department of Education website or by clicking here.
Moderators are obliged to follow the Department policy, however it is the School Education Act 1999 that home-based families need to keep uppermost in their minds when undergoing moderation. The most relevant section for home educators is Section 6, page 66. Click here to download a copy. Section 53.2(a) Cancelling s.48 Registration, gives the Department of Education and Moderators the authority to assess progress against the current WA Curriculum.
It is important for home educators to familiarise themselves with the Homeschooling Policy and Education Act in order to fully understand their rights and responsibilities.
What Your Moderator Can Ask For
Simply put, a moderator's role is to ensure that home-educated students are gaining a good education and to provide support for home educating families. The moderator's responsibilities are:
- To check that students are making progress (this does not mean according to tests or comparison to other children or even progress in regard to any age-related norm. It means that your child is making forward progress in his or her learning at his/her own pace).
- To check that families are complying with the WA Curriculum as per the Education Act. More information on this can be found in A Guide to Moderator Meetings, Reporting and the WA Curriculum which can be purchased using this link.
- To check on the child's working environment and access to learning resources.
- To offer support and suggest resources to help parents if they want support.
What You Need to Provide the Moderator
The home educator is fully responsible for the child's education program. In addition, it is the home educator's responsibility to:
- Demonstrate to the Moderator that progress has been made by the child
- Demonstrate compliance with the WA Curriculum in their education program
- Provide students with a satisfactory working environment and access to learning resources
- Provide the Moderator with a safe environment for the meeting (for example, ensure that dogs are restrained)
- Demonstrate that you have an understanding of where your child is at socially and academically
- Demonstrate that you have an understanding of where your child will be at in 12 months
For more detail on what to provide your moderator including programming and recording examples you might like to purchase A Guide to Moderator Meetings, Reporting and the WA Curriculum which can be found on this link.
What You Do Not Need to Provide for Your Moderator
- A daily work pad or diary
- A program showing evidence of 25 hours per week of “school work”
- Your child reading aloud or demonstrating their writing
- Evidence of the use of any particular kind of text or workbooks
- A particular volume or quantity of written or “school” work
- Your child’s bedroom or rooms in your house other than the main learning area
- A full year-long program
- Evidence of academic or standardised testing
- A record of everything curriculum-related you study or discuss with your child
Moderators in your Home
Moderator visits are not required to take place in the home and many parents choose to meet at the local library, or a nearby café, while some prefer to go directly to the moderator’s office. Some moderators like to visit families in their home to get a sense of who they are and understand the environment the child is working in.
The moderator’s role is to help you with the program you are delivering to your child. You are entitled to say no to any request you are not comfortable with from a moderator regarding your home, and/or your children.
If you feel your moderator is acting more in the capacity of a social worker (although they rarely do this), then you have the option of discussing this with them or contacting HEWA for assistance, and/or sending a letter of complaint to the Department of Education requesting that your present moderator is instructed to cease this practice. Moderators are aware that their role relates to the education of the child, not parenting practices.
A Moderator’s role is not to test children. Moderator’s should not ask for your child to demonstrate reading, writing or any other skill for them. If a Moderator asks your children to do something that you are not comfortable with or attempts to test your child in any way, it is your right to decline.
Keep in mind that most requests are suggestions
If your Moderator tells you that you should be doing something that you don’t agree with, rather than arguing or being defensive or upset, keep in mind that it is actually just a suggestion, regardless of how it is framed. You may feel that your Moderator is telling you that you MUST do something and is therefore making demands. You may even feel that there is an implied threat that you will receive an unfavourable report or be considered unworthy to continue home educating if you do not comply with the request or demand.
It is vital however, that you try to stay detached and open, rather than becoming defensive, upset or emotionally entangled. In this space, you are more able to think clearly and to remind yourself that as long as you are meeting the requirements as stated in the Education Act and Policy, you are free to provide your child with the education you feel best. As such, if you can relate to advice that you disagree with as a suggestion from someone doing their best to be helpful, you will maintain a good relationship with your moderator.
Some people find the prospect of a Moderator visit to be daunting or stressful, however the majority of Moderators are supportive and helpful people and most visits go smoothly.
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