2014 is a transition year for WA where schools and home educators are moving away from our previous Curriculum Framework in the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and History and using the Australian Curriculum for those areas.
From 2015, schools and home educators are expected to comply with the new West Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline. English, Maths, Science and History will use the new WA Curriculum, while Arts, Languages, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Health and Physical Education and Technologies will continue to use the Curriculum Framework until such time as they are included in the WA Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
HBLN has received a response from the Education Department in regard to the level of compliance required for Home Educators. The Authority referred to below is the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (previously WA Curriculum Council).
“The Authority has advised that all educational programs, whether they are delivered in school or through a home education program, must reflect the Outline’s general capabilities, and the content and achievement standards.” “Of course, moderators will continue to be flexible to cater for the different approaches of home educators and use their professional judgement when they come to evaluating home education programs according to the Outline.”
Therefore, from 2015 those families who are currently home educating will need to use one of the approved curriculum below for Maths, English, Science and History.
Whilst the new Montessori National Curriculum has been approved for use instead of the National Australian Curriculum, it is not yet available to home educating parents. Montessori Australia have this to say on their website:
“The development of the Montessori National Curriculum and the subsequent approval process will cost MAF (a not-for-profit) tens of thousands of dollars. Although the cost has been kept to a minimum due to the hundreds of hours of volunteer work done by our committees and document contributors, the majority of funding is derived from MAF subscriptions. This support affords all MAF school subscribers the benefit of a license to use the Montessori National Curriculum. The document may be downloaded from the School Subscriber section of the website. We have not yet developed a policy for access to the curriculum by non-subscriber schools as our priority has been spent on its development and working with ACARA. We will develop a policy over the coming months in consultation with our relevant committees.”
There are international Montessori curriculum documents and packages that are available online but these have not been approved for use in Australia instead of the Australian National Curriculum. It may be possible however, to talk to your Moderator about the use of an international curriculum until the Australian documents become more widely available.
The possibility of a group of home educators subscribing to Montessori Australia as a ‘school’ in order to access the curriculum has not yet been explored either. A minimum rate of $500 applies to all subscriptions and a group of home educators sharing this cost would likely need to be negotiated with Montessori Australia.
Similar to Montessori Australia, Steiner Education Australia (SEA) says of its National Curriculum:
“SEA has copyright over these documents and though we share them on this website, only SEA members can use the documents for school registration purposes.”
The Steiner National Curriculum is actually shared on this page: http://steinereducation.edu.au/curriculum/
The SEA statement above means that a school cannot use these documents to fulfil registration requirements unless they are a member of SEA. Since home educators are not schools but providing education for their children from home, it does not appear that there would be any problem with parents using the Steiner Curriculum in their home education. It is recommended that if parents wish to do this, that they print out the ACARA registration document in the first link above to show to their Moderator.
Mix and Match
At this time, it is allowable for home educators to use a combination of Steiner, Montessori and West Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline in providing their child’s education.