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Homeschooling Statistics in Australia

Homeschool Statistics Australia Show Increase All Round.

Homeschooling in Australia is growing at a rapid rate according to homeschool statistics. In some regions there is up to a 300% increase in registered homeschool students.

Who Is Homeschooling?

About 15 years ago the majority of homeschooling parents were homeschooling because of Christian convictions.

These days, Christian homeschoolers are only a portion of the total of the homeschooling community. Now many homeschoolers are beginning because of:

  • dissatisfaction with a particular school,
  • lack of choice with schools,
  • bullying,
  • educational philosophy,
  • child’s interests,
  • special needs of a child.

When Are They Starting Homeschool

According to a homeschool statistics Facebook survey, of 560 Australian homeschoolers :

  • 16% commence homeschool from birth
  • 6% commence homeschool after preschool
  • 39% withdraw their children to from school to homeschool between Foundation to Year 3
  • 26% withdraw their children to from school to homeschool between Year 4 and 6
  • 16% withdraw their children to from school to homeschool in high school

This survey was conducted R Vella, February 2017.

Homeschool Statistics Australia – Distribution Between States.

The following homeschooling statistics are really just estimations of homeschooling numbers in Australia for many families choose not to register with the government.

Stuart Chapman’s research estimated in 2012 that there were just over 10 000 registered homeschool students and possibly as many as 30 000 unregistered homeschooling students (this includes distance education students).

NOTE: Students who use a distance education provider but still consider themselves to be homeschooled are not included in official government statistics. They are considered to be in school. Queensland and Western Australia have a very high proportion of homeschool students doing distance education and this is why the amount of registered homeschoolers in those states looks smaller.


Registered homeschoolers 2014

(*indicates 2012 stats)

Distribution of registered homeschoolers

Sales & Search % 2016

(Homeschooling Downunder)

NSW 3327 (3343 in 2015) 26% 37%
QLD 1379 11% 21%
WA 2477 20% 18%
VIC 3582 28% 14%
TAS *660 5% 3%
SA 1075 8% 4%
NT 85 0.5% 1%
ACT 199 1.5% 2%
Total 12784 100 % 100%

This distribution table of homeschoolers in Australia demonstrates that NSW represent 26% of registered homeschoolers however it is 37% of my search and sales volume. This suggests to me that at least 25% of NSW homeschoolers are unregistered. Queensland unregistered homeschoolers could be around 50% of their homeschooling population. Other states seem fairly consistent with registered homeschoolers and my sales and search percentage demographics, with the exception of Victoria who has a 30% lower search volume. This may be due the fact that in Victoria there are no requirements to conform to any particular curriculum and you can also homeschool part-time.

Homeschool Statistics Australia – New South Wales

The NSW Board of Studies reports that 250 students were homeschooling in the 1990-91 financial year and in 2001-02 there were 1478, a rise of almost 500 per cent.

In NSW 2014 there were 3327 students (1922 families) registered for homeschooling with the Board of Studies. (NSW Board of Studies Annual Report 2013 page 13).

Home education is a growing sector in education. More than 3000 children are currently registered for home education in NSW, there having been a 40% increase in registrations over the past five years. However, these statistics underestimate the true number of home educated children as many families opt out of the registration system; there may be more than 10 000 home educated children in NSW. Home Education Australia May 2014

See here for more information on registering in NSW.

Homeschooling Statistics Australia – Queensland

In Queensland, 907 children were homeschooling in 1996 and in 2014 1379. According to Queensland Education Department there were 1379 homeschooling students registered in August 2014.

E Sparks, editor Education Choices, estimated 85% of home education students in Queensland do not register. However there has been some changes to Queensland homeschool registration requirements and this figure may have changed. In 2003 it was estimated that there are 12 000 to 20 000 homeschooling students (based on surveys and mail outs) in Queensland.

Queensland also reports very large numbers of students doing distance education. With the highest cluster of distance education in Brisbane. According to Rhonda Davis (2014) from Southern Cross Education the numbers could be around 3000 – 3500 distance education students.

Homeschool Statistics Australia – Victoria

In 2003, 10 000 Victorian students were thought to be homeschooled (based on curriculum suppliers and newsletters). Victoria actually has the largest number of registered homeschoolers in Australia. This is probably because they have the easiest registration with no conditions attached.

Homeschooling Statistics Australia – Western Australia

WA has a strong home education population also with 1889 registered in 2011.

Why Are People Homeschooling?

According to a 2001 U.S. Census survey parents are choosing homeschool for the following reasons:

  • 33% of homeschooling households cited religion as a factor in their choice
  • 30% felt school had a poor learning environment
  • 14% objected to what the school teaches
  • 11% felt their children were not being challenged at school
  • 9% cited morality.

What About Naplan?

Homeschooling students are academically performing better than average according to the NAPLAN homeschool statistics. Test results indicate homeschool students got:

  • 70 marks higher than average overall,
  • 40 marks higher in spelling,
  • 20 marks higher in writing.

Note: It is not compulsory for homeschoolers to do the NAPLAN tests.

Homeschooling Statistics New Zealand and Canada

In New Zealand and Canada, countries with more favourable legislation towards homeschooling, statistics show approximately 1% to 1.7% of the student population is home educated.

Homeschooling Statistics USA

Americans are reporting that this could be the fastest growing education movement in the USA. Statistic estimations indicate a growth of 7% per annum over the past few years. 2013 reports from Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics say there are 1,508,000. National Home Education Research Unit reports 2 million students.

Homeschooling Around The World

Home-based education is growing around the world in many other nations including South Korea, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, and the United Kingdom.

In some countries homeschooling is illegal and parents who homeschool are at risk of having their children taken from them. Two example countries are Germany and Sweden.

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