From this year, all eligible school, and home education, students are entitled to receive money from the government towards educational expenses. Called the Education Tax Refund, families are entitled to up to $420/annum for each eligible primary age student, $820/annum for families for each eligible secondary aged student. According to the Department of Families, Housing and Community Affairs, the payment is for eligible, school related costs and can be used for school fees, uniforms, books, sports, music lessons and other developmental activities. The website states:
A child or an independent student meets the schooling requirement for each six-month period, starting 1 July or 1 January, if both of the following are true:
- one of the following applies
- they are registered or enrolled in a primary or secondary school course provided at an educational institution such as a school or TAFE
- they are registered or enrolled with the education authority of their state or territory as a home schooled student
There is information on eligibility that can be accessed here. The payment is to help students, and their parents, with the costs of schooling so it’s a major step forward that it can be accessed by home education families. It’s a fabulous, government level, recognition of, not only the legitimacy of the choice of home education in Australia, but also of the parallels between home education and other forms of education choice.