Home education

This page has information about home education, the application process, home visits, and details of what to teach your child.

You can choose to educate your child at home if you do not want to send them to school.

If you choose to home educate, you must get approval from the Northern Territory (NT) Department of Education. The department has a legal responsibility to make sure all students receive a quality education.

If you plan to home educate more than one child, each child needs a separate application.


Before applying, you will need to do all of the following:

  • write a plan or learning program and curriculum you intend to teach your child
  • plan a method for recording learning activities
  • plan a method for recording achievement and progress in each area of study
  • arrange a suitable area in your home for educational purposes and have sufficient access to resources and facilities to support the learning program
  • keep your child enrolled in a school until you have received approval to home educate from the Department of Education.

More information

For more information before you apply to home educate you can:

To apply for home education, follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in a home education application for each child.

You need to use either the new or continuing student application:

Registration for home education application for a new student PDF (241.0 KB)
Registration for home education application for a new student DOCX (77.2 KB)

Registration for home education application for a continuing student PDF (238.0 KB)

Registration for home education application for a continuing student  DOCX (76.5 KB)

Step 2. Submit the form by email or mail:

Home education project officer
Department of Education
GPO Box 4821
Darwin NT 0801

Applications only last up to one calendar year and you must fill in a new application each year.

For new families, applications are accepted twice a year:

  • semester one - is now closed.
  • semester two – applications open on 1 May and will close on 26 June 2020.

For continuing families, applications should be submitted by the end of December each year.

You must inform the Department of Education in writing if your child stops home education.

When your application has been received, all of the following will happen:

  • you will be notified in writing that your application has been received
  • your application will be assessed by the curriculum team and, if you are a new family applying for the first time, a student check will be done and a home visit arranged
  • you will be notified in writing as to the outcome of your application
  • if you are unsuccessful, you must make sure your child is enrolled in a school and you can appeal against the decision.

To appeal an unsuccessful application or a cancellation of a home education approval, you must request an appeal in writing within 30 days of being notified.

After home education, you can seek entry or re-entry to a government or non-government school at any time.

A local principal or other senior school staff member, or Department of Education officer, will arrange a time with you to conduct a home visit.

Things that will be discussed and reviewed are:

  • the proposed teaching and learning program
  • the resources and material to be used to support home education delivery
  • the environment and facilities
  • any recommendations that have been made in the curriculum assessment report prepared by the Department of Education after considering your application
  • any concerns raised by the student check undertaken by the Department of Education.

You are responsible for developing a learning program and curriculum for your child, taking into account their age, capability, needs and interests.

You must use the Australian Curriculum or an alternative curriculum approved by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Unless you have been granted an exemption by the Department of Education.

Your child will receive no accreditation for home education. If you need certification for future employers, secondary, tertiary or vocational studies, your child must satisfactorily complete a program in a school offering NT Board of Studies approved courses of study.

If you have approval to home educate from the Department of Education, you are entitled to the back to school payment scheme and the sports voucher scheme.

You do not need formal teacher training or teaching experience to be home educators. But you must show you have the capacity to plan and provide for the educational needs of your child.

You can also employ a teacher to develop and deliver all or part of your teaching and learning plan. Your teacher must be registered with the Teacher Registration Board of the NT and have a Working with Children Check (Ochre Card) Clearance.

You can't home educate your child while travelling.

If you have planned to travel for less than one semester you should discuss how you can meet the educational needs of your child with your local school.

If you are travelling for one semester or more, you can apply to enrol your child in a distance education school.

Part-time school enrolment and part-time home education is only available to senior secondary students enrolled in subjects with the NT School of Distance Education.

To be enrolled as a part-time student you must meet the following criteria:

  • be studying in years 10, 11 or 12
  • have completed a minimum of two years approved home education directly before your application to enrol
  • have a teaching and learning program plan that details the distance education school subject/s to be studied and a current Home Education Approval Notice.

Contact home education by calling 08 8944 9214 or emailing homeeducation.doe@nt.gov.au.

Last updated: 17 March 2020

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