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Tracking Children Who Aren't Receiving Compulsory Education

Aug 21st 2014

In a frightening inquiry report by the New South Wales state parliament, it shows that there is no reliable way of tracking which children are and aren’t receiving compulsory education. In Australia, like many Anglo-Saxon countries, it is illegal for parents to keep their children away from compulsory education. If a parent is not sending a child to a school, then that parent should be signed up for home schooling, yet it seems that tracking children that are and aren’t receiving their education is difficult.

There are systems in place that are supposed to track which children are receiving compulsory education, but the parliamentary enquiry revealed how weak they are. Ideally, there should be a register that tracks children across schooling systems and tracks the movement of children across Australia to be sure they are still receiving compulsory education (at home or at school), but that system doesn’t exist according to the NSW Department of Education. Furthermore, this means the monitoring of children (the actual enforcement of compulsory education) is flawed.

The official estimates suggest that the government numbers pertaining to how many children are being home schooled are vastly underestimated. There may be three times more children being home schooled than official numbers may suggest. Without being correctly monitored, these children may be receiving a sub-par education, which casts a very dark shadow over the future of Australia. This means that in the short term, the essay writing in Australia and the general education level of children is going to go down, and in the long-run it is going to mean Australia will have to rely on foreign expertise being immigrated in to cope with Australian tertiary industry. Letting down the children of today is going to cause a lot of problems in the future, especially if the unofficially home schooled children then have their own children and home school them. 

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