||The purpose of this Bill is to provide a completely new legislative and administrative framework by which the operations of Government schools, non-government schools and home education can be effectively managed. The Bill is based on four key objectives -
every Western Australian child has a right to receive a school education; parents have a right to choose the form of education that best suits their child’s needs, whether at a Government school, a non-government school or in a home educating setting; parents have a responsibility to work together in partnership with schools for children’s schooling to be successful; a Government school system must be provided to meet the educational needs of all children; and
repeals the Education Act 1928. Highlights of the Bill include -
compulsory education for children aged between 6 and 15 years (with an exemption provision); provision of enrolment information to be collected by schools, including both custody information for estranged families and information about the vaccination status of the child; the compulsory education requirement can be met by home education and a Home Education Advisory Board will be established; establishing School Attendance Panels to help deal with absenteeism; allowing flexibility in setting intake boundaries for Government schools; requiring the education minister to consult the local community before closing or amalgamating schools; ruling out corporal punishment in Government schools; and
provision for students to withdraw from programs such as religious education, on the ground of conscientious objection.