The question is often asked, can homeschoolers be "dual enrolled?" by which most folk are usually meaning, can they be enrolled in school or Te Kura (correspondence school), and homeschool part time? Technically, there is no such thing as "part time homeschooling" under the law, however there are various aspects to consider for full information.
Dual Enrolment between School and Te Kura
However, under certain circumstances, a student may be enrolled both with their local school, and also with Te Kura (the correspondence school) under what is referred to as "dual enrolment." This additional enrolment is for the purposes of providing supplementary curriculum and tution, which is generally broken down into two types of circumstances:
Curriculum adaptation - where the main school is not able to provide needed curriculum adaptation or special programs, such as for a gifted and talented student, one with special education needs, or one who is not progressing as expected. Sometimes dual enrolment is arranged via support from the Regional Health School for a student whose current health situation prevents them from attending school full time; this is usually a temporary arrangement.
Curriculum capability - where a smaller school cannot provide all the subjects for a full and balanced curriculum, and so students are enrolled with Te Kura for the extra subjects - this is often a language or similar.
The criteria for dual enrolment is laid out in Section 4 of the MoE's enrolment policy HERE.
Only dual enrolment between a school and Te Kura of a student who fits the criteria is government funded, and this is the normal definition of "dual enrolment."
"Dual enrolment" of a homeschooler with Te Kura
The parents, who hold the exemption, remain wholly responsible for directing their child's education. They have simply chosen to purchase the tutition provided by Te Kura in the selected subjects.
There is no minimum or maximum number of fee paying subjects which homeschoolers can enrol in at Te Kura, and the exemption is not affected.
"Alternative Tuition" - Principal's Discretion
The wording of the Act is:
25B Release from school
The principal of a State school--
(a) may, if satisfied that--
(i) a student will receive outside the school tuition acceptable to the principal; and
(ii) releasing the student would not result in a contravention of section 25(2),
—release the student from attendance at the school, for a period or periods agreed with a parent of the student, to receive the tuition (and, where appropriate, travel between the school and the place where the tuition is to be given)
Any family making such an arrangement with the school would not have an exemption, not be "officially" home educating, and would not recieve the Supervison Allowance.
The advantages of such an arrangement might include providing some relief to a student who is struggling to cope with the school environment, providing for their education temporarily while a school works to put better support in place, enabling parents to provide extension or tailored learning for the child, having students at home but not truant while the exemption process happens, or allowing parents to "sample" home education.
However, this would not be the normal or typical situation/process. I include this information so that parents may decide whether to discuss the possibilities with their child's principal if circumstances warrant it.
- "Dual tuition" normally refers to a student enrolled in school but also enrolled in some supplementary Te Kura courses.
- Exempted homeschool students can enrol with Te Kura on a fee paying basis.
- There is no such thing as "part time homeschooling" under the law, as the Act makes enrolment in a school and holding an exemption mutually exclusive - doing one voids the other.
- Some principals use their discretion to allow parents to provide alternative tuition for their enrolled child part time or for a period of time.