38 Exemption from enrolment of student who has turned 15
(1) The Secretary may, on application by a parent of a student who has turned 15, grant the parent a certificate that exempts the student from the requirements of section 34 if the Secretary is satisfied that it is sensible to do so, having regard to--
(a) any educational problem the student may have; and
(b) the student’s conduct; and
(c)the benefit (if any) the student is likely to get from attending another available school.
(2) However, the Secretary may not exempt any student who--
(a) has made insufficient progress in terms of any curriculum statement for year 8 published under section 86; or
(b) has not enrolled for a year level above year 8.
(3)The Secretary must tell the chief executive of the department for the time being responsible for the administration of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 the name and address and any other available contact details of every student exempted under subsection (1).
(4) If satisfied that it is in the best interests of any student to do so, the Secretary may revoke the student’s certificate granted under subsection (1).
- Quit school
- Enter employment during school hours
- Enter an apprenticeship or other training or tertiary study for which they are eligible
- Take part in Youth Guarantees courses, which are funded for 16-19 yos, or 15yos with an ELX
"It is highly unlikely that an ELX can be granted to home educated students because they would not meet the statutory criteria set out in the relevant legislation. Although it is unlikely for a home educated student to be granted an ELX, there have been cases in the past where they have been granted, however these decisions are made at the Ministry’s Regional offices and at their own discretion."
Why should home educated students be able to get ELX or equivalent?
Bear in mind that until 1993, the school leaving age was 15. Some young people of that age who were not university-bound often did leave school and enter into various jobs and professions, generally with ultimate success. The change to a school leaving age of 16 was driven by a governmental and Ministry belief that kids who remain in school longer achieve better outcomes (a belief that persists today, despite a lack of evidence to support it). This thinking came about somewhere between 1989's Tomorrow's Schools under Labour which recommended the school leaving age remain at 15, and the 1991 Education Amendment Bill under National which changed it to 16 from 1993.
How do we fix this?
That is why, rather than change this section, I propose an addition the Section 37, which applies only to home educators, as follows:
(?) An exempt student who has attained the age of 15, may engage in full or part time employment or be enrolled in any alternative or tertiary education programme for which they are eligible on the same basis as a student who has been exempt under Section 38, if--
(a) the parent is satisfied that the student has completed their home education to an appropriate level; and
(b) the student has a satisfactory offer of employment or access to training or alternative education
I urge you to consider including this recommendation in your own submission - (click on the link to find out why your submission as a home educator is so important, and how to make a submission)
Submissions close on 14th February 2020.
Under the current Act, this simply reads "available schools". The change implies that the student is already enrolled in a school, and other available schools must be considered. This is a different focus from the simple idea that school in general is unlikely to benefit the student further. This would make it even more difficult for home educated students to fit the criteria, even those who would under the current wording.
One might consider including this in any submission.