I got letters back from the two politicians I contacted both with letters from the Hon Mal Brough MP. The letters from Mr Brough are identical except for one sentence. The letters really don’t say much, they mainly reiterate what the government’s trying to achieve with parents who neglect their children.
One of the things I didn’t realise is that the welfare reforms are only for families who receive income support, they don’t affect families that are only receiving Family Tax Benefit. This would cut down a bit on the effect to homeschoolers.
Quoting from the letter, Mr Brough said:
The school enrolment and attendance measure links into the existing state and territory government laws in this regard. If a child is not required under their state and territory government law to be enrolled at a school because the child is being home schooled in accordance with the law in that jurisdiction, then the child’s parent will not be income managed under this measure for failing to enrol the child. However, if the home schooling arrangement does not adhere to relevant law in that jurisdiction, the parent will either need to do so or enrol the child at a school. Enrolment at a school is similarly specified as a pre-condition to the attencance component of the measure. Also, please assure Ms Willison that income support payments will not be linked to school performance or outcomes.
This is really forcing parents into a sticky situation. If they choose to home school their children but choose not to notify the government and receive imcome support from Centrelink then they may be ‘found out’ because their children aren’t enrolled at a school. I chose to notify the government about homeschooling Jess but I can understand those who choose not to. So this is another way to force people to comply.