Take part in letter-writing campaigns and petitions

Homeschool Associations and the Pestalozzi Trust occasionally request homeschooling parents to write letters to government or sign petitions, in order to put pressure on government to listen to the objections of the public. Because government is legally obliged to consider each letter received as part of a public participation process, a letter-writing campaign can cause significant delays in the legislative process. It was thanks to the hundreds of letters from home educators that the introduction of BELA Bill could not be handled by the fifth parliament. It will have to be handled by the sixth parliament, which might look totally different. However, even if government ignores the letters from the public, this can be used at a later stage in court to provide evidence that a public participation process followed in a legislative process was flawed and therefore the legislation should be set aside.

In order to build such a portfolio of evidence that the Pestalozzi Trust requests home educators to send a copy of their letter to the address homeschoolfreedom1996@gmail.com.

What the home education movement wants

The home education movement wants to be treated fairly, just like others groups in society. This means:

  • No legislation or policy is drafted without the availability of independent research.
  • No legislation or policy is drafted without extensive public participation. Due to the diverse and distributed nature of home education, the traditional publication in the gazette and allowing 30 days for comments is not sufficient.
  • The drafting of legislation is done in the correct order. First national legislation, then policy and then booklets explaining the policy.

Can you be prosecuted if you write a letter?

Some home educators are concerned that the education departments will use the contact details in letters to prosecute them. Experience has however taught us that government is generally careful to prosecute people that stand up for their rights. They prefer to prosecute those that are quiet an vulnerable. Although the probability is very low that government will prosecute home educators that stand up for their rights, members of the Pestalozzi Trust can be assured that the Trust will defend them if they get into a conflict situation. However, some home educators are in a vulnerable situation and would prefer their personal details not to be shared with education officials. For such home educators, the Pestalozzi Trust has developed innovative processes to make submissions to government without providing the details to officials that were accepted by the Department of Basic Education.