While most New Zealand children are educated in schools, the Government also allows parents to make the choice to educate their child at home.

To homeschool a child (also known as home educate), parents can request and receive from the Ministry of Education a ‘Certificate of Exemption’ from enrolling their child or children at registered schools.

The Ministry will only grant an exemption if they are satisfied that the child will betaught at least as regularly and well at home as in a registered school.

More information about the application process, including the necessary forms, who to contact and a definition of ‘at least as regularly and well’ are on the Ministry’s website:

ERO’s role

ERO carries out homeschooling reviews when requested by the Secretary for Education, or in other particular circumstances. 

ERO’s focus during a homeschool review is on whether or not the child is taught at least as regularly and well as in a registered school.

Review Officers consider all available information when planning a homeschool review. Before the review, ERO will request a copy of the application for the certificate of exemption and any other additional information that parents would like to submit.

On completion of the review, ERO will write a report that includes:

  • a judgement about whether the exempted student is being taught at least asregularly and well as in a registered school
  • a conclusion stating whether the Chief Review Officer can assure the Secretary for Education that the terms of the exemption have been met.

A copy of the report will be sent to the parents and the Ministry of Education. These reports are confidential and are not published on ERO’s website.

If a child is not being taught as regularly and well as in a registered school the Secretary for Education can revoke the Certificate of Exemption.


A summary of the review process is attached, as well as the key evaluation questions for the review and prompts to help parents think about the way they homeschool their child.

Please contact the Ministry of Education for more information about applying for a certification of exemption or ERO if you have a question about homeschooling reviews.

Homeschooling evaluation questions Oct 2015