Evaluation Questions for ERO Homeschooling Reviews

This is a resource for parents of children who are exempted from enrolling at a registered school and are homeschooled.


It indicates the kinds of questions ERO reviewers may ask in a homeschooling review. You may wish to consider these in preparation for the review and use them yourself when you are thinking about how well homeschooling is going for your child.


The key evaluation questions to be answered by a homeschooling review are:

  1. Is the exempted student taught at least as well as in a registered school?
  2. Is the exempted student taught at least as regularly as in a registered school?


To answer these questions, reviewers investigate the quality of the student’s educational programme, and how effectively it promotes the student’s learning: engagement, progress and achievement. To establish context, reviewers will also ask you about your reasons for homeschooling and what you see as the benefits.


The evaluative and prompt questions below are used to guide the review of the homeschooling programme. They are not a ‘checklist’ but a guide for reviewers and parents to help them think about the homeschooling programme.


Relevant sections of ERO's School Evaluation Indicators (2016) may be used in reaching judgements about homeschooling programmes. They provide examples of evidence that indicate good quality and effective programmes and practice. They can be found at:


Evaluative Questions

Prompt Questions

Special education needs

How, and how well, are any special education needs met?

Does the student have any special education needs?

How are these needs identified and addressed?

What help or support do you have to meet the student’s special needs?

What are the learning and other outcomes for the student?

Approved programme and curriculum content

What is the quality and effectiveness of the homeschooling programme?

How does the current programme reflect the original application to homeschool?  Has the programme changed?  How and why?

How do you manage the programme to meet the goals stated in the original (or modified) application (planning, records, resources)?

How well does the curriculum/programme cover the learning areas specified for the MoE exemption?

How do you use your knowledge of the curriculum to promote the student’s learning?

How do you know that the programme is the most appropriate and effective for the student? 

Teaching and learning

How effective is the teaching and management of the homeschooling programme?

How effective are learning opportunities/activities in meeting the needs, interests and potentialities of the student/s?

What are the most useful resources and how well are they used?  How appropriate to the student/s and the programme are the resources? 

How well does the teaching build on the prior learning/knowledge of the student/s? 

How well is the student engaged in learning? 

How effective is support for students who need additional help with their learning?

Assessment and evaluation

What is the quality of the achievement information and its analysis, and how well is this information used to improve future learning?

What are the student’s learning needs and interests, how are they identified?

What methods/approaches/resources do you use to assess the student’s progress and achievement? 

What does your information tell you about the student’s progress and achievement in the learning areas specified for the MoE exemption?

How do you use this information to make decisions for the student’s future learning?

How do you use this information to evaluate and improve the quality and effectiveness of the programme and teaching practices?

Learning: engagement, progress and achievement

How well is the student achieving education success?

How well is the student learning: engaging, progressing and achieving? 

Is the student’s learning: progress and achievement at a rate and level appropriate to what could be expected, e.g. for age, equivalent year level etc?

Learning environment

How well does the environment support learning?

How do you provide a positive environment that promotes and enhances the student's learning?

Social Contact

How well does the educational programme use community resources to support learning?

How do you access and use learning opportunities and resources in the community? 

What educational, sporting, cultural, and recreational experiences does the student have within the local and wider community?

What has the student learned from these?

Regularity – and use of time

How well met is the requirement that the student is taught at least as regularly as in a registered school?

How well is regularity of teaching and learning established through programme planning – e.g. in terms of timetabling, consistency and routines, hours, weeks, terms, use and flexibility of learning time, other? 

How well is the available time used for learning purposes? 

Concluding Questions

What else should ERO know about the student’s programme?

Is there anything else that you want to tell ERO about the student’s programme?

Have you found the review process to be useful and fair? If not, what can we do about that?