Homeschooling has become increasingly popular over recent years, but in countries such as Germany, the law does not allow for the option for parents to be their child’s sole educators. Germany takes strict measures to ensure their students receive a standard education from licenced educators. So why is homeschooling illegal in Germany and what are the implications of this law?
This article outlines why homeschooling is forbidden in Germany as well as the restrictions that have been put in place to ensure that children get the education they need to succeed.
Why Is Homeschooling Illegal in Germany?
The German Constitution dictates that it is the responsibility of the state to provide and organize schooling for children in Germany and it is essential to German educational law that students attend a school setting and be under the guidance of educated instructors. In other words, homeschooling is not permitted in Germany, as students must by law attend a public or customarily recognized school to receive their education. The Education Law stipulates that the education is integrated into a common school system and be in a school setting, so homeschooling is banned.
The government’s primary reason for banning homeschooling is to uphold the principle of integration of children from different backgrounds and ensure that students are exposed to a variety of social and educational experiences. The state feels that by denying parents the option to homeschool their children, children have the opportunity to have an education alongside diverse peers and learn to appreciate and respect diversity.
The German legal system tightly controls school education and does not allow for any deviations from the regulated curriculum and structure. According to article 4 of Germany’s Länder School Ordinance, compulsory schooling begins at the age of 6 and lasts for a minimum of nine years.
This means that children must be enrolled in a regular school from the age of 6 and they must attend the school regularly and attend all subjects, including religion, physical education, and language classes. Violation of the strict regulations can result in fines and potential jail time for parents.
What Are the Austria Restrictions?
In addition to the restrictions already present, Austria has also introduced measures to further regulate homeschooling with the Education Law Amendment Act. This law requires that any children who are homeschooled must follow the same standards that apply to regular schools in the country. This means that those who homeschool their children must send them to be examined by public school instructors to ensure they are meeting the same standards.
The law also stipulates that parents who homeschool their children must obtain a licence from the local school district and provide evidence of their educational qualifications to the authorities. In addition, parents who wish to homeschool their children must provide regular progress reports to the school district and must also be able to prove that the educational programs they are offering are equivalent to the ones offered at the local school.
Children in Austria who are homeschooled must still take part in standardized testing, and those who do not pass such tests risk being removed from their parents and put into a state-run school. This stringent regulation shows that homeschooling parents in Austria are not given the same freedom as those in other countries, and that government is more keen on enforcing state-controlled education than allowing children to be educated at home.
What Are the Implications of This Law?
Notwithstanding the fact that homeschooling is illegal in Germany, some parents still choose to educate their children from home due to cultural preferences, religious beliefs or personal circumstances. This law can have serious implications for such families, as the school districts are given the power to impose daily fines and prosecute parents for failing to adhere to compulsory school attendance laws. Parents who are found to be violating the regulations may even face charges of ‘educational neglect’ and be brought to court.
In extreme cases, they may also be ordered to pay damages or be punished through jail sentences. The most obvious consequence of the ban on homeschooling is that children in Germany do not get the full range of experiences available to those who are homeschooled, such as the opportunity to design their own curriculum or the chance to receive a more personalized education.
In addition, homeschooling parents in Germany are not allowed to provide their children with an education in specialized fields like art, music or even foreign languages. All of this may have a detrimental effect on the children’s academic and professional development. Furthermore, since the law only allows for children to receive education at licensed educational institutions, homeschoolers in Germany often find it difficult to get recognised diplomas and university degrees.
The inability to pursue their chosen path of higher education could prove to be a hindrance in their professional development.
In conclusion, homeschooling is not permitted in Germany, as the state believes it has an obligation to ensure the children receive a suitable education in a social environment. This belief is further reinforced with the Regulations of the Länder School Ordinance and the Education Law Amendment Act, which exist to ensure that all children receive the same standard of education and that parents are only allowed to educate their children in a regular school setting.
Although some parents may disagree with the law, it is still important to bear in mind that it exists in order to protect the interest of the children and to ensure that they get the best possible education possible.