How long, approximately, will it take for an exemption to be processed? I want to take my child out of school asap but am afraid that I may be accused of keeping my child at home (truancy). There are only 8 weeks of this year to go but my child cannot go back to her school. The environment is totally wrong for her. Can I start home education immediately whilst the exemption is being processed and apply for some sort of 'leave' from the school so that my keeping my child at home is all legal and above board? Or does the exemption have to be processed first before I can keep her at home and give her what she deserves?
Sorry, I am new to the formalities of exemptions and the like but not new to the idea of educating at home.
Depends where you live. Sometimes it can be three weeks, but talk with people in your local homeschooling area.
I don't know the rules, but if it were me I'd get a medical certificate from the doctor. If you know that it is that unhealthy for your child to be at school, then that is not ok for her mental health / stress / wellbeing and would be fine for a medical certificate.
But others may know the 'rules' some more.
It depends on whether your school will report you truant. If you can organise some sort of 'home learning' arrangement with the school, or keep your child home 'sick', or go on an extended holiday or something until the exemption arrives that would be better than just not going and hoping it all works out.
But if your relationship with the school won't stretch that far then you have fewer options. You can either pull your child out now and risk prosecution (and I know of people who have made that decision and battled it out successfully), or keep her at the school until your exemption comes through.
Exemptions are processed by your local MoE office and can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6-8 weeks depending on how busy the person responsible is - the people processing applications have other duties as well.
For more information or help have a look at
The Home Education Foundation (HEF)
NZ Home School
If you contact HEF, Craig and Barbara will be able to give you some more specific advice about your options
The official line is not allowed until you have the exemption. However in our case we took our daughter out of school while the exemption was being processed. To cover ourselves our doctor wrote a medical certificate as he was aware of the stress/ distress she was under. We didn't have any problems. Good Luck.