HEA Code of Conduct and Terms of Membership

V.2021-03 

Download Code of Conduct Policy here

 

The Home Education Association, Inc (HEA)  is an organisation run by volunteers for the benefit of the home educating community in Australia.

Adherence to this Code of Conduct is a condition of HEA membership. Members are expected to act in the best interest of the association, with a high degree of integrity and commitment to the safety, welfare and respect of other members, volunteers and the committee, interacting in a constructive manner with mutual respect. All members are to abide by the HEA Constitution, which is a contract between the association and the members**.

Members of the HEA are expected to conduct themselves in a way which supports the Philosophy, Mission and Objects of the association:

PHILOSOPHY

The HEA upholds the principle that parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children and respects the diversity of philosophies and methods used by home educators.

MISSION

The mission of the HEA is to promote and support the practice of home education across Australia and to advance educational equity for members.

OBJECTS

  1. To uphold the principle that parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children.

  2. To promote and increase the profile of and confidence in home education throughout Australia.

  3. To maintain a respect for the diversity of philosophies and methods used by home educators.

  4. To endeavour to build community in the home education sector through coordinating and running events and conferences, fostering networks and support groups, and connecting to organisations and suppliers in the sector.

  5. Provide and facilitate services and resources for our members.

  6. Advocate in the interests of home education and endeavour to support and advocate for home educators.

  7. To establish and maintain a public fund which can receive gifts of money or property for the specific purpose of providing assistance to home educators in necessitous circumstances.

 

The HEA is a child-safe and child-friendly organisation, which recognises that all children should be protected from situations that would jeopardise their general welfare and safety. HEA members are expected to act in the best interests of children and to recognise and respect children as active and contributing members of the association and society.

Conduct in accordance with this Code is expected of all people attending an HEA event or activity regardless of membership status,  but is especially presumed of all HEA members and their extended families. At all times members and attendees should act responsibly and appropriately while attending HEA events and activities. Activities are recognised as HEA Events when the activity is run by a member who has notified the HEA of the activity and is using the HEA’s insurance cover. 

Participation and Attendance at HEA activities: 

  1. Attendees are to closely supervise and be fully responsible for children under their personal care and supervision. Before the commencement of HEA activities, parents and guardians are to personally notify the HEA organiser if children are left in the care of another responsible adult. Emergency contact details should be left with the organiser;

  2. Ensure that written permission is given by parents and legal guardians for children (persons under the age of eighteen years) to participate in HEA activities (minimum requirement equals parent/guardian signature and names of children on an attendance register);

  3. Conduct themselves in a manner that brings credit to the HEA and the practice of home education;

  4. Ensure that venues are safe and healthy environments, spaces and places which enhance children's learning, development, engagement, initiative, self-worth and dignity;

  5. Take appropriate action to prevent – and, when necessary, intervene to stop – unacceptable, violent and threatening behaviour, such as physical, sexual or verbal abuse, bullying, tormenting or ridicule;

  6. Behave without discrimination as set out by equal opportunities and anti-discrimination legislation in each state; 

  7. Acknowledge the uniqueness and potential of all members and respect the diversity of home education practice;

  8. Maintain confidentiality of information regarding the HEA and its members not generally available to the public and respect the right of members to privacy;

  9. Act with honesty and integrity when dealing with property, monies and any other assets belonging to other people and the HEA;

  10. Take care and consideration of the buildings, facilities and property which are used for HEA events and activities and report damage to the organiser and ensure arrangement is made for appropriate action to remedy the situation on the same day;

  11. Not use the HEA in any way for inappropriate personal gain;

  12. Not use the HEA and/or its events and services to promote their own beliefs, behaviours or practices where they are incompatible with the HEA Constitution, Objects, Mission, Pillars or Codes;  and

  13. Abide by the disputes process as set out in the HEA Constitution.

 

Conduct and behaviour between members, volunteers and the committee:

  • We all have the right to be safe in our community, whether that be in person, via teleconference, email, phone, or any other form of communication.

  • We are all to act honestly, responsibly and with integrity.

  • We are all to treat each other with fairness, equality, dignity and respect, even when there are issues of disagreement.

  • Querulous complaining, bullying or harassment of any kind is not acceptable and will not be tolerated, and may be subject to discipline as outlined in the constitution. 

  • HEA correspondence and official documents such as minutes of meetings and financial accounting are not to be shared with non-members of the association unless required by law.

 

HEA members on electronic platforms including (but not limited to) internet platforms, email, teleconference meetings, webinars and other events are to be mindful of the rules of this Code of Conduct.

  • Whether using electronic platforms for official use, or in a private capacity, HEA members must not do anything that may adversely affect their, or another member’s, standing as a member of the Association. Further, no member is to communicate in a way that brings the Association into disrepute or which could lower the esteem of another HEA member in the view of the public or other members. 

  • No member may use their HEA membership to gain a personal financial or business benefit.

  • HEA members are to exercise caution and adopt a risk minimisation approach when using electronic channels, given that all content posted on social media sites immediately becomes:

    • public information, freely available to those who access it and is potentially permanent, difficult to erase, remove or retract;

    • possible source material for journalists and other interested parties; and

    • the property of the networking host if a third party site.

  • The HEA’s internet and social media channels are to be used in such a way that they are:

    • Relevant  - using social media to share and promote access to information and services that benefit the homeschooling community

    • Collaborative - creating opportunities to engage with other members and the public regarding home education in Australia 

    • Appropriate - using social media in a manner that is consistent with the HEA’s Constitution, Objects, Mission, Philosophy and Policies.

 

**Deliberate, willful or continued refusal to adhere to this HEA Code of Conduct may subject a member to disciplinary action as outlined in the clauses 18-22 of the Constitution which may include, but is not limited to, counseling, suspension, expulsion and/or legal action.

  • This Code of Conduct will be publicly available on the Home Education Association Inc. (HEA) website(s). 
  • The Code of Conduct was reviewed for an update by the 2020-2021 in February 2021.
  • This version supersedes the previous Code of Conduct, Version V.2019-12 
  • This version (V.2021-03) was approved by the HEA Management Committee on 9 March 2021.