Can somebody homeschool in a country where homeschooling is not legal if he is citizen of a country where home schooling is legal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear Friends,

 

I have the following question about homeschooling in Europe (Malta)


We are a group of parents startin a Waldorf School in Malta.
Since we are in the process to get permits and this takes long, many parents are asking us about the possibility of having some group in the structure of homeschooling.
In Malta homeschooling is not legal, mainly because there is no language in the Maltese education law that talks about it (not because it is expresely mentioned it is not allowed).

The main questions come from parents that are not Maltese citizends (there are quite a lot in Malta) but are citizens from countries where homeshool is legal (like UK).

The question is that these parents (not Maltese citizens, but Maltese resident, as well as their children) are not sure if they can homeschool while living in Malta.

Do you know about this case?:
I mean: a citizen from a country where homeschooling is legal, can keep home schooling if during some times is living (resident) in another country where homeschooling is not legal?

If so, there is any paperwork needed? (to show to the authorities in the country where homeschooling is not legal).

Many thanks?

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#2 of 9 Old 01-04-2013, 12:17 PM
 
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I am not sure about this but my guess is the answer may well be "yes" but that your friends will have to make a case for why they prefer HS over the Malteese school system. I have heard of someone HSing in a country where it is fairly rare (if not "illegal") and they were granted special permission because both parents were from another country. Anyone else in Europe have some tips for this mama? 


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#3 of 9 Old 02-02-2013, 01:29 PM
 
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Here in Spain, if you are a legal resident, you are technically obliged to follow Spanish law for the education of your child regardless of your nationality.  Homeschooling is not legally protected here and we justify it through some legal loopholes.  Sometimes it backfires for some families.  I feel fairly secure and get the feeling that my status as an American makes it socially easier, with people out and about less likely to question our choice.

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#4 of 9 Old 02-25-2013, 11:57 AM
 
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Going from a European law standpoint (i have an LL.M) I'd say if HS is expressly not allowed, it doesnt matter where you come from. But if it is 'not legal' by omission in the law, I'd go to the courts to have the law clarified. I don't know Maltese law at all, so you'll have to talk to a lawyer and ask their opinion.
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#5 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 01:38 AM
 
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In Germany, where homeschooling is not allowed, it does not matter where you come from. Whoever lives here must take their children to school.

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#6 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 02:38 AM
 
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Hmm, no I don't think this is a goer. The way European law normally works is that whichever part of the EU you are in, you have to follow their rules. It works both ways-EU law means countries cannot discriminate against people from other EU countries either, while domiciled in their country. The only way I can see it working is for the families involved to repeatedly enter and exit and so maintain their non-resident status-but I don't know how well that would realistically work, long term. The law tends to apply to residents not citizens, unless otherwise stated. I have to drive on the right, say, when I visit (most of!) the continent, even though I'm a British citizen. 

 

German HE law in particular has been tested against the Human Rights Act and EU law and its not been found to be incompatible. On the other hand, Malta obviously has a lot of British influences and homeschooling is very legal in the UK, and legally well protected, so I dunno, maybe its worth looking into.

 

That said, I seem to remember that even in Germany its been possible, in highly specific circumstances, to get temporary leave to homeschool. I think the situation there was something like expat parents planning to leave the country and so showing a need for the kids to keep up with their curriculum in their planned new country.

 

It sounds like what you really need right now is time to get the school underway and get your kids registered at this school. With this in mind I really wonder if there might be better workarounds. One possibility could be to try to homeschool and just keep on challenging and appealing until you hopefully have this school going and don't need to any more. Another might be to try to meet with sympathetic politicians or similar and see if you can't find a good solution.


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#7 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 03:08 AM
 
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If you are *visiting* a country, then you can continue homeschooling under your country's laws. But if you are *residing* in another country...

I would think it's a diplomatic issue. Unlike driving on the wrong side of the road, which is a hazard, there is nothing that physically harms anyone about homeschooling. However, the government could make it an issue. How far would your country's diplomats go to get you out of the hot water, should that happen? How likely are the government officials going to be enforcing the school law. What, exactly, are the laws concerning education? These questions need answers before an informed discussion can proceed.
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#8 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

That said, I seem to remember that even in Germany its been possible, in highly specific circumstances, to get temporary leave to homeschool. I think the situation there was something like expat parents planning to leave the country and so showing a need for the kids to keep up with their curriculum in their planned new country.

Yes, I recall this as well. 


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#9 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 09:24 AM
 
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"Unlike driving on the wrong side of the road, which is a hazard, there is nothing that physically harms anyone about homeschooling"

 

German law forbids homeschooling because it is considered highly harmful to both society as a whole and the children. 

 

Generally speaking, EU anti-homeschooling law tends to focus on the rights of the child, ultimately in terms of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and our Human Rights Act.

 

The difficulty is that the ultimate legal authority in Europe, the Court of Human Rights, has declared that outlawing homeschooling is not incompatible with the Human Rights Act. There are a few reasons for this, but ultimately its non-negotiable. European states are free to do this if they want and there is no appeal of incompatibiliyt with the Human Rights Act. Just as individual states in America might outlaw homeschooling and it be able to fly because federal law sees no incompatibility with the bill of rights.

 

Its also a criminal, not civil, matter which means that its not really about the amount of harm caused in some ways, more whether there has been a breach of the law in the first place. 

 

re how far would a country's diplomats go to get you out of hot water. TBH, exactly the same distance that I'd guess an American senator would go to get someone born in their state out of trouble in another state. You go and live in another country, you abide by their rules, basically. You might be airlifted out if a war starts but day to day...and certainly for something like this which is pretty much a premeditated decision to break the law. Different if you are a holiday maker, but if you are living there, you're pretty much on your own. 

 

I think you could hedge and fudge but I dunno, it seems like a lot of work, I can't believe its the easiest way to go. I'd get going with the school if it were me.

 

I think you need to look at what the law says about education. UK law does not specify that homeschooling is legal. It specifies that a child must receive an education by way of school or otherwise. Maltese law must say something here. It might not say "Homeschooling is legal" but "All children must attend school". Or, "all children must be schooled.". The two statements are quite different. (because potentially, parents can be the ones doing the schooling.". 

 

ETA oh scratch all that I just found this http://www.expat-quotes.com/guides/malta/education/education-in-malta.htm

 

scroll down, it says that non-Maltese children of expats are allowed to be homeschooled. If that is correct then you are sorted

 

(also have a law degree, by the way, as well as being British)


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