Purpose of this policy
To ensure schools admit eligible students.
Children of school age have the right to be admitted to their designated neighbourhood government school at the beginning of the school year unless an approved alternative placement has been arranged.
Before admitting a student schools must:
- collect relevant admission information
- obtain a completed enrolment form
- provide a privacy notice to the enrolling parent explaining the use to be made of admission information. For sample notices see: Privacy within Department resources
- collect and record an immunisation status certificate – primary students.
For admission, all applicants must be:
- an Australian citizen, or a student with relevant specified visas or Immicard see : International Student Program
- deemed eligible and approved for enrolment by the principal or relevant regional director.
Age eligibility and approval requirements
Regulations establish the minimum and maximum ages for enrolment in government schools.
Schooling is compulsory for students aged from 6 – 17 years unless an exemption from attendance has been granted. For exemption categories and process see: Attendance
The following arrangements apply to new enrolments that either:
- can be made by principals without further approval, or
- require regional office or other approval.
Principals have the responsibility to ensure eligibility and approve the admission of individuals who:
- will attend Early Education Programs in special developmental schools
- are of compulsory school age, those aged between 6 and 17 years who:
- are at least 5 years of age by 30 April of the year of enrolment
- are under 18 years of age as at 1 January of the year of enrolment, this applies to all schools including mainstream, specialist, and government English Language schools or centres
- are 18 years of age on or after 1 January of the year of enrolment, provided they are studying an accredited senior secondary course
- are 19 at any time during the year of enrolment, provided they are completing an accredited senior secondary course
- are 20 years of age or over at any time during the year of enrolment, and satisfy each of the following criteria:
- enrolled only in an accredited senior secondary course
- enrolled or seeking enrolment in a school outside the metropolitan area
- there is not a TAFE or other provider through which the person could reasonably study the course by correspondence or other method, including the Distance Education Centre Victoria
- there is no TAFE or other provider offering an accredited senior secondary course within 45 minutes travelling time from the student’s residence if using public transport, or a school bus in the case of travel to a non-government school
- programs conducted outside normal school hours
- will attend programs conducted by Registered Training Organisations or other bodies that are separate from the school
- meet the following categories, to which the age requirements do not apply:
- are under minimum enrolment age seeking to attend, and eligible for, prep transition programs in primary schools, where the aim of the program is to prepare pre-schoolers for primary school
- have had their schooling temporarily interrupted in the previous school year, due to pregnancy, illness, an accident or some other event, and require an extra year to complete an accredited senior secondary course
- are seeking to enrol in:
- Distance Education Centre of Victoria programs not subject to regional office approval
- programs designed to re-engage people in the education process, such as initiatives targeting young mothers
- programs specifically designed for students aged 18 or over
- a course called ‘senior extension VCAL’ or ‘VCAL senior extension’
- mainstream school programs designed for refugees or those who have recently arrived in Australia
- may other mainstream school program designed to assist disadvantaged groups or students at risk of not completing an accredited senior secondary course.
- are enrolling in an English language government school or centre if they are:
- under 18 at 1 January or
- seeking to continue his/her enrolment in the year in which he or she turns 18 or in the following year solely for the purpose of completing the program.
Note: Students aged 18 years or more who have not attended school for 12 or more continuous months and wish to return to school require a National Police Records Check.
Early age entry
Early age entry must be:
- requested in writing to the regional director by parent/guardians
- approved in writing by the regional director
- approved by the principal, where students are transferring from an interstate school to a Victorian government school, and on receipt of evidence (to their satisfaction) of previous enrolment and full time school attendance.
Note: The regional director will only grant early entry in exceptional circumstances when there are strong grounds for believing long-term educational disadvantage would otherwise occur.
On admission schools consider the following in determining a student’s school readiness:
- entry assessment from kindergarten;
- informal observations to assess development, literacy and numeracy and academic and social needs.
Information required for admission
Enrolment forms are available on CASES21 and must include:
- date of birth (note: evidence of date of birth can be official, such as a birth certificate or where this is not able to be produced, unofficial, such as a doctor’s note attesting to a child’s age).
- names and addresses of the student and enrolling parent or guardian
- details of medical and other conditions that may require special consideration
- emergency telephone numbers, including a nominated doctor
- the name of the previous school and the student’s current year level, where students transfer from another school see: Transfers
The table below outlines further information required for admission.
The signature of:
- student, if they are over 15 and living independently
- parent as defined in the Family Law Act 1975
Note: In the absence of a current court order, each parent of a child who is not 18 has equal parental responsibility.
- both parents for parents who are separated, or a copy of the court order with any impact on the relationship between the family and the school
- an informal carer, with a statutory declaration. Carers:
- may be a relative or other carer
- have day-to-day care of the student with the student regularly living with them
- may provide any other consent required e.g. excursions.
Notes for informal carer:
- statutory declarations apply for 12 months
- the wishes of a parent prevail in the event of a dispute between a parent legally responsible for a student and an informal carer.
For more information on informal carer status see: Commission for Children and Young People
Note: Secondary students may complete parts of the form and co-sign.
Where consent is disputed
When (parent) consent is disputed principals and staff should:
- avoid becoming involved
- avoid favouring one parent
- act in accordance at all times with the best interests of the student and the school community
- act sensitively and realise that a resolution, satisfactory to both parents, may not be possible.
For more information on enrolment where there is disputed parental consent, see: Decision Making Responsibilities for Students
Identification and student name
For applicants who are:
- Australian-born, a birth certificate or equivalent
- non-Australian-born, a passport or travel document such as a visa or Immicard.
|Immunisation status certificates - primary students
Schools are required to:
- request information from parents on the immunisation status of each child, i.e. primary student, prior to enrolment i.e. official immunisation status certificate. The immunisation status certificate can be obtained from the local municipal council, Australian Childhood Immunisation Register or General Practitioner.
- take a copy of the sighted document and record information on the immunisation status of each enrolled child.
Parents or guardians must provide an immunisation status certificate to the school regardless of whether the child is or is not immunised. Note: Homeopathic immunisation is not a recognised form of immunisation, and therefore cannot be listed on an immunisation status certificate.
Prospective students will not be prevented from enrolling in primary school if they have not been immunised.
Collecting immunisation status certificates will assist health authorities in protecting students in the event of a vaccine-preventable disease occurrence at the school. An unvaccinated student may be excluded from school for a period of time.
Parents or guardians of secondary student applicants are not required to provide an immunisation status certificate.
For more information on:
Incomplete admission information
This table outlines the principal’s options when admission information is incomplete.
|The principal may
||provided that the principal|
defer admission of a student for up to 5 days
- requests that the enrolling parent or guardian provide the missing information
- advises the parent or guardian they are legally responsible for ensuring a child of school age attends school.
conditionally enrol the student:
- if the information is not provided after 5 days and
- further delay in enrolling the student is likely to affect the student’s education and wellbeing.
- records the enrolment conditions; and
- advises the parents or guardians in writing that the enrolment is conditional upon providing the missing information and will only be formally completed when these conditions are met.
- Education and Training Reform Act 2006
- Education and Training Reform Regulations 2007
- Family Law Act 1975
- Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
- Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009
- Privacy: for sample notices (staff access only)
- Immicards see Schools Bulletin for further information
For more information see: