International students in schools

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

There are approximately 260 Victorian Government schools (primary and secondary) accredited to deliver high quality programs to fee paying international students (students holding a subclass 500 Student - Schools visa).

The Department has established a robust Quality Assurance Framework that includes a School Accreditation System, Quality Standards, and Review Program which provide schools with a policy framework for the delivery of high quality programs to international students.

The accreditation system ensures that international students receive a high quality education experience through a high level of support and care in a safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment. See: International Student Program Quality Standards

Applications from international students are handled by the International Education Division of the Department.

To identify overseas students required to pay fees and those eligible for fee exemptions, see:

Enquiries relating to Overseas Students should be directed to the International Education Division, phone +61 3 9637 2990 or email

Enquiries relating to dependants of Permanent Residents should be directed to the Secondary Reform, Transitions and Priority Cohorts Division, phone +61 3 9637 2023 or email

For a copy of the Ministerial Order that specifies the fees to be paid by or on behalf of overseas students enrolled at a government school for the instruction and educational and related services, see:

International Student Program

International Student Coordinator Professional Learning Program provides information and links to the ISC Professional Learning Program aimed at increasing the capacity of International Student Coordinators in Victorian Government schools.

IELP Guide and Guidelines

The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) Guide provides comprehensive and useful information to schools to support the effective delivery of Intensive English Language Programs to international students in Victorian government schools.

The Guide expands on and supports schools in meeting the IELP Guidelines, provides practical advice to specialist ESL and mainstream teachers and staff on program planning and implementation. It also provides resources and tools that can be adapted and used by schools to enhance provision for international students.

School accreditation

Victorian government schools delivering programs to fee-paying international students holding a subclass 500 Student - Schools visa require accreditation.

Once accredited, schools retain this status on an ongoing basis unless they choose to relinquish accreditation.

Schools applying for accreditation as part of the International Student Program are required to attest that they will comply with all requirements of the ISP Quality Standards.

Accreditation can be sought at either of two levels, Level 1 or Level 2, depending on the school's circumstances and reason for seeking accreditation.

Level 1 accreditation

In the following instances, Victorian government primary and secondary schools only require Level 1 accreditation:

  • The school does not actively market or promote its program or recruit international students. Families of international students approach the school to enrol directly.
  • The school does not provide homestay accommodation and additional welfare services to international students (international students reside with a parent or a Department of Immigration and Border Protection approved relative).

Level 1 accreditation usually applies to most primary schools and to secondary schools where a family residing in the local area has approached the school to seek enrolment, and in instances where the student is residing which a parent or DIBP approved relative.

Schools seeking to perform any one of the above functions will require Level 2 accreditation.

Level 2 accreditation

In the following instances, Victorian government primary and secondary schools require Level 2 accreditation if the school performs or intends to perform any one of the following functions:

  • The school actively markets and promotes the program or recruits international students as part of the Department's CRICOS registration – 00861K.
  • The school provides homestay accommodation and welfare services to international students under a Department approved confirmation of appropriate accommodation and welfare arrangements.

Level 2 accreditation usually applies to secondary schools who are seeking to establish and grow an International Student Program and provide homestay and welfare services to international students holding a subclass 500 Student - Schools visa. Accordingly, there is greater level of responsibility for both the Department and schools in the provision of these services to international students.

Level 2 accreditation subsumes Level 1 accreditation, given the additional services being provided to international students and the greater level of responsibility exercised by Level 2 accredited schools.

Schools seeking accreditation can refer to the School Accreditation Support Guide and School Accreditation document templates below.

School accreditation documents

+61 3 9637 2990
For further information contact the International Education Division