Enrolment notices

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

Sending a School Enrolment Notice

Before sending a School Enrolment Notice to a parent, the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 requires that a School Attendance Officer must be satisfied that, after making reasonable enquiries, there are reasonable grounds to believe that a child of compulsory school age is not, at the time of making the enquiries, enrolled at a registered school and is not registered for home schooling in accordance with the regulations.

A template for a School Enrolment Notice is prescribed in the Education and Training Reform (School Attendance) Regulations 2013 and can be accessed here School Enrolment Notice. A School Enrolment Notice should be accompanied by information about how to enrol at school and also how to register for home schooling, see: How to enrol your child in school or register for home schooling (docx - 124.9kb).

Where it is known or suspected that the recipients of the School Enrolment Notice are from a language background other than English, the School Enrolment Notice should be issued in the appropriate language. Forms are available in Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, Turkish and Mandarin. If the School Enrolment Notice is not available in the language required, School Attendance Officers should contact the Student Inclusion and Engagement Division in the Department on student.engagement@edumail.vic.gov.au or 03 9637 3179.

School Attendance Officers and their delegates must keep file notes of any communications with schools and parents. These file notes should be signed and dated.

When sending a School Enrolment Notice the School Attendance Officer should ensure:

  • all fields are complete
  • the document is legible
  • names are correct (of both the child and the parent)
  • address details are correct
  • all dates, including birth dates and dates of non-attendance are correct
  • the notice is signed and dated
  • any relevant evidence is attached to the notice
  • any available fact sheets that may be of use to the recipient are attached to the notice
  • copies of the notice and related documents are sent to the Director, Student Inclusion and Engagement Division in the Department's central office

Assessing the response to the School Enrolment Notice

To comply with a School Enrolment Notice, a parent must reply to the School Attendance Officer by the due date (being a date no less than 21 days after the notice was issued) stating:

  • that the child has been enrolled or conditionally enrolled at a registered school or has been registered for home schooling, or
  • a reasonable excuse as to why the child is not enrolled in a registered school or registered for home schooling
  • that the parent is unable to provide a reason because the parent does not have parental responsibility for enrolling the child in school

If a response is received but is inadequate, the School Attendance Officer may consider contacting the parent to obtain further information and documentation.

If there is no response or the response is completely inadequate or unreasonable the School Attendance Officers may consider issuing an official warning or an Infringement Notice. In making this decision, the School Attendance Officer must operate within the Code of Conduct.

Parent responds with details of the child’s enrolment in school

If a parent provides details of enrolment at a registered school, the School Attendance Officer should confirm the enrolment with the principal. If the enrolment is confirmed, the principal should be advised to monitor the student’s attendance. The parent should then be reminded of the requirement to ensure the child attends school at all times it is open for instruction.

If attendance issues are ongoing, the principal should refer to the procedures outlined in the Attendance Guidelines and, if considered appropriate, make a referral back to the School Attendance Officer.

Where, to complete enrolment, a school requires authorisation from both parents and consent from one parent has not been obtained, the parent who has taken all steps to enrol the child is deemed to have responded sufficiently to the School Enrolment Notice. The School Attendance Officer could then send a new School Enrolment Notice to the parent who has withheld consent.

Parent responds stating that child is registered for home schooling

If a parent responds to a School Enrolment Notice stating that the child is registered for home schooling, they should attach a copy of the registration confirmation from the VRQA. If no confirmation is attached, the School Attendance Officer should confirm the details of the registration with the VRQA.

The School Attendance Officer should notify the parent that they have complied with the School Enrolment Notice, and remind the parent that they must also ensure the child receives regular and efficient instruction in accordance with VRQA requirements.

Parent responds with a reasonable excuse

If the parent responds to the School Enrolment Notice within the prescribed time and the School Attendance Officer determines that the parent has provided a reasonable excuse for the non-enrolment, then the School Attendance Officer should send a letter to the parent confirming they have met their obligations.

Parent responds without a reasonable excuse

If the parent responds to the School Enrolment Notice within the prescribed time, but the School Attendance Officer determines that the parent has not provided a reasonable excuse for not enrolling their child in school or registering the child for home schooling, the School Attendance Officer then has to decide on appropriate action, which may include issuing an official warning or an Infringement Notice. For guidance in making this decision, see: Decision to issue an Infringement Notice

Parent responds stating they do not have parental responsibility for the child’s enrolment at school

When a parent (parent A) responds to a School Enrolment Notice to the effect that they do not have parental responsibility for the child’s enrolment, they may nominate another parent (parent B) who does have parental responsibility for the child’s enrolment.

In this situation, the School Attendance Officer should send a:

  • a letter to parent A confirming receipt of their response
  • a new School Enrolment Notice to parent B (if details provided)

If parent B re-nominates the parent A, the School Attendance Officer should attempt to gather more information (for example copies of court orders). If, based on further information received, the School Attendance Officer has reason to believe one or more of the parents does have parental responsibility for the child’s enrolment, the School Attendance Officer could re-send the School Enrolment Notice to the parent he/she believes does have parental responsibility. The letter should advise that their nomination was not accepted and that the parent is required to respond to the notice giving details that the child has been enrolled at school or with an explanation as to why the child is not enrolled or issue court proceedings against the parent who has provided false information in response to a School Enrolment Notice.

Parent does not respond

If the parent does not respond to the School Enrolment Notice within the prescribed time, then the parent has committed an offence. In these cases, it may be prudent to make contact by telephone or email to determine whether they have received the School Enrolment Notice and/or whether there are other circumstances that led to failure to respond to the School Enrolment Notice.

The School Attendance Officer may wish to refer the parent to appropriate external agencies who may be able to provide support and assistance to the parent. In such circumstances, it may be appropriate to re-visit enrolment when the circumstances have changed.

If there are no exceptional circumstances, the School Attendance Officer will need to consider what further action to take. One of the options is to issue an Official Warning or an Infringement Notice. For guidance in making this decision, see: Decision to Issue an Official Warning or an Infringement Notice.