Freedom of information requests

You can access documents held by the department by submitting a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

Available documents

You can apply for access to documents about your personal affairs, regardless of their age, and documents of a non-personal nature that are not older than 5 July 1978.

This includes written documents, maps, films, microfiche, photographs, computer printouts, emails, computer discs, tape recordings and videotapes.

Some documents are not accessible. These include documents that affect the personal affairs of another person, are commercially confidential or would undermine law enforcement. Cabinet and some internal working documents are also not available.

Each document is assessed before a decision is made on whether it can be released.

The document may be available another way

Some information may be available faster through other methods:

  • School reports, curriculum details and teaching histories can be requested directly from your school.
  • If your school is no longer operating, contact the archives and records team via
  • Department employees can request previous medical reports through the FOI process without an application fee. If your request includes other documents, the fee applies.

We make a large amount of information available online. Our Freedom of Information Part II Statement gives an overview of where you can find frequently accessed documents:

Statement 1: Organisation and functions

The department is the key coordinating agency for the state’s education system.

The department provides a range of educational opportunities to children, young people and adults both directly through government schools and indirectly through the regulation of funding early childhood, non-government schools and educational programs.

Please note: this section only provides a snapshot of the types of documents held by the department and how to locate them and is by no means an exhaustive representation. If you are searching for a specific topic, you can search the department website or contact the relevant areas, see Contacts.

Annual reports

Annual reports are produced each year by the department and the education Statutory Bodies. These reports cover the period of the financial year, and are presented to parliament for approval.

The annual report provides a summary of the key initiatives and activities of the department, including reports on performance, delivery of outputs and financial management.

Statutory offices and bodies

Statutory bodies are authorities, boards and other entities established under an Act of Parliament for a specific purpose. The department works in conjunction with statutory bodies. The functions, powers, membership and other details relating to each body are outlined in relevant legislation.

Key structures and functions of the Department

For more information on the structure of the department, see Structure.

Statement 2: Categories of documents

The department produces a large number of documents and records. The department uses an Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) to classify, store, access and manage a broad range of electronic and hard copy documents.

Document types

The types of documents that the department handles include:

  • policy, procedures and standards
  • briefings and reports
  • case files
  • registers
  • correspondence
  • applications and licences
  • meeting records
  • financial records
  • audio visual material.

Document categories

These documents are organised under the following categories according to the department’s business classification scheme.

  • Accountability and improvement
  • Cabinet
  • Child Health and Wellbeing
  • Communications
  • Curriculum
  • Financial Management
  • Fleet Management
  • Human Resources
  • Information and Communication
  • Information Management
  • Infrastructure
  • Insurance and Liability Management
  • Intergovernment Relations
  • International Education
  • Legal Services
  • Meeting Management
  • Nursing
  • Office Administration
  • Policies, Plans and Strategic Management
  • Post Compulsory Education
  • Procurement
  • Project Management
  • Report Management
  • Research
  • School Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Transport (Schools and Early Childhood)

If you are searching for a specific topic, you can search the department website or contact the relevant areas, see Contacts.

Statement 3: Freedom of Information arrangements

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 provides you with the right to access information in the possession of the State Government of Victoria, including this Department.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives you:

  • the right to access documents about your personal affairs and the activities of government agencies
  • the right to request that incorrect or misleading information held by an agency about you be amended or removed.

An FOI request needs to be made in writing and should be accompanied by a fee.

Requests for documents in the possession of the department should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Manager
Department of Education and Training
GPO Box 4367

Telephone: 7022 0856

For online FOI request lodgement and further information about how to make a request see Freedom of information.

Statement 4: Publications

The department and its associated portfolio agencies produce a wide range of publications, many of which can be accessed under the relevant categories on this website.

In some cases, it is not possible to supply the publication as a download. If this is the case, details are provided about alternate means of obtaining a copy of the publication.

Information specified by Financial Reporting Direction 22B is retained by the department’s Accountable Officer and is made available on request to relevant Ministers, Members of Parliament and the public subject to FOI requirements, if applicable.

Statement 5: Rules, policies and procedures

Rules, policies and procedures are in place to govern the daily operations of the department.

Types of information include:

  • statements of policies and related policies
  • documents concerning methods of enforcing acts or schemes.

If you are searching for a specific topic, you can search the department website or contact the relevant areas, see Contacts.

Statement 6: Report literature

This section provides examples of where the department publishes final reports and records of decisions relating to policy.

Make an FOI request​

You can submit a request by writing to our FOI team and paying the application fee of $30.10. The application must clearly describe the documents you are requesting.

For personal records, you should also provide proof of identity with your application. Parents applying for their child’s records must provide a birth certificate as proof of their relationship.

You can authorise another person to make a request on your behalf. You will need to give them your written authorisation, including your signature and the date.

In certain circumstances, you may be required to pay access charges. You will be advised if this is the case.

FOI requests to the department must be directed to:

Freedom of Information Manager
Department of Education and Training

Telephone: 7022 0856 

You are not required to complete an application form to make an FOI request to the department.

Current FOI search limitations due COVID-19 and school closures

While schools across the state of Victoria are closed and most staff are working from home, there are limitations on the searches that can be conducted for documents. Some schools hold certain records electronically, however, the documents you seek may only be available in hard copy on the school premises.

Accordingly, once you make a FOI request for documents held by a school, the FOI Unit will provide you with two options:

  • Option 1: If you would like to proceed with your request immediately, the FOI unit can conduct searches for documents that are stored electronically only.
  • Option 2: If you would prefer to access all relevant documents, including hardcopy files held at schools, you may defer your request. Deferring your request means that we would not accept or proceed with your request until relevant schools resume in person learning. If you choose this option, we can refund your application fee. Please note, we are not able to advise when we can commence your request, as this is subject to ongoing government health restrictions.

How we respond

Once we receive your application, an officer will review and write back if any further information is needed. We will complete your request within 30 days once all required information is collected from you and the application fee has been paid. In certain circumstances, the timeframe may be extended. You will be advised if this is the case.

If we refuse you access to any documents or parts of any documents, our written notice will provide you with the reasons for the decision. It will also explain your rights of review.

If you are unhappy with our decision you may seek a review by the Victorian Information Commissioner.

More information

For more information contact the FOI team  or see the State Government's FOI website.