Help for students who can't attend school due to disability and complex health care needs

Schools can be reimbursed when providing outreach educational programs for students with severe disabilities and comorbid fragile health. This is known as the Home-Based Educational Support Program.

The program is available in exceptional circumstances where the student is unable to attend their enrolled school for an extended period of time due to the nature and impact of their medical condition or disability and the risk to their health if they attend school.

If a student is absent for an extended period the school should also implement an absence learning plan. These should be developed collaboratively by teachers, students and their parents. See Managing absences for guidance.

Apply for assistance

Guidelines, application forms, and consent forms are available for schools via: Home-Based educational support program eduGate homepage


The annual application period for the Home-Based Educational Support Program opens on 1 November and closes on 31 December.

Applications received after 31 December will only be accepted for:

  • students transferring from other schools systems, including interstate and overseas
  • new prep students
  • students with a seriously deteriorating medical condition.

Program background

In Victoria, education is compulsory for children aged between 6 and 17. All students are expected to attend normal school hours every school day of each term. In exceptional circumstances the severity of a student's disability combined with the fragility of their health may prevent them from attending school for a period of time.

The program assists schools:

  • in the provision of the educational program being provided for the student,
  • to support ongoing relationships with enrolled students with severe disabilities and comorbid fragile health and their families
  • to maintain the student's engagement with school and to plan and implement their transition back to school.

It is not the intention of this program to provide an alternative to school attendance, nor to replicate the full range of supports provided by schools to facilitate a student's access and participation. Provision of support through the Home-Based Educational Support Program is for a defined period of time, and is intended to support the student's return to school. 

Home-based programs must be developed by the Victorian government mainstream or specialist school in which the student is enrolled, in cooperation with the student's parent/guardian/carer(s). 

More information

The Home-Based Educational Support Program application and implementation guidelines are available for download:

HBESP Application and implementation guidelines 2018 (docx - 1.83mb)