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

Timelines

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 high needs of a student with a disability, in combination with the fragility of their health, may prevent them from attending school for a period of time.

Where a 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, the school can assist the student to access and participate in school by:

  • providing an educational program for the student which can be implemented in the home
  • maintaining an ongoing relationship with the student and their family
  • supporting the student’s engagement with school and planning and implementing their transition back to school.

The Home-Based Educational Support Program provides reimbursement to schools in exceptional circumstances to enhance the outreach provided to maintain educational programs for students with disabilities with high needs and comorbid fragile health. 

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 201​​9 (docx - 1.83mb)