In Victoria, all children between the age of 6 and 17 must
go to school.
If a student’s disability and medical condition means they're not able to attend school for a long period of time, the school can help the student continue to take part in their learning at home.
Until the student is ready to return to the classroom, the school can support them by:
- providing an educational program to use at home
- maintaining a relationship with them and their family
- supporting their engagement with the school
- planning and supporting their return to school.
In most cases, the school can provide support without needing to apply for further funding. If a student has highly specialised needs, the school can apply for extra funding through the home-based educational support program. The school may be reimbursed for:
- essential educational personnel. For example, education support and specialist staff for up to 2 hours a day of contact time
- educational equipment or technology needed for access such as Skype.
The program does not offer an alternative to school attendance, or replicate the full range of supports that schools can provide.
Eligibility for the home-based educational support program
To be eligible for the program, the student must:
- be of school age
- be enrolled in a Victorian government mainstream or specialist school
- meet the eligibility requirements for the
Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD)
- have current medical evidence (less than 12 months old) showing that they are not able to attend school due to the severity of their disability in combination with a fragile health condition.
The school must create the program for the student with the student’s parent/carer(s) and
student support group (SSG).
Making an application
The principal can contact the
Regional Disability Coordinators for advice about the program and the network, area and regional support available to the school and student.
Home-Based Educational Support Program guidelines (docx - 1.83mb) for full details before submitting an application
Steps involved in the application process include:
- the student support group consults with the school principal about what
adjustments and resources the student may need
- the principal speaks with the student's parent/carer(s) to obtain relevant medical information and to make sure they have been provided with the application and implementation guidelines
- the parents must complete the consent section of the application form
- the principal will complete an Offsite and Home Visit Risk assessment where school staff or educational personnel are employed to work in the student's home or a community setting.
Outcome of the application
The outcome of the application is emailed to the school principal.
If the student is not eligible, the principal should contact the Regional Disability Coordinator for feedback.
The application period for the Home-Based Educational Support Program opens on 1 November each year and closes on 31 December.
Applications received after 31 December will only be accepted for:
- students transferring from other schools, including interstate and overseas
- new prep students
- students with a seriously deteriorating medical condition.
Guidelines and application forms
For schools considering making an application under the home-based educational support program, see:
Regional Disability Coordinators are available to give advice about support available for students with disabilities and health conditions, including eligibility requirements for the Home-Based Educational Support Program.