Enforce school enrolment: send an enrolment notice

​This is the second stage in enforcing school enrolment: after you have received a referral and made enquiries.

These guidelines are for school attendance officers.​

Before sending an enrolment notice

You must have made reasonable enquiries and be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe:

  • a child is of compulsory school age
  • not enrolled at a registered school at the time of making the enquiries
  • not registered for home schooling at the time of making the enquiries.

These requirements are set out in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

Send the notice

You must use the school enrolment notice template. This is required under the Education and Training Reform (School Attendance) Regulations 2013.

The enrolment notice should be accompanied by information on how to enrol at school and how to register for home schooling, see: How to enrol your child in school or register for home schooling (docx - 124.9kb).

If it's known or suspected the recipients don't use English as their main langauge, the notice should be provided in their main language. Forms are available in Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, Turkish and Mandarin.

If the notice is not available in the language required, contact the Department on student.engagement@edumail.vic.gov.au or 03 9637 3179.

Record keeping

You and your 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 you 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.

Assess the response

A parent must reply to the enrolment notice by the due date, which should 21 days or more after issue. The parent can give one of these responses:

  1. The child has been enrolled or conditionally enrolled at a registered school.
  2. The child has been registered for home schooling.
  3. A reasonable excuse of why the child is not enrolled or registered for home schooling.
  4. They are unable to give a reason because they do not have responsibility for enrolling the child in school.

If the response is inadequate, you may want to contact the parent to get more information and documentation.

If there's no response or the response is completely inadequate or unreasonable you may consider issuing an official warning or an infringement notice​ straight away. At all times you must work within the code of conduct.

Here are some example situations:

The parent responds with details of the child’s enrolment in school

Confirm the enrolment details with the principal. If the enrolment is confirmed, advise the principal to monitor the student’s attendance. Then remind the parent that their child must attend 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 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 enrolment notice. You could then send a new enrolment notice to the parent who has withheld consent.

The parent responds stating the child is registered for home schooling

The parent needs to attach a copy of the registration confirmation from the VRQA. If no confirmation is attached, you should confirm the details of the registration with the VRQA.

Notify the parent that they have complied with the enrolment notice, and remind them that they must also ensure the child receives regular and efficient instruction in accordance with VRQA requirements.

The parent responds with a reasonable excuse

If the response is received within the required time and you determine the parent has provided a reasonable excuse, send a letter to the parent confirming they have met their obligations.

The parent responds without a reasonable excuse

If the response is received within the required time but you determine the parent has not provided a reasonable excuse, you then need to decide on an appropriate action. This may include issuing an official warning or an infringement notice.

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

When a parent (parent A) responds to an enrolment notice to say they do not have responsibility for the child’s enrolment, they may nominate another parent (parent B) who does have responsibility.

In this situation, you should send a:

  • letter to parent A confirming receipt of their response
  • new enrolment notice to parent B (if details provided).

If parent B re-nominates the parent A, attempt to gather more information (for example copies of court orders).

Once you've gathered more information and believe one of both parents have responsibility for enrolment, you could resend the notice to the right parent.

The letter should advise that:

  • their nomination was not accepted
  • the parent is required to respond to the notice with details of school enrolment or an explanation

You can also issue court proceedings against the parent who has provided false information in response to a school enrolment notice.

The parent doesn't respond

If the parent does not respond within the required time then they have committed an offence. In these cases, officers should make contact by phone or email to confirm the parent has received the notice, or there are exceptional circumstances which prevented them from responding.

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

If there are no exceptional circumstances, the officer will need to decide what further action to take. One option is to issue an official warning or an infringement notice.