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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Enrolment

Enrolment process — Documentation and other requirements

Schools must:

  • enrol eligible students, who are new to the Victorian government education system under the name contained in the documents supporting their admission; primarily their birth certificate
  • keep copies of sighted documents (note: for primary students this includes an Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register)
  • verify changes to student enrolment names
  • maintain and update student details obtained on enrolment
  • provide new families with a privacy collection notice upon enrolment and keep all information confidential and managed in accordance with the Department’s privacy policy and Victorian privacy laws. Refer to Privacy and Information Sharing for the template Privacy Collection Statement

Rule: At initial enrolment, a Victorian Student Number (VSN) is allocated to a student in the name certified in enrolment documents. When students transfer between schools, the name will remain as the name attached to the VSN, unless new legal documentation with an amended name is provided. Visit  VSN.

Changing enrolment name

Schools can change the name under which a student is enrolled if:

  • new legal documentation with an amended named is provided, such as:
    • officially amended birth certificate
    • proof of adoption
    • court order authorising another name
  • supporting documentation , which was not originally available, differs from the name provided during conditional enrolment
  • proof is provided that the enrolling parent/carer or the student is using another name under a scheme designed to ensure their safety, such as witness protection

Note: The majority of student enrolled prior to 2009, with names different from those appearing on their birth certificate due to previous Department policy, can continue to be enrolled in these names.

CASES21 Student Information Database

CASES21 is the student information database, and includes enrolment forms, transfer information, the student register (in primary schools) and class lists. The section below describes how schools maintain student information in CASES21:

  1. Enrolment data is entered for students who are new to the Victorian government school system
  2. Data is:
    • confirmed/updated and signed by the parent/carer when students transfer
    • updated when changes occur, such as guardianship
    • reviewed half yearly, specifically parent/carer contact information. Refer to CASES21 Administration User Guide for guidance including processes for generating the Student Enrolment Information Form and Student Information Full Details Report)
    • revised annual for State and Commonwealth reporting
    • updated when informed by parents of changes to family circumstances
  3. Records are disposed of in accordance with the General Disposal Schedule. Refer to Records Management

Schools enrolling international students should update CASES21 to confirm the student's commencement of study within 5 working days of commencement. Any changes to the student's enrolment should also be recorded in a timely manner. This will ensure an accurate disbursement of funds to the relevant school. Refer to International Student Program (ISP).

Where students are moving from one government school to another government school, student data must be transferred using CASES21 and:

  • parents are not required to complete a new enrolment form if data is transferred using CASES21
  • schools must not create a new student record in CASES21 — this will create a duplicate record
  • schools are required to send a copy of the Student Enrolment Information Form to the parent or carer for checking, updating and signing to ensure student data is current and accurate

For students who are new to the government system, schools must obtain a completed enrolment form before admitting a student.

Refer to the Transfers section of these Guidelines for more information.

Enrolment forms

Enrolment forms are available on CASES21 and must be completed for students enrolling in a Victorian government school for the first time.  

Enrolment forms must include:

  • date of birth (note: evidence of date of birth can be official, such as a birth certificate or where this is not able to be produced, unofficial, such as a doctor's note attesting to a child's age).
  • names and addresses of the student and enrolling parent or carer
  • details of medical and other conditions that may require special consideration
  • emergency telephone numbers, including a nominated doctor
  • an Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register
  • the name of the previous school and the student's current year level, where students transfer from another school
  • the Privacy Collection Statement

Electronic enrolment forms

School enrolment involves the collection of personal information about the student and their family. This process currently involves a paper form which is completed by the parents/carers and physically returned to the school. Enrolment data is also periodically updated by enrolled families. All data is uploaded onto CASES21 as the Department’s official system of record for student information.

As a consequence of COVID-19, some schools are considering using a digital process to collect enrolment information rather than have parents physically visit the school to return the paper form and provide supporting documentation (for example copies of birth certificates, proof of address).

Given the detailed personal information that must be collected, schools wishing to digitise enrolments and/or digitally store supporting documentation are advised to choose the most secure method to do so. The following are options for schools:

  1. Existing student administration system (for example, Compass, Sentral).
  2. Encrypted PDF via email.
  3. New software platform with enrolment functionality (for example Digistorm) (note a privacy impact assessment will be required — for further information refer to Privacy Impact Assessments.

The Department recommends the above in preference to digitising and managing the enrolment form using a platform such as Google or O365, as those platforms have been provided primarily for collaboration and not documentation storage.

Identity documents, custody orders and other sensitive documents should not be stored on third party platforms, and the normal practices of sighting them in person or storing physical or digital copies in secure school locations should be continued.

If using an existing student management system, schools may need to review and update the relevant privacy impact assessment to include the enrolment process.

If schools are considering using electronic enrolment forms in place of the CASES21 paper form, they should contact the privacy team for advice and support to ensure they meet privacy law requirements email: privacy@education.vic.gov.au or phone: 03 8688 7967.

Other information and documentation required for admission

The section below outlines further information and documentation required for admission: 

Consent

The signature of:

  • the student, if they are over 15 and living independently
  • the parent as defined in the Family Law Act 1975 (Note: In the absence of a current court order, each parent of a child who is not 18 has equal parental responsibility)
  • both parents for parents who are separated, or a copy of the court order with any impact on the relationship between the family and the school
  • an informal carer, with a statutory declaration. Carers: may be a relative or other carer, have day-to-day care of the student with the student regularly living with them, or may provide any other consent required e.g. excursions)

Note for informal carer: statutory declarations apply for 12 months and the wishes of a parent prevail in the event of a dispute between a parent legally responsible for a student and an informal carer. Secondary students may complete parts of the form and co-sign.

When parent consent is disputed, principals and staff should:

  • avoid becoming involved
  • avoid favouring one parent
  • act in accordance at all times with the best interest of the student and school community
  • act sensitively and
  • realise that a resolution, satisfactory to both parents, may not be possible

Evidence of student's name and date of birth

Schools should ask for the student’s birth certificate as evidence of the student’s name and date of birth.

Where a birth certificate cannot be produced, other acceptable evidence of a student’s full name and date of birth includes a passport, citizenship documents or Australia visa documents or Immicard.

Where no official documentation can be produced, the school must ask for other identifying documentation such as a doctor's note attesting to a child's age and/or a Medicare card.

Privacy Collection Statement

Schools must provide new families with a Privacy Collection Statement on admission. Refer to Privacy and Information Sharing for further information and a template statement.

Overseas Students

Refer to International Student Program (ISP).

Immunisation history statements — Primary students

Primary schools are required to:

  • request that parents provide them with an Immunisation History Statement for their child from the Australian Immunisation Register
  • take a copy of all Immunisation History Statements and record information on the immunisation status of each enrolled child

Parents or carers must provide an Immunisation History Statement for their child from the Australian Immunisation Register to the school regardless of whether the child is or is not immunised.

Note: Homeopathic immunisation is not recognised form of immunisation, and therefore cannot be listed on an immunisation status certificate. 

Prospective students will not be prevented from enrolling in primary school if they have not been immunised.

Collecting Immunisation History Statements will assist health authorities in protecting students in the event of a vaccine-preventable disease occurrence at the school. An unvaccinated student may be excluded from school for a period of time.

Parents or carers of secondary student applicants are not required to provide an immunisation status certificate.

For more information on:

Maintaining and using immunisation records — primary students

Immunisation History Statements from the Australian Immunisation Register indicate whether primary students have been immunised against some or all of the following infectious diseases:

  • hepatitis
  • poliomyelitis
  • rotavirus
  • mumps
  • diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenza type B
  • measles
  • rubella
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • pneumococcal
  • varicella (chickenpox)
  • meningococcal
  • tetanus

This section describes how schools should maintain and use immunisation records for primary students:

  1. Obtain copies of official Immunisation History Statements from parents/carers prior to enrolment. Record the immunisation status of the student on CASES21 (whether an Immunisation History Statement has been received or not).
  2. Maintain a file containing Immunisation History Statements (note: if a primary student transfers to another primary school, a copy should be sent to the receiving school and recorded in CASES21).
  3. During disease outbreaks refer to student Immunisation History Statements. Instruct parents /carers of students not immunised to keep their children at home for the recommended period, as outlined in the Department of Health and Human Service’s School exclusion table (refer to Immunisation).

In accordance with amendments to ‘No Jab No Play’ legislation, as of 28 February 2018 only the Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register is acceptable for the purposes of enrolling in a primary school in Victoria. Sighting of the stamped immunisation booklet or documents produced by GPs or other immunisation providers are not sufficient evidence to meet this requirement. The immunisation status of the student must be recorded on CASES21 (whether an Immunisation History Statement has been received or not) and updated when necessary.

Maintaining Student Family Occupation and Education (SFOE) information

Funding for equity (Social Disadvantage) provides an individual loading for students from disadvantaged backgrounds that will increase with the density of disadvantage at the school. Increased funding for schools has proven to raise educational outcomes, particularly for these students. Schools use Social Disadvantage funding to deliver tailored educational programs that meet the needs of this cohort of students.

The Social Disadvantage loading allocates funding based on parental occupation, parental education and the level of concentration of disadvantage in a school. Students with the highest level of need are targeted with the most funding to ensure schools have the resources to support them.   

SFOE information that parents provide directly affects the level of Social Disadvantage funding that a school will receive. Therefore, it is essential that schools:

  • ensure that their staff understand why SFOE data is needed and the benefits of ensuring there are no errors in data logged on CASES21
  • clearly explain to parents the importance of correctly completing the parent information form
  • have a process to ensure SFOE information is accurate and up-to-date
  • contact parents when occupation and/or education data is missing, incomplete or unclear
  • keep records to explain any changes or updates to data submitted by parents

Incomplete or missing student information or documentation

This section outlines the principal’s options when student information is incomplete.

Option 1

The Principal may defer admission of a student for up to five days, provided that the principal:

  • requests that the parent or carer provide the missing information
  • advises the parent or carer they are legally responsible for ensuring a child of school age attends school

Option 2

Conditionally enrol the student:

  • if the information is not provided after 5 days and
  • further delay in enrolling the student is likely to affect the student’s education and wellbeing

provided that the principal:

  • records the conditions; and
  • advises the parents or carers in writing that the enrolment is conditional upon providing the missing information and will only be formally completed when these conditions are met
Guidance Chapter outlining the enrolment process, including information and documentation required, and managing requests to change a student's name on the enrolment records

Reviewed 08 February 2021

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