Student transfers between schools
Parents/carers are entitled to request a transfer between schools. During this process, schools must avoid practices that:
- compel students to transfer or withdraw from school (e.g. for behavioural issues) through any other means than the formal expulsion process (refer to )
- restrict entry to eligible students.
- provide student information for all students transferring out
- receive student transfer information for all students transferring in
- seek parent or carer consent for a transfer if the transfer follows a behaviour or disciplinary incident that may have otherwise resulted in commencement in expulsion procedures — use the to obtain this consent
- update CASES21 and contact regional staff as appropriate for additional advice and support.
School principals approve transfers, including when:
- the student is transferring to their designated neighbourhood school; or
- the student residence changes and is now closer to a different government school (where requested); or
- transfer is sought from an Australian school outside the state system; or
- the transfer is sought at the commencement of the school year or term 3 and in secondary schools the student can be accommodated mid-year without the reorganisation of the existing school program; or
- transfer is requested (other than in those instances cited above) by a parent/carer and the principal of each school involved supports the request; or
- a student is expelled from a school via the formal expulsion policy. For students of compulsory school age, the principal of the school from which the student has been expelled is responsible for ensuring enrolment in another school or registered training organisation in consultation with the local area team and regional office.
For all other transfers where the parent or carer appeals against the Principal’s decision to not enrol, the:
- transferring principal makes recommendations to the Regional Director
- Regional Director determines approval.
Additionally, schools should note that they cannot enrol international students wishing to transfer from another school (prior to the student completing 6 months of the principal course of study) without a release letter issued by the Department's International Education Division, refer to .
Transfer of information
Transfer of information between Victorian government schools
When a Victorian government school student has been accepted at another Victorian government school, the transferring school will provide the student’s information to that next school.
All Victorian government schools must transfer student information through CASES21.
Important: Throughout this policy, ‘student information’ means personal and health information about the student, including achievement information, foreseeable risk and wellbeing information. For an overview of what student information should be transferred — refer to the (login required).
Parent or carer consent is not required to transfer student information or records (including SSS/DCS files) to the student’s next Victorian government school.
Transferring student information to the student’s next Victorian government school is in the best interests of our students, because it assists that next school to provide optimal education and support to the student. This also enables the Department to fulfil important legal obligations.
The Department, which includes all Victorian government schools, central and regional offices, is a single legal entity. This means that all student records and files, including DCS/SSS files, are owned by the Department (on behalf of the State of Victoria), not individual schools, networks or school staff. This also means that transferring student information to the student’s next Victorian government school is a ‘use’ of that information for the same primary purposes for which it was collected, consistent with Victorian privacy law.
Where a student is in youth justice or secure welfare custody, all Victorian government schools must transfer information through CASES21, Student Data Transfer, to Parkville College. The student will remain enrolled at their base school while concurrently enrolled at Parkville College for the purposes of receiving education while in custody.
In addition, student information can be provided to the student’s next Victorian government school in any and all of the following ways: verbally (principal to principal, or nominees), electronically (via email) and in hardcopy (by providing copies of the student’s records, including health reports).
If the student has received Student Support Services (SSS) support in the last two years, the SSS area based team must arrange for the SSS/Department Confidential Student file (DCS) to be sent to the SSS area based team for the receiving school.
Sharing information between schools for student wellbeing or safety
New Information Sharing Schemes have expanded permissions for authorised organisations, including government and non-government schools, to share information with each other for the purpose of promoting the wellbeing or safety of children or assessing or managing family violence risk.
For student transfers between government and non-government schools, schools can use the Information Sharing Schemes to transfer any information that may assist the new school to promote the wellbeing or safety of children or to assess or manage family violence risk.
Enquiries by a family about a potential transfer between Victorian government schools
Victorian government schools may not share student information with another Victorian government school before that student has been accepted at that next school, unless consent is given. This means that when a parent or carer (or student on their own behalf) is enquiring about a possible placement at another Victorian government school, the student’s current school cannot share student information with that potential new school, except for the following circumstances:
- the parent (or student) has consented to the sharing of information
- the receiving school needs to consult with the student's current school to ensure that the person presenting to the school to enrol the student has decision-making responsibility for that student and there are no Family Law Act orders or other court orders or documents that are relevant to determining who has decision-making responsibility for that student
- the schools are using the Information Sharing Schemes to transfer information for the purpose of promoting the wellbeing or safety of children or assessing or managing family violence risk.
A principal or regional officer supporting a student to find a suitable educational setting following an expulsion may also share relevant information about the student with another Victorian government school, in order to determine how that school could best support the student's education.
Transfer information required
Transfer information to be sent from transferring school for different school types.
Victorian government school
Student and family information, including information to promote child wellbeing or safety, any foreseeable risks (if applicable) and achievement data.
Note: All Victorian government schools must use CASES21 to transfer this information.
Student information can also be provided to the student’s next Victorian government school in any and all of the following ways: verbally (principal to principal, or nominees), electronically (via email) and in hardcopy (by providing copies of the student’s records, including health reports).
Non-government school including catholic school
Transfer note (downloadable from CASES21), and if applicable, provide information on any foreseeable risks.
Additionally, new Information Sharing Schemes enable Victorian government and non-government schools to share information with each other to promote the wellbeing or safety of children or to assess or manage family violence risk. Refer to for information about these schemes.
Interstate Student Data Transfer Note, including information on any foreseeable risk (if applicable).
Transferring students process
Student transfer steps are as follows:
- Update student details in CASES21, including:
- the transfer date as the last date the student attended / will attend classes
- transfer note (if used) that has been reviewed by the transferring principal
- immunisation status for primary students.
Note: CASES21 automatically updates the Victorian Student Register (VSR). The Student Enrolment Information Form can also be generated from CASES21 if required.
- Complete the student exit process in CASES21.
- When the student has been accepted by the receiving school, send the receiving school all required student information, including any foreseeable risks, and the immunisation certificate for primary students.
Parents/carers are required to provide the receiving school with:
- Court orders or written consent of both parents/carers agreeing to admission
- passport of travel documentation for non-Australian born students
- evidence of the student’s name and date of birth.
Receiving students process
Where students are transferring between Victorian government schools student information must be transferred using CASES21. In this instance the receiving school receives notification through CASES21 that data has been transmitted from the transferring school. The Victorian Student Register is automatically updated when the student data is imported by the receiving school.
When students transfer or transition between government schools, student names must not be changed unless new legal documentation with an amended name is provided.
When student information is transferred using CASES21:
- Parents/carers are not required to complete a new enrolment form.
- Schools are not required to create a new student record in CASES21 because that would create a duplicate record.
- Receiving schools must send a copy of the Student Enrolment Information Form to the parent or carer for checking, updating and signing to ensure the student data is current and accurate.
- Before a student is offered a place, receiving schools may consult with the transferring school to ensure that the person presenting to the school to enrol the student has decision-making responsibility for that student and that there are not Family Law Act orders or other orders or documents that are relevant to determining who has decision-making responsibility for that student.
The section below describes how the receiving government school deals with missing or conflicting transfer information which may include considering a conditional enrolment.
How the receiving government school deals with missing or conflicting transfer information
Student information is not received
The receiving school principal seeks further information from the transferring school and chooses between:
- deferring admission for 1 day, or
- admitting the student conditionally and maintaining a record of attendance until the information is provided.
Principal is unable, after reasonable enquiries, to obtain information
The receiving school principal:
- reports all circumstances to the Regional Director
- keeps the student in attendance as a conditional enrolment until the matter is resolved.
Transferring school provides conflicting information about family circumstances
The receiving school principal seeks further information from the parents/carers before the School Enrolment Information Form is issued and the transfer proceeds.
Parents/carers do not provide documentation to clarify conflicting information
The receiving school principal:
- may defer the admission of the student for up to 5 days
- advises the parents/carers that:
- they are required under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 to enrol compulsory school age children at school and ensure the student attends
- enrolment is conditional upon provision of the required information in a specified timeframe
- the student should continue attending their current school where their record of attendance is being maintained
Note: The principal can seek advice from:
- the regional office and/or
- the Department’s Legal Division.
When the matter is not resolved and there are no pressing circumstances
The receiving school principal does not proceed with the transfer and the student returns to the transferring school. The transferring school reactivates the student in CASES21.
When the matter is not resolved both principals agree that the child’s education is likely to be adversely affected by not proceeding with the transfer
The receiving school principal:
- proceeds with the transfer
- advises the parents/carers in writing that the enrolment is conditional and will only be completed when these conditions are met
- records the conditions.
Examples: written consent from both parents/carers to the enrolment or production of a court order.
Reviewed 21 April 2021