School operations


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 Expulsions)
  • restrict entry to eligible students

Schools must:

  • 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 Student Exit Form to obtain this consent
  • update CASES21 and contact regional staff as appropriate for additional advice and support

Approval process

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 International Student Program (ISP).

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 a comprehensive view of what student information should be transferred — refer to: CASES21 User Guides.

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. 

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

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 of information process

Transfer information to be sent from transferring school for different school types.

Victorian government school

Student information, including information on any foreseeable risks (if applicable).

Note: From July 2017, all Victorian government schools will use CASES21 to transfer this information.

Non-government school including catholic school

Transfer note (downloadable from CASES21) including information on any foreseeable risks (if applicable).

Interstate school

Interstate Student Data Transfer Note, including information on any foreseeable risk (if applicable).

For the interstate student data transfer note, downloadable forms, protocols and facts sheet refer to: Interstate Student Data Transfer Note and Protocol for Government Schools.

Transferring students process

Student transfer steps are as follows:

  1. 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) as well as generating the Student Enrolment Information Form and Student Information Full Details Report.
  2. Complete the student exit process in CASES21.​
  3. 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 are required to provide the receiving school with:
    • Court orders or written consent of both parents 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 can be transferred using CASES21 (mandatory from July 2017). 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 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

    Then 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/guardians 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

    Refer to: Decision Making Responsibilities for Students

    Note: The principal can seek advice from:

    • the regional office and/or
    • the Department’s Legal Services 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 or 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 to the enrolment or production of a court order.

    Chapter in the Enrolment in a Victorian Government School Guidelines outlining obligations and processes for student transfers between schools, including transfer of student information

    Reviewed 03 February 2021

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