education.vic.gov.au

Policy last updated

26 January 2024

Scope

  • Schools

Date:
March 2020

Policy

For advice on temporary enrolment requests relating to a flood-related closure of another school, refer to: Temporary enrolments – emergency school closures.

Policy

This policy sets out requirements for entry into Victorian government schools, including admissions, enrolments, the placement of students and transfers between schools.

Details

This Enrolment Policy and the mandatory Enrolment in a Victorian Government School Guidelines, available on the Guidance tab, combines the admissions, enrolment, placement and transfers policies into one clear and concise location for Victorian government schools.

Under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic):

  • Except in very specific circumstances, schooling is compulsory for students who have turned 6 until they turn 17. This applies to students at all schools including mainstream, specialist, and government English language schools or centres.
  • Every Victorian student has a legislated right to enrol at their designated neighbourhood school (section 2.2.13) and may be enrolled at another school subject to sufficient accommodation (section 2.2.14). Victorian government schools must refer to the Enrolment in a Victorian Government School Guidelines (refer to Guidance tab), for details on:
    • age eligibility, including exceptions and exemptions from the maximum and minimum school age requirements and processes
    • determining designated neighbourhood school areas and zones
    • Department policy requirements relating to placement of students (Placement Policy) and enrolment management
    • enrolment appeal processes and requirements
    • determining permanent residence of students and families
    • required documentation and information when enrolling students
    • transfers between schools
    • enrolment in specialist schools
    • concurrent enrolment for students entering youth justice or secure welfare.

For policy and guidance on transition process and support for students moving from Year 6 to 7, refer to: Transition – Year 6 to 7.

For policy and guidance on exemptions from attendance and enrolment, refer to: Exemptions to School Attendance and Enrolment.

Relevant legislation

Contacts

For support with enrolment queries, schools may contact the relevant senior transition officer in the applicable regional office. Refer to Office locationsExternal Link for contact details.

For queries regarding school zones and the Find my SchoolExternal Link website, please contact the Victorian School Building Authority on:

For feedback on this Enrolment policy, please contact the School Provision and Establishment Division on:

Email: school.enrolment.policy@education.vic.gov.au


Guidance

Enrolment in a Victorian Government School – Guidelines

These Guidelines contain the following chapters:

  • Overview of enrolment in Victorian government schools
  • Eligibility to enrol in a Victorian government school
  • Fairness and equity
  • School age requirements and age exemptions
  • Designated neighbourhood schools and school zones
  • Placement policy
  • Appealing enrolment decisions
  • Determining permanent residence
  • Application and enrolment forms
  • Processing enrolment forms and supporting documentation
  • Foundation (Prep) enrolment
  • Year 6 to 7 placement
  • Student transfers between schools
  • Enrolment in specialist schools and other specialist education settings
  • Concurrent enrolment process (youth justice and secure welfare)
  • Temporary enrolments – emergency school closures

Overview of enrolment in Victorian government schools

Overview of enrolment in Victorian government schools

Except in very specific circumstances, schooling is compulsory for students who have turned 6 until they turn 17. This applies to students at all schools including specialist and government English language schools or centres.

In practice, this means most children will commence schooling at the start of the year they turn 6.

Every Victorian student has a legislated right to enrol at their designated neighbourhood school (section 2.2.13 of the Act), and may be enrolled at another school subject to sufficient accommodation (section 2.2.14 of the Act).

The following information provides the requirements for entry into a Victorian government school. This includes admission and enrolment pre-requisites, placement into a Victorian government school, transfers between schools, concurrent enrolments and enrolment in specialist schools.


Eligibility to enrol in a Victorian government school

Eligibility to enrol in a Victorian government school

To enrol in a Victorian government school, an applicant must:

  • be an Australian citizen, or a student with relevant specified visas or ImmicardExternal Link . Refer to: International Student Program (ISP)
  • meet the age eligibility requirements set out in these Guidelines (based on the requirements set out in the Education and Training Reform Act (2006) and Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic).

For information on school age requirements, including exceptions and exemptions, see the chapter in these guidelines on School age requirements.


Fairness and equity

Fairness and equity

School enrolment practices must be fair, equitable and comply with state and federal laws. Factors such as ability, history of behaviour or level of engagement with education are irrelevant factors for placement decisions.

Further information about fair, equitable and lawful enrolment practices is available at:


School age requirements and age exemptions

School age requirements and age exemptions

School age

Except in very specific circumstances, schooling is compulsory for children who have turned 6 until they turn 17. This applies to students at all schools including mainstream, specialist, and government English language schools or centres.

For enrolment and attendance exemption categories and processes – refer to Exemptions from School Enrolment and Attendance.

A person who is not of compulsory school age may not enrol in or attend a government school unless:

  • they are 17 years old – noting that under department policy, when placing students in school year levels, schools must take account of the age restrictions for school enrolment and ensure that if the student turns 18 years old during the school year, they fall within one of the age exception or exemption categories outlined below
  • they fall within an exception category set out in the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Regulations) – refer to the exceptions information below
  • they are granted an exemption from the age requirements in the Regulations – refer to the exemptions information below.

Educational programs not subject to the school age requirements

The school age requirements set out in the Education and Training Reform Act (2006) and Education and Training Regulations 2017 (Vic) do not apply to individuals who will attend programs conducted at a government school:

  • outside school hours
  • by registered training organisations or other bodies that are separate from the school.

Differences between an exception and an exemption

A person who falls within an exception automatically meets the age eligibility requirements to enrol in or attend a government school. If the principal is satisfied that the person meets the criteria for the exception, the principal cannot refuse to enrol the person on the basis of their age and the person will not be required to obtain an exemption from the minister or their delegate.

A person who does not fall within an exception may be eligible to apply for an exemption.

Exemptions are granted at the discretion of the minister, or minister's delegates (which currently includes the regional director for each region). There is no automatic eligibility to enrol in or attend a government school for a person that does not fall within an exception.

Responsibility for assessing and approving school age eligibility requirements

Principals are responsible for assessing eligibility and approving the enrolment of individuals who:

  • are of compulsory school age (from when they turn 6 until they turn 17)
  • have turned 17 but are not yet 18 years old
  • fall within an exception under the Regulations.

The minister or delegate (such as the regional director) is responsible for assessing and granting exemptions from the minimum and maximum school age requirements.

Exceptions to the minimum age requirements

A child who is 5 years old or over by 30 April in the year of enrolment may:

  • be enrolled at a government school
  • attend a government school
  • be enrolled in, attend, or participate in the following program or course offered by or conducted at a government school:
    • a course of primary education
    • a program or course approved in writing by the minister.

A child who is under 5 years of age at 30 April of the year of enrolment may enrol in or attend a government school for the purposes of attending:

  • short-term prep transition programs in primary schools that prepare pre-schoolers for primary school
  • early education programs in special developmental schools (as approved by the minister).

Exceptions to the maximum age requirements

A person who is aged 18 years or older must not enrol in or attend a Victorian government school unless an exception or exemption applies.

Exceptions apply to individuals who:

  • are turning 18 during the year of enrolment, if they are enrolling solely in an accredited senior secondary course, for example Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Victorian Certificate of Education Vocational Major (VCE VM), International Baccalaureate (IB) or an accredited foundation secondary course for example, Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC)
  • are turning 19 during the year of enrolment, if they are enrolling solely for the purpose of completing an accredited senior secondary course or an accredited foundation secondary course in that year (or that they are expected to successfully complete their course in the year of enrolment based on current assessment information and course plan)
  • are enrolling or attending an English language government school or centre, if the student is seeking to continue their enrolment in the year in which they turn 18 years old and in the following year, solely for the purpose of completing the program
  • will turn 20 years old during the year of enrolment and are enrolled at a government school situated outside the metropolitan area solely for the purpose of completing an accredited senior secondary course or an accredited foundation secondary course in that year and there is no TAFE institute or other registered education or training organisation (other than another government school) that:
    • is within 50 km from the school that offers an accredited senior secondary education course or an accredited foundation secondary course or
    • offers an accredited senior secondary education course or an accredited foundation secondary course through a distance education program that the person is eligible to enrol in.

Exemptions from the age requirements

The minister or delegate (such as the regional director) may grant an individual an exemption from the minimum and maximum age requirements in the Regulations in limited circumstances.

An individual is eligible to apply for an exemption if they meet the criteria set out below. Eligibility does not guarantee that an exemption will be granted.

Exemptions from the minimum and maximum age requirements are rare, rather than being considered normal practice. This should be taken into account when considering enrolment decisions, such as beginning school, transitioning from primary to secondary school and planning for completing school or moving to other available settings.

Schools may not always be the most appropriate place for some children or young people. There are a range of age-appropriate settings available for children and young people, whether they may be early childhood services and settings or adult education options.

It is important that when considering applications for exemption from the age requirements that a balance is struck between the best interests of the child or young person and that of other students. This balance must be considered for individual cases and circumstances, while also ensuring that the exemption process is consistently and fairly applied.

The following arrangements apply to enrolments that can be assessed and endorsed by principals but require relevant regional director approval.

Early age entry

Where a student is younger than 5 years old on or after 1 May in the year of enrolment and does not meet one of the exceptions listed above, an exemption from the minimum age requirements is required. An exemption from the minimum age requirements must be:

  • requested in writing to the school by their parent/carers
  • considered by the principal, who must make a written recommendation for consideration by the regional director
  • forwarded to the relevant regional director, with all supporting documentation attached, via email
  • assessed by the regional director, who must consider eligibility, the principal’s recommendation and all other relevant circumstances, and make a decision regarding the application
  • approved or not approved in writing by the relevant regional director. The regional office should notify both the parent or carer and school of the decision in a timely manner.

To be eligible for an exemption from the minimum age requirements a child must meet both of the following criteria:

  • the child possesses suitable academic ability
  • it is in the child’s best interests to be enrolled at or attend a government school.

Applications that do not address the requirements for both criteria will not be eligible for approval.

To understand how the department applies the eligibility criteria for an exemption from minimum age requirements, the following guidance is provided.

Suitable academic ability

The department's preferred evidence of suitable academic ability is:

  • a report from a psychologist confirming that the child has been assessed as ≥ 130 Full Scale IQ (2 standard deviations, or more above the mean), preferably using the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Fourth Edition, Australian and New Zealand (WPPS-IV A&NZ), including the 10 sub-tests required to calculate the Full Scale score and Primary Index Scales, conducted after the child has attained the age of 4 years
  • where a child is transferring from a school in another state or country after more than one term of enrolment and attendance, evidence from that school confirming that the child has suitable academic ability to attend school.

Where a child does not fall into one of the above categories, the department may also consider other evidence of suitable academic ability that:

  • is provided by an authoritative independent source(s) – for example, a child psychologist registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, with experience in educational and developmental psychology
  • clearly demonstrates that the child has suitable academic ability to attend school.

It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to obtain all relevant cognitive assessment/s and/or other reports and evidence to support their child's application.

Applications based solely on parental observations will not be accepted.

Best interests

Schools must consider the entry assessment from kindergarten and informal observations to assess development, literacy, and numeracy, and academic, social and emotional needs in determining a student’s school readiness.

Early entry to school is generally not considered to be in the best interests of a child unless the child is:

  • at least 4 years 6 months of age on or before 30 April in the year of school commencement
  • considered at risk of long term educational disadvantage by a childcare, kindergarten, allied health or other relevant professional if they do not commence at school.

To apply for a minimum age exemption for early entry to school, use the: Minimum age exemption – early entry to school application form (DOCX)External Link .

Maximum age exemption

A student aged 18 years or older who does not meet one of the exceptions listed above may only enrol in or attend a government school if they are granted an exemption from the age requirements.

Exemption from the maximum age requirements must be:

  • requested in writing to the school by the young person or their parent/carer if appropriate
  • considered by the principal, who must make a written recommendation for consideration by the regional director
  • forwarded to the relevant regional director, with all supporting documentation attached, via email
  • assessed by the regional director, who must consider eligibility, the principal’s recommendation and all other relevant circumstances, and make a decision regarding the application
  • approved or not approved in writing by the relevant regional director. The regional office should notify both the parent or carer and school of the decision in a timely manner.

A student is eligible for an exemption from the maximum age requirements if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • the person will be under 20 years of age on 31 December in the year the person completes year 10 and is unable to complete year 10 before they turn 18 and one or more of the following special circumstances exist for that person:
    • pregnancy
    • parental or primary carer responsibilities
    • serious illness or injury
    • a period of imprisonment
  • the person is aged between 18 and 21 and the minister or delegate (such as the regional director) is satisfied of one or more of the following:
    • the exemption will enable the person to participate in a specific course or program approved by the minister
    • the exemption will enable the person to transfer from an English language government school or centre into year 10 at a government school
    • it would be unreasonable in the circumstances not to grant the exemption
  • the person is seeking to enrol in an English language government school or centre, and the minister or delegate (such as the regional director) considers it in the person's best interest to be enrolled at or to attend that educational setting.

To apply for a maximum age exemption use the Maximum age exemption application form (DOCX)External Link .

It is department policy that an exemption from the maximum age requirements will generally not be granted unless the person:

  • has previously been enrolled in and attended the school in the last 12 months
  • is expected to complete school in the exemption period based on their current or proposed course information and assessment. This means that if the student successfully completes the requirements of their current enrolment/course plan/units in which they are enrolled, they will have successfully completed the requirements of the accredited senior secondary course in which they are enrolled, and they are expected to do so in the year of enrolment; or
  • has a clear transition plan that has been agreed to by the young person and/or their parent/carer; and poses no or minimal risks to other students through their attendance at the school
  • has no other age-appropriate setting or option available for an equivalent course of study (no other age appropriate setting within 50 kilometres of the student’s home and online study is inappropriate)

When considering an application for exemption from the age requirements and gathering the supporting documentation, principals and decision-makers should consider the following:

  • the need to provide a child safe environment to all students at the school
  • the best interests of the student – includes the young person’s academic, social and emotional needs, aspirations and abilities
  • age-appropriate settings or options – taking into consideration the student’s aspirations, abilities and needs, such as relevant adult education settings
  • online study options – may be inappropriate if the student does not have reliable access to the required technologies to undertake the course, will not meet the prerequisite requirements for enrolment, and/or does not possess the required English language proficiency.

Please note:

  • accredited senior secondary course – includes Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Victorian Certificate of Education Vocational Major (VCE VM) or International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • foundation secondary course – includes the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC)
  • complete school – means that if the student successfully completes the requirements of their current enrolment/course plan/units in which they are enrolled, they will have successfully completed the requirements of the accredited senior secondary course in which they are enrolled, and they are expected to do so in the year of enrolment.

Designated neighbourhood schools – school zones

Designated neighbourhood schools – school zones

A school zone defines an area’s designated neighbourhood government school (local school). Every Victorian student has a legislated right to enrol at their local school.

School zones are published on the Find my School websiteExternal Link .

For children residing in metropolitan Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, their local school is usually the nearest government school in a straight line from the child's permanent address. In all other areas of Victoria, it is usually the nearest school by the shortest practical route, recognising the additional travel distances often experienced in regional settings.

A small number of school zones have been adjusted and these are referred to as non-standard zones. Non-standard school zones may be created to:

  • improve school accessibility to align with geographical and structural barriers such as rivers and freeways (noting that a main road is not usually considered to be a barrier to accessing a school)
  • support schools with very high local enrolment demand, to ensure that the needs of the school's local community are being met.

If a non-standard zone is in place, then the zones from surrounding schools are adjusted to ensure that all children are designated a local school.

The department reviews school zones annually. Zones may be adjusted to reflect the opening of new schools, changing provision at existing schools (for example, relocating a campus or changing year levels offered), improving school accessibility, or managing enrolment demand. The Minister for Education (or delegate) approves any changes to school zones.

Though all students are guaranteed a place at their local school, in some cases a school may not have sufficient accommodation to enrol all students from outside their zone. For more information about how these enrolments must be prioritised, refer to the Placement Policy.

Schools with specific enrolment criteria including English Language Schools and Select Entry Schools, do not have zones. For more information, refer to: Selective Entry and Other Specialism Schools and Programs.

Specialist schools do not have zones as they are not designated neighbourhood government schools under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. For more information, visit Enrolment in specialist schools.

Sample wording for school websites

Schools must include links to Find my School and the Placement Policy on their school website. Sample wording for use on school websites is:

Our school zone is available on findmyschool.vic.gov.auExternal Link which hosts the most up-to-date information on school zones in Victoria.

Students residing within our school zone are guaranteed a place at our school, which is determined based on your permanent residential address.

Our school manages enrolments using the Placement Policy to ensure that students have access to their designated neighbourhood school and may enrol at another school, if there are available places.

For more information, you can:


Placement Policy

Placement Policy

Please note: The Placement Policy, in particular the priority order of placement, has changed since the beginning of the 2023 school year. All enrolment decisions made from the start of Term 2, 2023 should be made in accordance with the current Placement Policy as outlined on this page.

This section of the department’s enrolment guidelines outlines the obligations on Victorian government schools in relation to placement of students and is referred to as the Placement Policy.

The department’s Placement Policy embeds the legal entitlement for students to enrol at their designated neighbourhood school, and to enrol at another school if there is sufficient accommodation.

All Victorian government schools must manage enrolments in accordance with this Placement Policy, except those schools where the Minister or delegate has approved specific entry criteria, being:

  • select entry high schools
  • specialist schools
  • English Language Schools and Centres
  • camp and outdoor schools
  • hospital schools and teaching units
  • distance schools
  • flexible learning government schools and flexible learning campuses
  • any other school with entry criteria as approved by the Minister or delegate.

The Placement Policy applies to the placement of students at all year levels, from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12. Single-sex government schools are required to follow the Placement Policy, noting that only students of the requisite gender are eligible to apply.

Specialist schools are subject to different placement requirements than those described in the Placement Policy. For more information, refer to: Enrolment in specialist schools.

If families are seeking to better understand the Placement Policy, please refer them to: Starting schoolExternal Link .

Right to attend the designated neighbourhood school

Eligible children and young persons have the right to be admitted to their designated neighbourhood government school, regardless of capacity. Accordingly, all students that reside within the area of a designated neighbourhood school (referred to as a ‘school zone’) must be offered a place when seeking enrolment. For information on eligibility, refer to: Eligibility to enrol in a Victorian government school.

A student’s designated neighbourhood school is generally the school that is nearest the student’s permanent address as determined by the school zone. The Find my School websiteExternal Link provides guidance on which school zone a student’s permanent residence is located within.

For information on verifying a student’s permanent address, refer to: Determining permanent residence.

The department recognises that some schools may require additional capacity to accommodate students from within their school zone. In these circumstances, schools may be supported by the temporary allocation of relocatable buildings. For more information about how relocatable buildings are allocated, refer to: Relocatable Building Management.

International students

International students (such as those holding a dependant or temporary visa) have the legal entitlement to enrol at their designated neighbourhood school.

However, under the Education Services for Overseas Student Act 2000 (Cth), students who hold a subclass 500 student visa (a student visa in their own name) may only attend government schools accredited to accept international students. The department refers to students who hold a student visa in their own name as Standard and Study Abroad students.

Given Standard and Study Abroad students are required to attend an accredited school, they may not be able to attend their closest school.

Schools may contact the International Education Division for support with queries regarding international student enrolments: international@education.vic.gov.au

Attending a school that is not the student’s designated neighbourhood school

Students are able to apply for a place at a school that is not their designated neighbourhood school.

All students who seek enrolment in a school outside of their designated neighbourhood school should be enrolled in that school if:

  • there is sufficient accommodation at the school
  • this request for enrolment aligns with the school’s enrolment management implementation plan (if they have one).

Where there is insufficient accommodation at a school for all students who seek entry, students must be enrolled according to the Placement Policy’s priority order of placement (see below).

The department takes into account a school’s enrolment practices when determining the allocation of relocatable buildings. Buildings are prioritised to schools which are addressing local demand, and which have a high percentage of enrolments from within their school zone.

Sufficient accommodation

Whether a school has sufficient accommodation to enrol additional students depends on a number of factors. These include if the school will continue to have appropriate physical and operational capacity and resources to provide high quality education and services to the school’s overall student population. Sufficient accommodation takes into consideration:

  • built capacity and/or target-built capacity
  • current enrolments and forecast enrolments
  • current demand and forecast demand within the school zone
  • staffing levels
  • industrial agreements
  • subject/curriculum demands on the school
  • where practical, planning for an even distribution of students across all year levels while maintaining class size targets.

Schools must have sufficient accommodation to meet current and future in-zone demand before enrolling students from outside the school zone.

In some instances, schools may not have sufficient accommodation to offer placement to all students. This includes instances where schools are forecast to come under significant enrolment pressure from within the school zone. Where this is the case, the department will work with schools to develop an enrolment management implementation plan to support long term enrolment planning.

Sufficient accommodation is determined by the principal in consultation with their regional office, and it should reflect current and future in-zone demand. In instances where further support may be needed, final determination on sufficient accommodation may be made by the regional director.

Priority order of placement

Eligible children and young persons have the right to be admitted to their designated neighbourhood government school, regardless of capacity.

In circumstances where schools do not have sufficient accommodation to accept all students who apply from outside their school zone, schools must manage enrolment applications in accordance with the following priority order of placement:

  1. students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time
  2. all other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be enrolled in a school based on compassionate grounds. This is an overarching consideration and does not form part of the priority order of placement. Further information is available below under ‘Exceptional circumstances – compassionate grounds’.

Priority 1 – Siblings

The sibling priority applies to placement decisions at all year levels, from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12. There is an expectation that schools will enrol all older and younger siblings, unless otherwise approved by the regional director.

A sibling is defined broadly and can include step-siblings and students residing together as part of a multiple family cohabitation or out-of-home-care arrangements, including foster care, kinship care and permanent care. Students seeking enrolment on sibling grounds should be residing together at the same permanent address and must be attending the school at the same time.

Where siblings do not reside together on a full-time basis, families may still seek enrolment on sibling grounds. These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If there are complex sibling arrangements such as this, schools should contact their regional office to seek advice. Regional office contact details and locations are on the department’s website, visit: Office locationsExternal Link .

A school should only seek to restrict or limit enrolments of out-of-zone siblings if they consider there to be significant future or current capacity restraints (for example, there is a concern that students within zone could not be accommodated in present or future years) and where they have approval from the regional director.

To seek approval to restrict enrolments for out-of-zone siblings, schools must submit the Exemption to Priority 1 of the Placement Policy application form. Schools can obtain a copy of the application form by contacting their regional office. All applications are assessed by both regional and central offices.

Any agreement between schools and the relevant regional director on enrolment restrictions for out-of-zone siblings must be reviewed annually.

Priority 2 – Order of closeness of their home to the school

In metropolitan areas, and in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, closeness to school is the distance measured in a straight line from the child’s permanent residential address to the school. In any other area of Victoria, closeness to school is the distance measured by the shortest practical route by road.

Distances from an address to the 5 nearest schools (as measured in a straight line) are available on the Find my School websiteExternal Link . This website can be used when considering order of closeness to school, particularly for metropolitan areas, and in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong. In other areas, schools should consider travel distance between the applicant's address and the school when considering order of closeness.

Closeness to school is either assessed upon receipt of an enrolment application or as part of the annual Foundation (Prep) enrolment or Year 7 placement processes for government schools.

Timelines will be strictly observed for Foundation (Prep) enrolment and Year 7 placement applications. If an application for Foundation (Prep) enrolment or Year 7 placement misses the deadline, it should be considered after applications received on time (if the student does not live in the school zone or does not have a sibling attending the school at the same time).

Exceptional circumstances – compassionate grounds

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be enrolled at a school on compassionate grounds. This is an overarching consideration and does not form part of the priority order of placement.

Families must be able to clearly demonstrate the exceptional circumstances which they believe make an enrolment at their designated neighbourhood school unsuitable for their child or children.

Exceptional circumstances may include family violence, wellbeing and safety concerns, physical and/or mental health concerns. Importantly, this is not a comprehensive list of exceptional circumstances whereby a family may seek an enrolment on compassionate grounds – each application will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Under the Disability Standards for Education 2005, education providers are legally required to make reasonable adjustments for students with disability. On that basis, grounds for exceptional circumstances do not include concerns related to a student’s disability where those concerns can be addressed by making reasonable adjustments. For examples of reasonable adjustments and further guidance, refer to: Making reasonable adjustmentsExternal Link .

The student will generally be offered a place at the school in next closest proximity to the student’s permanent address or current address or location where relevant.

When considering an application or appeal on compassionate grounds, schools and regional staff can request that families provide further evidence. This may include:

  • legal documentation
  • reports from allied health and/or medical professionals, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing practitioners, Victoria Police, and/or family violence services
  • court orders.

Matters of compassionate grounds are of a sensitive nature and may pose risks to health and life (for example, matters related to family violence). Family and student privacy must be maintained when considering applications on compassionate grounds.

For more information, refer to: Privacy and Information Sharing.

Schools can contact their regional office to seek advice and support when considering applications on compassionate grounds. Regional office contact details and locations are on the department’s website, visit: Office locationsExternal Link .

Student tests and interviews

A placement offer must not be dependent on a satisfactory report, test or interview.

Student tests or interviews may only occur after a placement offer has been made. This covers all forms of testing, including examinations for school specific scholarships, academic programs, leadership programs, sporting trials, music or performing arts auditions, and other try-outs or performance assessments. Schools must also not hold formal or informal interviews for prospective students and their families.

Schools must not reserve places or prioritise placement for students on the basis of anticipated test results.

For secondary schools, this means that tests or interviews cannot occur prior to the state-wide release of Year 7 placement offers in July each year. Schools must not promote tests or interviews before placement offers have been made (refer to the state-wide timeline in the Placement Information Pack).

This does not apply to selective entry and other specialism schools that are not required to manage enrolments in accordance with the Placement Policy. For further information, visit: Selective Entry and Other Specialism Schools and Programs.

Enrolment management

Schools, in consultation with their regional office, manage enrolments to ensure that all students can attend their local school now and into the future. Strategies that support enrolment management include:

  • maintaining accurate and complete enrolment records and data, to facilitate enrolment planning
  • planning for an even distribution of students across all year levels while maintaining class size targets
  • considering your enrolment projections and ensuring that the starting cohort of enrolment numbers does not increase to the extent that the overall capacity of the school is exceeded for the life of the cohort
  • monitoring enrolment trends and subject/curriculum demands in the school
  • advising current and prospective parents about any limits on enrolment early.

Schools under enrolment pressure may be supported with an enrolment management implementation plan. Enrolment management implementation plans provide current and projected data and, where required, support schools to implement enrolment restrictions approved by regional directors.

Restricting enrolments

Under section 2.2.16 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic), the Minister for Education may specify and approve entry criteria for a particular school. This power has also been delegated to the department's 4 regional directors (Instrument of Delegation No. 2023/D01 (PDF)External Link (staff login required)).

This allows the Minister for Education, and regional directors as delegates, to restrict new enrolments at a school by setting unique entry criteria. This could include, for example, limiting entry year enrolments to students who reside in-zone and to out-of-zone siblings.

In determining the need for such a restriction, the following factors are considered:

  • demand for places from within and outside the school’s zone
  • the school’s site and built capacity
  • sufficient accommodation
  • the effect on, and capacity at, surrounding schools.

The regional director will notify the school in writing if a restriction is being applied or modified. All restrictions are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they are still required.

Regional offices can recommend and work in partnership with schools to develop enrolment management implementation plans. Schools may also request an enrolment management implementation plan.

Schools seeking more advice or support in developing or implementing an enrolment management implementation plan should contact their regional office.


Determining permanent residence

Determining permanent residence

Every child is guaranteed a place at their designated neighbourhood school (or local school). Families may seek enrolment for their child at a school that is not their local school and should be enrolled if that school has sufficient accommodation. Refer to the Placement Policy for more information.

To support each child’s right to attend their local school, and to make sure the priority order of placement is followed, schools may need to verify a child’s permanent residence. This can occur for both in-zone and out-of-zone children, either before an offer of enrolment or placement is made, or as a condition of the offer.

It is important to consider a child’s personal circumstances when making determinations about their permanent residence. The welfare and education of children should not be disadvantaged because of their inability to provide evidence of address.

Meaning of ‘permanent residence’

A child’s permanent residence is the address at which they permanently reside at the time of seeking enrolment.

If a child resides at multiple addresses, their permanent residence is the address at which they spend the majority of their weekdays.

If a child spends an equal amount of time at 2 addresses, both addresses are considered their permanent address and the child can be enrolled in the local school for either address. The final choice of which school the child attends rests with the parents/carers or prospective student if they are an adult or mature minor for the purpose of making enrolment decisions.

Evidence for demonstrating permanent residence

When assessing enrolment applications, schools may request that parents/carers provide supporting documentation to assist them in verifying a child’s permanent residence. Supporting documentation may include original or certified copies of rental agreements, unconditional contracts of sale or other official documentation that demonstrates permanent residence.

To obtain sufficient supporting documentation, schools may ask parents/carers to complete a Residential address check (PDF)External Link . The residential address check is intended as guidance only and schools have discretion to accept less than 100-points of information as outlined in the checklist. Documents should show the same address and parent’s/carer’s name as recorded on the school enrolment application form.

Schools may also ask parents/carers to complete a statutory declaration confirming they are living at the address and that the arrangement is genuine and intended to be permanent. It is a criminal offence to make a false statutory declaration and, if made on purpose, the person making the statutory declaration is liable to penalties of perjury (refer to Statutory declarationsExternal Link ). In the event a school receives a statutory declaration and is unsure about its validity, school staff should consult with their regional office.

Requests for additional supporting documentation may occur after the parent has submitted an enrolment application, if deemed necessary by the school. Information to parents/carers should clearly explain that the documentation is required to confirm the child’s eligibility to enrol at the school. The school should also clearly communicate to parents/carers that the enrolment application may not be accepted if the requested documentation is not provided.

If it comes to light that the address provided on the application form was not the child’s genuine permanent residence, a school may withdraw an enrolment or placement offer under certain conditions (refer to the section below on 'Withdrawal of an enrolment or placement offer'). The regional office should be informed before an enrolment or placement offer is withdrawn.

Duration of rental agreements

If a school has concerns about the duration of a rental agreement being provided as proof of permanent address, the school should consult with the family to ensure that reasonable consideration has been given to the family’s living circumstances. For example, it is not acceptable to disregard a rental agreement that is shorter than 12 months from the time of submitting the enrolment application if this accurately reflects a family’s residential circumstances.

If a rental agreement does not cover the first day of attendance, a school may seek further information closer to enrolment. Schools can make the enrolment conditional on providing a renewed rental agreement before the first day of school and may withdraw an enrolment or placement offer under certain conditions (refer to 'Withdrawal of an enrolment or placement offer').

Determining permanent residence as a condition of enrolment or placement offer

If you are making an enrolment or placement offer that is conditional on the parent/carer satisfying determining permanent residence requirements, this should be made explicit in both the initial letter of offer and in any subsequent communication.

Inability to provide evidence of permanent residence

Schools should ensure enrolment practices do not unfairly disadvantage families of children who are unable to provide proof of permanent address because of their individual circumstances. This is particularly relevant to children experiencing homelessness, family violence or recently arrived immigrants or refugees. In these cases, school staff should seek advice from their regional office before rejecting an enrolment application on the basis that the family of the child is unable to provide proof of permanent residence.

Note: Department policy does not prohibit schools listing the address of a specialist service, crisis or other temporary accommodation, or school address if required, for a child or young person experiencing family violence, to protect the child or young person from harm.

Verification of permanent residence

Schools can make reasonable enquiries to verify permanent address information provided by parents/carers, such as:

  • checking the electoral roll at an Australian Electoral Commission office or the Victorian Electoral Commission head office
  • checking with a real estate agent
  • for a rental property which is a studio apartment or a one-bedroom unit, checking whether there are any regulations/codes limiting the occupancy of these apartments to one person per apartment.

Schools should remember that multiple families may live together in one residence. School staff should be understanding of these arrangements when verifying permanent residence.

To satisfy privacy law requirements, schools should ensure parents/carers applying for enrolment are aware of the enquiries the school may make to verify the information provided about a child’s permanent residence. Schools must not undertake home inspections or surveillance to verify permanent residence.

If the principal does not accept that the address provided on the enrolment application form (and any other supporting documentation) is the genuine permanent residence of the child, the school may reject the application if it does not have sufficient accommodation for all who apply, in line with the Placement Policy.

Withdrawal of an enrolment or placement offer

There are some circumstances in which schools can withdraw an enrolment or placement offer.

If, after an enrolment or placement offer is made, the child’s permanent residence changes or it comes to light that the address provided on the application form was not the genuine permanent residence of the child, a school may withdraw an enrolment or placement offer in the following circumstances:

  • where, after the priority order of placement is applied to the correct address, a place is not available for the child
  • the new address is not within the school zone
  • the enrolment or placement offer and any subsequent material provided to the child and their parent/carer expressly states that the offer may be withdrawn prior to the first day of attendance if the child’s permanent place of residence changes or the school becomes aware that the address provided on the application form was not the genuine permanent residence for the child.

Prior to withdrawing an offer of enrolment, school staff must consult with the regional office. School staff should also consider any safety or wellbeing issues related to the child.

If the regional office is supportive of the school withdrawing the enrolment or placement offer, the school should issue written communication to the parent/carer noting the outcome and ensure the parent/carer is aware that they may appeal this decision (refer to Appealing enrolment decisions).

Template wording for communication of enrolment or placement offers

Sample wording (DOCX)External Link (staff login required) is available to assist schools to communicate enrolment or placement offers in circumstances where enrolment or placement may be withdrawn if certain conditions are not met.


Appealing enrolment decisions

Appealing enrolment decisions

Parents and carers are able to appeal against a school’s decision not to provide a placement. This can occur in relation to enrolments at Foundation, placements at Year 7, or placements at other year levels.

Appealing a Foundation enrolment or Year 7 placement decision

In the case of appeals regarding Foundation enrolment or Year 7 placement decisions, there is a set date by which time the school must respond to parents/carers lodging an appeal, usually 2 to 3 weeks after the appeals period closes.

Appeals are considered by the school’s placement or enrolment committee and/or principal, and the school’s decision will be communicated to the parent/carer in writing. In assessing the appeal, the school will check to ensure compliance with the priority order of placement, and the processes for verifying permanent address, as appropriate. Schools will assess and make a determination for appeals on compassionate grounds on a case-by-case basis.

If the appeal at the school level is unsuccessful and parents/carers are not satisfied that the school has correctly applied the Placement Policy or adequately considered their circumstances, they are able to escalate the appeal to the relevant regional director, by lodging an appeal in writing. Appeals to the regional director must be lodged by the set closing date (as advised in the statewide timeline documents for Foundation enrolment and Year 7 placement).

Appeals to the regional director are considered by a panel of senior regional staff which then provides advice and a recommendation to the regional director who makes the final decision. This concludes the appeal process.

Appealing a placement at other year levels

In the first instance, parents or carers should lodge a written appeal with the school at which the student has been unsuccessful in gaining a placement.

If this appeal is unsuccessful and parents or carers are not satisfied that their appeal has been adequately considered, they are able to escalate the appeal to the relevant regional director.

For local government schools, appeals to the regional director are considered using the priority order of placement in the Placement Policy. For specialist schools, refer to Enrolment in specialist schools for more information.

Regional office contact details and locations are on the department’s website, visit: Office LocationsExternal Link


Application and enrolment forms

Application and enrolment forms

Please note: The enrolment form has changed since the beginning of the 2023 school year. All government schools must use the updated enrolment form available on this page. For further details, refer to: Enrolment form factsheet for schools (PDF)External Link (staff login required).

The department supports Victorian government schools to maintain a fair and transparent enrolment process by providing standardised application and enrolment forms.

Schools have the option to process enrolments in 2 stages:

  • Stage 1: Application form (optional) – captures enrolment enquiries or expressions of interest from parents/carers
  • Stage 2: Enrolment form (required) – captures detailed student information once there is a confirmed placement offer from the school

Schools can choose the enrolment process that works best for their school and community.

If selecting a 2-stage process, it is strongly recommended that schools use the department’s application form.

Schools must use the department’s enrolment form when enrolling students new to the Victorian government school system. Where schools have an online enrolment process, the questions must align with the department’s form.

Application form

The application form supports parents/carers of eligible students to apply for a place at a government school. It is intended to be used before an enrolment form is completed, and may be used for any year level apart from Year 6 to 7 placement, which has its own form and process.

Information collected in the form allows schools to assess the application in line with the Placement Policy. Schools may request parents/carers provide supporting documentation to confirm a student’s address. When assessing an application, schools may make enquiries to verify the information provided.

Schools may choose whether to have an application stage in their enrolment process. If selecting a 2-stage process, it is strongly recommended that schools use the department’s application form. Specialist schools or schools with specific entry criteria approved by the minister (or delegate) will have additional requirements that may be incorporated into their application form.

The application form is available below and on the CASES21 Portal:

Optional template outcome emails are available to support schools to respond to applications:

International students

The application form can be used for international students unless they hold a subclass 500 student visa (a student visa in their own name).

A new international student application must be submitted for subclass 500 visa holders at International Student ProgramExternal Link . The International Education Division will formalise the enrolment of these students through the International Student Program.

For further information, please contact the International Education Division at international@education.vic.gov.au or via phone on +61 3 9084 8497.

Enrolment form

Enrolment forms must be completed for all students enrolling for the first time in the Victorian government school system. Most commonly, this would occur at Foundation (Prep) enrolment.

An enrolment form is not required for students transferring between Victorian government schools. Refer to: Student transfers between schools.

Parents/carers complete the enrolment form when all of the following apply:

  • enrolling a child for the first time in the Victorian government school system
  • the selected school has confirmed a place is available
  • they intend to send their child to the selected school.

The enrolment form is available below and on the CASES21 Portal:

Information collected in the enrolment form aligns with school data collection requirements, including mandatory CASES21 data.

No amendments should be made to the enrolment form.

Declaration

A signature from the following applicable people will be required to complete the enrolment form:

  • the parents as set out on the child’s birth certificate or as described in a court order
  • an informal carer with a statutory declaration, or other authorised carer with relevant documentation (refer to Decision Making Responsibilities for Students for information about carers and a copy of the applicable statutory declaration)
  • the student, if they are living independently.

The signature of one parent on an enrolment form should be accepted where:

  • there is only one parent or carer with legal responsibility for the child
  • parents are completing separate enrolment forms
  • one parent declares they have completed and signed the form on behalf of both parents, and contact details for the other parent have been provided in the form for the school’s use
  • one parent has completed and signed the form and the contact details for the other parent are unknown to the enrolling parent and the school.

In all other circumstances, the signature of only one parent on an enrolment form will generally be considered incomplete documentation and principals must follow the steps set out in the Incomplete or missing student information or documentationExternal Link section in the next chapter.

When parents are not in agreement about the enrolment application, 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
  • realise that a resolution, satisfactory to both parents, may not be possible.

Schools should contact Legal Division for further advice as required, including where there are safety concerns about contacting a parent to seek consent to enrol.

Privacy collection notice

Schools must provide new families with the department’s privacy collection noticeExternal Link and keep all information securely. Enrolment forms and supporting documentation must be managed in accordance with the department’s privacy policies and Victorian privacy laws. Refer to Privacy and Information Sharing for further information.

Records management

Under the Records Management – School Records Policy, schools must retain all application and enrolment forms for 7 years, or for the duration of the student’s enrolment – whichever is longest. Both forms are used to inform enrolment decisions, which may be subject to appeal.

Digital enrolment forms

The enrolment form is now available as a fillable PDF. Schools may continue to provide a hard copy of the form to parents/carers as needed. Where schools have established an online enrolment process based on the previous enrolment form, this will need to be updated to align with the content of the revised form.

Given the personal and health information collected, schools are required to store the enrolment form and supporting documentation in a secure digital format using one of the following options:

  • existing student administration system (for example, Compass, Sentral).
  • encrypted PDF via email
  • new software platform with enrolment functionality (for example, Digistorm).

A privacy impact assessment is required for new systems or when the purpose of existing systems is expanded to include the enrolment process. For further information refer to the PAL guidance on Privacy impact assessments.

Platforms such as Google or O365 should not be used, as they are provided for collaboration and not secure storage of student records. This type of platform can pose a risk of inappropriate access and disclosure of the personal and health information of students.

Identity documents, custody orders and other sensitive documents must 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.

Schools should contact the Privacy team for advice and support to ensure they meet privacy law requirements by email: privacy@education.vic.gov.au or phone: 03 8688 7967.

Sample website wording

Schools should provide consistent and transparent enrolment information to their community.

Schools with restricted zones, enrolment management plans or specific entry criteria set by the minister (or delegate) will need to adjust sample wording accordingly.

If using an application form and enrolment form

Enrolment

If you are interested in enrolling at our school, please complete the Application Form {linked} and send to [insert school email address]. If you require a paper form, please contact the school office on [insert phone number].

An enrolment form will be provided when placement is offered.

Our school follows the Department of Education’s Enrolment Policy for the enrolment, placement, and transfer of students.

Students who live within the school zone are guaranteed a place at our school. To find out whether you live in zone, visit findmyschool.vic.gov.au

All other applications will be considered subject to available space, and prioritised according to:

  1. students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time
  2. all other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.

If using an enrolment form only (required at a minimum)

Enrolment

If you are interested in enrolling at our school, please request an Enrolment Form from our school office at [insert school email address] or [insert phone number].

Our school follows the Department of Education’s Enrolment Policy for the enrolment, placement, and transfer of students.

Students who live within the school zone are guaranteed a place at our school. To find out whether you live in zone, visit findmyschool.vic.gov.au

All other applications will be considered subject to available space, and prioritised according to:

  1. students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time
  2. all other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.

For information on how to process the enrolment form, please refer to: Processing enrolment forms and supporting documentation.


Processing enrolment forms and supporting documentation

Processing enrolment forms and supporting documentation

For information and links to the application and enrolment forms, please refer to: Application and enrolment forms.

School enrolment involves the collection of personal information about the student and their family. This process requires parents/carers to complete an enrolment form with supporting documentation which is to be returned and processed by the school. All data is uploaded onto CASES21 as the department’s official system for recording student information. Enrolment data is also updated periodically in CASES21 when a student's circumstances change or during a school transfer.

Schools must:

  • enrol eligible students who are new to the Victorian government school system under the name contained in their supporting documentation (primarily their birth certificate)
  • sight and, where required, keep copies of specific supporting documentation
  • verify changes to student enrolment names
  • maintain and update student details obtained on enrolment
  • provide new families with the privacy collection notice and keep all information securely and managed in accordance with the department’s privacy policiesExternal Link and Victorian privacy laws.

Evidence and supporting documentation required for admission

When processing enrolment forms, schools must sight and retain a copy of the following supporting documentation:

  • date of birth
  • an Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register
  • Australian residency and other visa documentation (only if applicable)
  • court orders or care arrangement documents (only if applicable).

When processing enrolment forms, schools may request:

  • evidence for demonstrating permanent residential address, refer to Determining permanent residence
  • health support forms. This may include a Medication Authority Form, an Asthma Action Plan, ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis or other forms relevant to a student’s medical condition as diagnosed and treated by a medical practitioner. Please note that students with health care needs can still be enrolled without provision of these forms, but schools must continue to request required forms until they are received. For more information please refer to Health Care Needs, Medication, and Anaphylaxis.

Specialist school enrolments are subject to additional evidence requirements. Refer to Enrolment in specialist schools for more information.

Evidence of student's name and date of birth

Schools must 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 may include a passport, citizenship documents, Australian 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.

Immunisation history statements – primary students

Prior to commencing primary school, children should have received their childhood vaccinations as per the National Immunisation Program Schedule. The National Immunisation Program Schedule is prescribed by the Australian Government and seeks to protect children from vaccine preventable diseases that can cause serious illness, and sometimes death.

For each enrolled child, primary schools are required to:

  • request parents/carers provide a copy of the Immunisation History Statement for their child from the Australian Immunisation Register
  • take a copy of all Immunisation History Statements
  • record information on their immunisation status of each enrolled child.

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

Collecting Immunisation History Statements will assist health authorities in protecting students in the event of a vaccine-preventable disease occurrence at the school.

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019, an unvaccinated student may be excluded from school for a period of time in accordance with the department’s Immunisation Policy. However, prospective students should not be prevented from enrolling in primary school if they have not been immunised.

For more information on immunisation in primary and secondary schools, refer to Immunisation and the Department of Health fact sheet Starting primary school (PDF)External Link .

Records management

Schools must manage evidence and supporting documentation supplied for enrolment purposes in line with the Records Management – School Records Policy. Some document types (for example, court orders) have different retention periods. For more information, refer to the School records retention guide (XLSX)External Link (staff login required).

Incomplete or missing student information or documentation

This section outlines the steps available when student information or documentation is incomplete.

Step 1

The principal may defer admission of a student for up to 5 days, provided that they:

  • request that the parents/carers provide the missing information or documentation
  • advise the parents/carers they are legally responsible for ensuring a child of school age attends school.

Step 2

The principal may enrol the student:

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

This requires the principal to:

  • record a notation on the student’s enrolment about the missing information
  • where practicable, advise both parents/carers in writing that the enrolment has been accepted but that the enrolment will record that relevant information or documentation is missing.

Where further delay in enrolment is unlikely to affect the student’s education and wellbeing, the principal may decline the enrolment application and where practicable advise both parents/carers in writing of this decision.

Processing and maintaining enrolment information

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:
    • reviewed and confirmed by the parent/carer before students transfer
    • updated when schools are informed of changes to student information
    • reviewed half yearly, specifically parent/carer contact information. Refer to CASES21 Administration User GuideExternal Link for guidance including processes for generating the Student Enrolment Information Form and Student Information Full Details Report)
    • revised annually for state and Commonwealth reporting.
  3. Records are retained and disposed of in accordance with the School Records Retention and Disposal Authority. Refer to Records Management – School Records Policy

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 the 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/carers 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/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.

Changing enrolment name

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

  • new legal documentation with an amended name 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 enrolment.

Victorian Student Number

A Victorian Student Number (VSN) is allocated to students who are new to the Victorian government school system, in the name certified in enrolment documents. When students transfer between schools, the name will remain the same as that attached to the VSN unless new legal documentation with an amended name is provided. For more information on student numbers, visit the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA)External Link .

Maintaining and using immunisation records – primary students

Schools are responsible for requesting and maintaining immunisation records for primary school students. Schools must:

  1. request 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. Where relevant, instruct parents /carers of students not immunised to keep their children at home for the recommended period, as outlined in the Department of Health’s School exclusion table (refer to Immunisation).

Under the ‘No Jab No Play’ legislation, 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 is not sufficient evidence to meet this requirement. Please note that students can still be enrolled without provision of the Immunisation History Statement. 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 to 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.

Student Family Occupation and Education (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.

Foundation (Prep) enrolment

Foundation (Prep) enrolment

Please note: an updated Foundation enrolment timeline for 2025 enrolments was released to schools in Term 4, 2023. All Victorian government primary schools, including P–9 and P–12 schools, are required to implement the timeline in 2024 to support Foundation enrolments for the 2025 school year. Enrolment information packs for schools, the early childhood sector and parents and carers will be available in late Term 1, 2024.

Statewide timeline to manage Foundation (Prep) enrolments for the 2025 school year

Each year, the department releases the statewide Foundation (Prep) enrolment timeline to Victorian government primary schools in mid-late Term 4. The timeline includes key dates, activity descriptions and an overview of responsibilities to help schools plan for their Foundation enrolments.

Primary schools are required to implement the timeline in 2024 to support Foundation enrolments for the 2025 school year. The statewide timeline does not apply to primary schools exempt from the Placement Policy, such as specialist schools.

Key dates and activities for schools in the 2024–25 timeline include the following:

  • Schools can receive enrolment applications from parents and carers from the start of Term 2, 2024. This follows the release of 2025 zones on the department’s Find my School websiteExternal Link and the publication of Foundation enrolment information packs.
  • Enrolment applications from parents and carers are to be submitted by Friday 26 July 2024.
  • Schools notify parents and carers of the outcome of enrolment applications between Monday 29 July and Friday 9 August 2024.
  • Written appeals from parents and carers are to be lodged with schools by Friday 23 August 2024.
  • Schools notify parents and carers in writing of the outcome of appeals by Friday 6 September 2024.

The enrolment information pack for parents and carers, which will be available to download from the Enrolling in Foundation (Prep) pageExternal Link in late Term 1, 2024, will contain the application form. From the start of Term 2, 2024, parents and carers can use the application form in the enrolment information pack to complete their enrolment application.

Schools may provide parents and carers with the enrolment form instead of the application form to complete their enrolment application, in accordance with the Enrolment Policy: Application and enrolment forms page.

Primary schools with an Enrolment Management Implementation Plan (EMIP) in place for the 2024 school year, or under enrolment pressure, are strongly encouraged to provide parents and carers with an application form.

For further guidance on which forms to use and to download these forms, please refer to the Enrolment Policy: Application and enrolment forms page.

Schools must continue to manage enrolment applications submitted after the application due date of 26 July 2024 and process these as they are received. Schools must consider all enrolment applications in accordance with the department’s Placement Policy.

What schools need to do

To ensure that your school manages Foundation enrolments for 2025 in accordance with the statewide timeline, schools must:

  • download and read the timeline and procedures for 2024–25 and share it with relevant teaching and administration staff, as well as the business manager: Statewide Foundation enrolment timeline and procedures for 2024–25 (DOCX)External Link (staff login required)
  • download and read the enrolment information pack for schools, which provides guidance and templates on the enrolment process – note: this pack will be released in late Term 1, 2024
  • update your school’s website using the template website content provided below, and remove any outdated information regarding enrolment dates and activities for enrolment into Foundation for the 2025 school year: Template website content (DOCX)External Link (staff login required)
  • direct parents and carers of children commencing Foundation in 2025 to the Victorian Government’s Enrolling in Foundation (Prep) pageExternal Link for information and resources on when and how to apply to enrol their child in primary school.

Enrolment information packs

As part of the department’s annual release of enrolment information, the packs for schools, parents and carers and the early childhood sector will be available in late Term 1, 2024.

The Foundation enrolment information pack for schools will include:

  • guidance for schools on the Foundation enrolment process, including frequently asked questions
  • optional resources that schools can use to communicate about the timeline with prospective families and the local community
  • forms and standard templates that schools must use for enrolments and appeals, such as template letters for schools to notify parents and carers of the outcome of their enrolment application.

The enrolment information packs for parents and carers and the early childhood sector will be publicly available via the Enrolling in Foundation (Prep) pageExternal Link in late Term 1, 2024.


Year 6 to 7 placement

Year 6 to 7 placement

Year 7 application process – annual placement information packs

Each year, the department releases Year 6 to 7 placement information for schools and parents/carers. Information packs are available by the beginning of Term 2 for students commencing Year 7 the following year.

Year 6 to 7 placement information packs: Guidance for government schools

To ensure all Year 6 students are placed in a secondary school for Year 7, primary and secondary schools must:

  • download the Year 6 to 7 placement information pack 2024 to 2025: Guidance for all government schools when available
  • follow the procedures and meet the deadlines as outlined in the Year 6 to 7 placement information pack
  • complete the Student Data Transfer process through CASES21.

The department’s Placement Policy must be applied in the placement of students in Year 7.

Year 6 to 7 placement information packs: Guidance for parents and carers

To assist parents/carers of students moving to a government school in Year 7 in 2025, the department develops information packs with guidance to support effective placement.

Parent/carer information packs will be available to download from Moving from primary to secondary schoolExternal Link from the end of Term 1, 2024.

From the first week of Term 2, 2024, primary schools should distribute the parent/carer placement information pack to all Year 6 families. The pack will include the Application for Year 7 Placement form.

Further information for families will be available at: Moving from primary to secondary school: information for parentsExternal Link .

Placement timeline for 2024 to 2025

The Statewide placement timeline for 2024 to 2025 (DOCX)External Link (staff login required) for Victorian government schools has been developed to assist all government primary and secondary schools with the placement of students in Year 7.

This timeline includes activity descriptions and an overview of responsibilities to assist school staff with key dates.


Student transfers between schools

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 (for example, 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 FormExternal Link 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
  • the student residence changes and is now closer to a different government school (where requested)
  • transfer is sought from an Australian school outside the state system
  • 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
  • transfer is requested (other than in those instances cited above) by a parent/carer and the principal of each school involved supports the request
  • 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).

For parents or carers seeking to transfer a student to a specialist school, the transferring school must first determine the student’s enrolment eligibility status with the receiving specialist school before approving the transfer. Refer to Enrolment in specialist schools for more information about verifying specialist school enrolment eligibility.

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 CASES21 Administration User Guide – Chapter 24 – Student Data TransferExternal Link (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 Victorian government schools, schools should 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 and for any other purpose as outlined in the Schools’ Privacy Policy — refer to Privacy and Information Sharing.

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.

More information and support about using the new Information Sharing Schemes is available at Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Schemes.

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 process

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 Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Schemes for information about these schemes.

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 fact sheets refer to: Transferring Student Data InterstateExternal Link .

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). The Student Enrolment Information Form can also be generated from CASES21 if required.
  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/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

Refer to: Decision Making Responsibilities for Students

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.


Enrolment in specialist schools and other specialist education settings

Enrolment in specialist schools and other specialist education settings

In Victoria, all students with disability have a legislated right to enrol at their designated neighbourhood school and may be enrolled at another neighbourhood school subject to sufficient accommodation. Refer to the Placement Policy for more information.

In addition to neighbourhood schools, there are a range of government specialist schools and education settings available for students with specific disability and high needs. These settings include specialist schools, specialist campuses and supported inclusion schools.

Each specialist setting has specific enrolment eligibility criteria that are approved by the Minister for Education or their delegates (typically the department’s regional directors). Specialist settings must have a local enrolment policy that lists these enrolment eligibility criteria and must publish it in a visible and publicly accessible location, for example, on their school website or other public platform.

Local enrolment policy templates for specialist schools and for supported inclusion schools are available on the School Policy Templates Portal at: Enrolment – specialist schools and supported inclusion schoolsExternal Link (staff login required).

For specialist schools and campuses, the local enrolment policy sets out the specific eligibility criteria under which students are eligible to enrol, subject to sufficient accommodation. Supported inclusion schools also have local enrolment policies that allow them to prioritise enrolment of students with disability who live outside the school zone, provided they meet the school’s specialist enrolment criteria.

Determining enrolment eligibility for specialist settings

In order to make an offer of enrolment, the specialist setting must establish that the prospective student's disability category meets the enrolment criteria in the specialist setting's local enrolment policy using one of the following 2 options:

  • current Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD)External Link eligibility, including current assessments, under the disability category outlined in the specialist setting’s enrolment criteria
  • a disability category verification request with an outcome of ‘verified’, under the disability category outlined in the specialist setting’s enrolment criteria (refer to 'Submitting a disability category verification request' below).

Where students are transferring from one specialist setting to another specialist setting with the same enrolment criteria, new assessments or other supporting evidence may not be necessary. The regional disability coordinator can support specialist settings in determining whether a new assessment or new disability category verification request, or both, are required. Considerations may include the student’s age and stage of schooling, enrolment criteria of the originating setting, timing of upcoming reviews and other relevant information (refer to 'Reviewing enrolment for current students in specialist settings' below).

Specialist settings with additional school specific enrolment criteria (for example, single-mode intellectual disability schools with specific IQ requirements) must also verify the student’s eligibility for these additional criteria in conjunction with regional disability coordinators.

Specialist settings must also consider any other enrolment considerations referenced in their enrolment policy, such as the student's age, when determining enrolment eligibility.

For students who do not meet the setting’s enrolment criteria, refer to 'Students who do not meet a specialist setting’s enrolment criteria' below.

Priority order of placement

In circumstances where a specialist setting may not have sufficient accommodation to be able to accept all applications from eligible students, the setting will manage enrolment applications in accordance with the priority order of placement in their local enrolment policy.

For specialist schools, the following priority order of placement is outlined in the specialist school enrolment policy template:

  1. students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time
  2. all other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.

The specialist school must ensure that all students eligible under the first criterion have been offered a place before moving to consideration of the second criterion.

Supported inclusion schools should refer to their local enrolment policy and the Supported inclusion school enrolment policy templateExternal Link (staff login required).

Enrolment on compassionate grounds

In exceptional circumstances, a student who meets the enrolment criteria may be approved by the relevant regional director outside of the priority order of placement, based on compassionate grounds. This is an overarching consideration and does not form part of the priority order of placement. Further advice and support is available in the Exceptional circumstances – compassionate groundsExternal Link section of the Placement Policy and from regional staff.

Submitting a disability category verification request

The department has established a Specialist School Enrolment Verification Service to enable specialist settings to verify a student’s disability category. The disability categories verified by the service are outlined in Appendix B of the specialist school disability verification request form (DOCX)External Link (staff login required).

Any Victorian government school can submit a disability category verification request on behalf of a student. For students already enrolled in a Victorian government school, the student’s existing school is responsible for submitting the request. If the student is not currently attending a Victorian government school, the student’s intended specialist setting is responsible for submitting the request.

Requests for prospective Foundation students can be submitted from 1 September of the year prior to the student enrolling in a Victorian government school. Requests for students currently attending a Victorian government school can be submitted at any time. Assessments are required to be current at the time of submission of the request as listed in the setting’s enrolment policy.

To submit a disability category verification request, the submitting school must:

  • consult with all involved schools
  • complete the specialist school disability verification request form (DOCX)External Link (staff login required)
  • collate all supporting documentation for the disability category or categories to be considered in the request (see Appendix B of the request form)
  • provide parents/carers with the privacy statement (see Appendix A of the request form) and seek their signature(s).

The submitting school must email the request form and all supporting documentation to the department’s verification service provider using the email address on the request form.

Request outcome

Once submitted, the supporting documentation is evaluated against the evidence required for the relevant disability category or categories. The outcome will be emailed to the submitting school and regional disability coordinator within 7 working days of submitting a completed request.

An outcome can be ‘verified’ or ‘not verified’ against the disability category considered in the request. The student’s existing school, relevant specialist settings and regional teams must use this outcome to support local enrolment decisions.

Appealing enrolment decisions

Students who meet a specialist setting’s enrolment criteria

Parents/carers can appeal against the decision not to approve an enrolment in a specialist setting. This can occur in relation to enrolments at any age or year level. Parents/carers seeking to appeal an enrolment decision should lodge a written appeal with the specialist setting. After an appeal is lodged, the department will contact parents/carers with further information.

Appeals are considered with reference to a specialist setting's local enrolment criteria and other local factors, such as sufficient accommodation.

Students who do not meet a specialist setting’s enrolment criteria

If a student does not meet the specialist setting’s enrolment criteria, the parents/carers can appeal the decision not to approve the enrolment of the student. If parents/carers want to appeal the enrolment decision, the specialist setting must work with the parents/carers to complete a non-standard enrolment appeal application. Non-standard enrolment appeal applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, including when:

  • there are no locally available specialist settings with enrolment criteria that align with a student’s disability diagnosis, but the student’s functional needs at that time could be met on a temporary basis by a locally available specialist setting with different enrolment criteria
  • a student has not or has not yet received a disability diagnosis (for example, due to difficulty accessing medical assessment services), but evidence indicates the student’s functional needs at that time could be met on a temporary basis by a locally available specialist setting.

All non-standard enrolments appeal applications must be approved by the relevant regional director or their delegate, considering evidence and supporting documentation outlining the student’s education and support needs. This may include input from the principal of the specialist setting, the student’s family and the regional disability coordinator.

Non-standard enrolments are temporary and are reviewed periodically to ensure that the student is enrolled in the most appropriate educational setting for their needs. Where it is deemed that the student’s education is best supported in another education setting, the specialist setting and regional staff must work with the family to identify suitable alternative education settings.

Non-standard enrolment appeal application process

If parents/carers express that they want to appeal an enrolment decision on the basis that the student does not meet the enrolment criteria, the specialist setting must work with the parents/carers to complete the non-standard enrolment application form (DOCX)External Link (staff login required).

The purpose of the non-standard enrolment application form is to enable specialist settings and families to provide information about the prospective non-standard enrolment. Principals also use the form to make a recommendation about whether they support the application. In making this recommendation, the principal may consider factors such as whether:

  • the specialist setting is an appropriate temporary environment for the prospective student at that time
  • more appropriate education settings are locally available
  • the specialist setting has sufficient accommodation to accept additional enrolments.

Principals are strongly encouraged to discuss non-standard enrolment applications with their regional disability coordinator before submitting the application form. Once completed, specialist settings must email the form to their regional office, with their regional disability coordinator included as a recipient. Email addresses for each regional office are listed within the application form.

Non-standard enrolment appeal application approval

The regional director or their delegate determines whether to approve the appeal application in light of the evidence and principal recommendation, and considering the student's individual circumstances, including whether the student's education is best supported in that particular specialist setting.

The regional office will communicate their decision to the specialist setting in writing. Following this, the specialist setting must communicate the regional office’s decision to the parents/carers in writing, using the letter template provided to them by the region. The specialist setting may update this letter template with additional information relevant to the student’s circumstances if required.

If the application is approved, the student is enrolled in the specialist setting for the enrolment period specified by the regional office. Specialist settings must review non-standard enrolments before the approved enrolment periods ends. If the application is not approved, the regional office will support the prospective student to enrol in another setting or remain at their existing setting.

Reviewing non-standard enrolments

Specialist settings must review non-standard enrolments before the end of the approved enrolment period specified by the regional office in their letter of approval.

In the first instance, the specialist setting (via the student’s student support group) must meet to review the non-standard enrolment (including transition support options) and decide whether to recommend transition to another setting. If the specialist setting (in conjunction with the student support group) recommends that a student transitions to another setting, the specialist setting must complete a transition plan and provide a copy to their regional disability coordinator (refer to Student transfers between schools).

If the specialist setting recommends extending the non-standard enrolment, they must submit their recommendation to the regional office via their regional disability coordinator using the non-standard enrolment application form (DOCX)External Link (staff login required). The regional office will communicate their decision to the specialist setting in writing before the end of the approved enrolment period. The specialist setting must communicate the regional office’s decision to the parents/carers in writing.

If the recommendation to extend the non-standard enrolment is approved, the regional office will confirm a new enrolment period. If the recommendation is not approved, the specialist setting must support the student’s transition to another setting.

Reviewing enrolment for current students in specialist settings

Specialist settings are required to undertake periodic reviews of the enrolment eligibility of all enrolled students to determine whether they continue to be best placed in their current setting, including whether they continue to meet any relevant enrolment criteria. This excludes students who receive PSD funding at levels 5 or 6.

Specialist settings are strongly encouraged to undertake at least one enrolment review for each enrolled student prior to their transition to secondary school, or age equivalent.

For specialist settings in Disability Inclusion areas, an enrolment review must be undertaken when the student is in year 6 or age equivalent, except where enrolment eligibility has been verified within the previous 2 years using the department’s Specialist School Enrolment Verification Service. In all other circumstances, it is recommended to align the timing of enrolment reviews with the following principles:

  • if an enrolment review has occurred more than 2 years prior, and the specialist setting is unsure if a review should proceed, they may discuss the circumstances with the regional disability coordinator
  • the timing of the review must consider recommendations from relevant professionals or the department’s Specialist School Enrolment Verification Service
  • if an enrolment review is deemed necessary, it is recommended that the review occur prior to the completion of a Disability Inclusion Profile to ensure the profile is undertaken in the correct setting.

For specialist settings that enrol students eligible under the PSD, enrolment reviews will continue to align with existing year 6 to 7 review and short-term review timelines (where applicable). Refer to Program for Students with Disabilities guidelinesExternal Link for operational guidance.

In circumstances where a review requires a re-assessment, the department provides an assessment service and a Specialist School Enrolment Verification Service (refer to 'Determining enrolment eligibility for specialist settings') to support specialist settings to determine whether a student meets their enrolment criteria. Department regional offices also play a role in supporting specialist settings with enrolment review processes.


Concurrent enrolment process (youth justice and secure welfare)

Concurrent enrolment process (youth justice and secure welfare)

The section below describes the administrative process when Victorian government schools transfer student information to a Parkville College campus, after the student enters youth justice custody or secure welfare and is concurrently enrolled.

  1. Update student details in CASES21, including the transfer date as the day after the last date the student attended classes prior to custody at their base school. All student information must be up-to-date prior to transfer.

Note: CASES21 automatically updates the Victorian Student Register (VSR). The two reports are available to select, view and print — Student Enrolment Information Form and Student Information Full Details Report. The student exit process in CASES21 is not part of this process.

  1. When the student’s data has been imported by Parkville College the base school must forward all Student Support Services and Department of Community Services documentation. This would include any uploaded documentation that relates to the students welfare, medical and well-being.

Note: Parents are required to provide the receiving school with:

  • evidence of the student's name and date of birth
  • passport or travel documentation for non-Australian born students
  • court Orders or written consent of both parents agreeing to admission; for separated parents
  1. Once the student has returned to the community, the student will be exited by Parkville College and maintain a single enrolment at their base school. Parkville College will advise the base school of the transition prior to the date. Where a student does not return to their base school, normal Department policy and procedures apply.

Temporary enrolments – emergency school closures

Temporary enrolments – emergency school closures

Where a student is unable to attend their school because of a flood-related closure, another government school (host school) that has capacity to accept the student’s enrolment on a temporary basis may do so. In these circumstances, the following arrangements apply:

  1. The principal of the host school must advise the principal of the student’s substantive school (base school).
  2. The base school must follow the CASES21 instructions: Transferring students from flood impacted schools (DOCX)External Link (staff login required) to enable the full transfer of student information (for example, emergency contacts, health and other risk information) to the host school for the duration of the temporary enrolment. Where possible, details for a key contact staff member at the student’s base school should be provided so that the host school can discuss any risk, duty of care or continuity of learning issues as needed.
    • If there are no staff members of the base school who are able to access CASES21 for the purposes of processing the transfer due to flood damage, please advise your senior education improvement leader (SEIL) who will work with the department’s CASES21 team to support the transfer.
  3. The host school should inform the regional office through the SEIL of any temporary enrolments and provide basic information about the students including the number of such enrolments and the names of their base schools.

Attendance records must be kept in CASES21 for the student at the host school and any unexplained absences during the temporary placement should be followed up for that student by the host school as would be the case for any other student. The data will transfer back to the base school through CASES21 once the student can return (when their school is reopened).


Resources

Resources

Forms and documents relating to enrolment in Victorian government schools

School zones

Find my SchoolExternal Link – a website for schools and families to determine designated neighbourhood schools and their zones across Victoria

Statewide Foundation enrolment timeline and procedures for 2024 to 2025

Schools must refer to the following resources to support implementation of the Foundation (Prep) enrolment timeline:

Statewide Year 6 to 7 placement timeline and procedures for 2024 to 2025

Schools should refer to the following resources for the Year 6 to Year 7 placement process:

International Students

Interstate transfers

CASES21

CASES21 administration user guideExternal Link (staff login required) – the CASES21 Portal is the home of all information relating to the CASES21 Application.

Student Family Occupation and Education Portal

Student Family Occupation Education (SFOE) PortalExternal Link (staff login required) – this portal provides further information and a search tool to help you find the SFO for a given occupation.

Supported Inclusion Schools Operational Manual

Supported Inclusion Schools Operational ManualExternal Link – A Supported Inclusion School is a mainstream school with additional professional capabilities and facilities designed to cater to a higher proportion of students with significant disability. Students with disability are provided enhanced support to receive high quality, evidence-based educational provision alongside mainstream students in a safe, accessible and supportive environment. The manual supports school principals and the department’s regional and central staff to implement the Supported Inclusion Schools model.

Designated bilingual program schools

  • Abbotsford Primary School – Chinese
  • Aurora School – Auslan
  • Bayswater South Primary School – German
  • Brunswick South Primary School – Italian
  • Camberwell Primary School – French
  • Caulfield Primary School – Japanese
  • Footscray Primary School – Italian
  • Furlong Park School for Deaf Children – Auslan
  • Gruyere Primary School – Japanese
  • Huntingdale Primary School – Japanese
  • Lalor North Primary School – Greek and Macedonian
  • Newlands Primary School – Spanish
  • Richmond West Primary School – Chinese and Vietnamese

Indigenous languages

Indigenous languages are offered at the following schools:

  • Boronia West Primary School
  • Bruthen Primary School
  • Buxton Primary School
  • Shepparton (Gowrie Street) Primary School
  • Healesville Primary School
  • Lakes Entrance Primary School
  • Mildura Primary School
  • Moe (Albert Street) Primary School
  • Paynesville Primary School
  • Sebastopol Primary School
  • Thornbury Primary School
  • Wooragee Primary School
  • Bright P–12 College
  • Heywood District Secondary College

Reviewed 06 March 2020