School operations

Exemption from School Attendance and Enrolment


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that schools follow the correct process when authorising an exemption from attendance and enrolment.



Schools must follow the department’s exemption from school attendance and enrolment processes set out in the Exemption from attendance and enrolment guidelines.

Attending school every school day for the whole day enables students to participate in the school’s educational program as well as develop their social skills. Regular attendance enables the school to:

  • plan an organised educational program that is delivered in a consistent way and has continuity
  • facilitate shared student learning experiences that support the educational program
  • monitor student progress and adjust the educational program to meet student needs.

The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic)External Link allows exemptions from school attendance and enrolment to be granted in certain circumstances, where the student:

  • is a child who turns 6 (compulsory school age) while attending kindergarten
  • will be participating in approved education or training, or employment, or both, on a full time basis
  • is employed or seeking employment during school hours in the entertainment industry.

An exemption from school attendance and enrolment may also be granted where leaving school is in the best interests of the student.

All applications for exemptions are considered on a case by case basis, with the student's best interests as the guiding principle for decision-making. In making a decision, the potential benefits or negative consequences of granting the exemption to the student's educational progress, wellbeing and development are also considered.

Note: No exemption is required if a student is not of compulsory school age (6 to 17 years of age).

A student must continue attending school until an exemption is granted.

Exemptions can only be authorised by a regional director, or in some instances, the principal.

For information on the various school attendance and enrolment exemption categories, and the application and approval process required for each exemption category, refer to the Guidance tab.


Schools may contact their regional office for help or questions related to exemptions from school attendance or enrolment.

Refer to Office locationsExternal Link for contact details for each regional office.

Relevant legislation

Department policy outlining the correct process for authorising an exemption from student attendance and enrolment

Reviewed 24 January 2024

Policy last updated

7 September 2023


  • Schools


Wellbeing, Health and Engagement Division There are multiple contacts for this topic. Refer to the Contacts section in the policy for details.

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