Fees and charges
Parent payments in Victorian government schools
Victorian legislation provides that instruction in the standard curriculum program must be provided free to all students in Victorian government schools. Free instruction includes the provision of learning and teaching activities, instructional supports, materials and resources, and administration and facilities associated with the standard curriculum program. Free instruction applies to VET programs. This is the case for both purchasing and auspicing arrangements.
Parents and carers can be asked to pay for essential education items including:
- items provided by the training provider which students take possession of including learning materials and log books
- materials for learning and teaching where your child consumes or takes possession of the finished articles (e.g. food produced in hospitality, items produced in furnishing and engineering, ownership of music or media items)
- uniform or trade appropriate clothing and equipment (e.g. work boots, protective clothing and tools or equipment such as knives, musical instruments etc.)
- travel costs incurred in the course of receiving the instruction from a teacher or other person (e.g. to TAFE)
- essential services associated with, but not considered to be part of, 'instruction' in the standard curriculum program, such as costs associated with camps and excursions which all students are expected to attend (e.g. work placements, site visits and trade expos)
Optional extras are those that are provided in addition to the ‘standard curriculum program’, and which are offered to all students. These optional extras are provided on a user-pays basis and if you choose to access them for your child you will be required to pay for them:
- instructional supports, resources and administration beyond the provision of the standard curriculum program (e.g. student computer printing for personal use, internet access for recreational or non-school use, and religious education materials)
- extra-curricular programs or activities offered in addition to the standard curriculum program (e.g. instrumental music tuition)
- entry fees for school run performances, productions and events
- materials for subjects where the payment sought is the difference between the basic materials or services required for the standard curriculum program and higher cost alternatives which may be more desirable (e.g. requesting payment for the use of mahogany in woodwork instead of the standard pine)
- materials and services offered in addition to the ‘standard curriculum program’ (e.g. school magazines or school photographs)
- school facilities and equipment not associated with provision of the ‘standard curriculum program’, and not otherwise provided for through the School Resources Package (e.g. student accident insurance, and hire/lease of equipment such as musical instruments or notebook computers)
Payment requests by schools must be clearly itemised within each category.
The RTO must not request any payments from students or parents for or in relation to the provision of a VET qualification and/or units of competency. Only schools may charge fees directly to students.
Once a student has left school, the school will not bear any responsibility for additional costs that may be incurred by the student, for example, printing of replacement certificates or statements of attainment.
Reviewed 01 May 2020