1. Introduction

The Department of Education and Training conducts a school census on 2 occasions in the school year. The first census occurs on the last school day in February, while the second (mid-year census) occurs on the first Friday in August.

Enrolment and other data are collected from each government school and used for planning, reporting and for allocating resources. Enrolments from the February census are the core input into the calculation of the Student Resource Package (SRP). Student background data submitted in the August census is used for calculating elements of the SRP for the following year.

Schools will receive funding through the SRP for students who meet the enrolment requirements, set out in the Enrolment Policy and the attendance criteria and funding criteria contained in these guidelines. The Enrolment Policy sets out requirements for entry into Victorian Government Schools, including admissions, enrolments, the placement of students and transfers between schools.

For details on age eligibility, including exceptions and exemptions from the maximum and minimum school age requirements and processes, refer to: Enrolment in a Victorian Government School Guidelines.

Principals must ensure that all students enrolled in their school are correctly classified on CASES21 as either SRP funded or non-SRP funded.

Each year, on the basis of a risk profile, a sample of schools is selected to verify or audit student enrolments. Principals must ensure that the school retains documentary evidence that demonstrates that each student included in census counts and classified as SRP funded meets the eligibility criteria in these guidelines.

A student should generally be counted where they meet attendance criteria and are enrolled and attends on census day.

Where a student transfers between schools on a short term basis, for example, a short foster care placement, the respective principals should negotiate an appropriate way to share funding across the two schools, while ensuring the student’s total FTE between both schools adds to no more than the student's workload (up to 1.0).

Principals who wish to negotiate how students who change schools in the days close to census day are counted should reach agreement and advise the Census Hotline accordingly.

If the principals cannot reach agreement, the documentary evidence held by both schools as to the validity of the student’s enrolment and the expected duration of the enrolment will be considered. The Department’s practice is to count students in the school at which they have a valid, regular, ongoing enrolment. The Department and the Enrolment Verifier will consider documentary evidence of valid enrolment and of attendance before and after census day in any review of where the student should be counted.

Introduction chapter for the Guidelines for counting students for school census

Reviewed 21 March 2022

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