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Course progress – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Version number 2.2 | Version effective 23 December 2021
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Course progress – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Audience

Education Queensland International staff (EQI staff), school staff, Overseas students, EQI homestay providers, parents/Department of Home Affairs (DHA) approved guardians of Overseas students and their agents.

Purpose

This procedure outlines the roles and responsibilities of EQI and schools and the steps they follow to manage Overseas student course progress, including:

  • monitor Overseas student course progress
  • provide intervention to assist Overseas students who are at risk of not meeting course progress requirements
  • escalate to EQI where an Overseas student is at risk of not meeting course progress requirements
  • cancel an Overseas student’s enrolment and report them to the Australian Government for unsatisfactory course progress.

Overview

Schools assess and report on Overseas students’ academic performance in the same manner as all other state school students. However, the thresholds for intervention and consequences for breaching course progress requirements are different for Overseas students enrolled in an EQI course. This is because:

  • maintaining satisfactory course progress is a student visa condition
  • Australian law requires EQI to be proactive in notifying and counselling Overseas students who are at risk of failing to meet course progress requirements
  • EQI is required by law to report Overseas students who have breached course progress requirements.  

If EQI decides to cancel an Overseas student’s enrolment, the decision will not take effect until the internal appeals process is completed, unless the Overseas student’s health or wellbeing, or the wellbeing of others is likely to be at risk.

Satisfactory course progress requirements for Overseas students are detailed in International Student Programs (ISP) entry and course requirements standards. Course progress requirements, including the length of the study period, vary depending on the program which the Overseas student is enrolled. School staff inform Overseas students of these requirements as outlined in the Student orientation – Subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure including:

School reports are provided to Overseas students, parents and DHA approved relatives at least each school semester as outlined in the P-12 curriculum, assessment and reporting framework.

Schools regularly monitor Overseas students’ academic performance and support Overseas students to achieve the expected learning outcomes of their course. This allows early intervention to support Overseas students to achieve satisfactory course progress. Schools must offer learning support services such as English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) to Overseas students to assist the development of English skills and to achieve expected learning outcomes.

Monitoring the progress of Overseas' students is necessary to ensure that the expected duration of study specified in the Overseas student’s confirmation of enrolment does not exceed the CRICOS registered duration of the student's enrolment.

If EQI reports an Overseas student’s unsatisfactory course progress to the Australian Government, EQI will also cancel the Overseas student’s enrolment.

Where compassionate or compelling circumstances apply, EQI or an Overseas student may initiate a temporary suspension of enrolment. Schools are proactive in initiating a suspension of enrolment where compassionate or compelling circumstances could impact an Overseas student’s course progress. Overseas students are not assessed during the period of a temporary suspension on enrolment. Implementing the Exemptions from compulsory schooling and compulsory participation procedure is not required.   

Overseas students can appeal decisions in relation to course progress, in accordance with the Complaints and appeals - subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure.

Responsibilities

School staff (for example International Student/homestay coordinator or Line Manager)

  • regularly monitor course progress and liaise with relevant teaching staff
  • intervene early and assist Overseas students who are at risk of not meeting course progress requirements
  • liaise with parent and DHA approved guardian as well as homestay provider and agents (where applicable) regarding course progress
  • escalate issues and concerns to school principal
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records (for example, adding a record of contact in OneSchool for each contact with the Overseas student).

 Director, EQI

  • decide whether to report an Overseas student to the Australian Government for unsatisfactory course progress and cancellation of enrolment.

EQI staff

  • report unsatisfactory course progress and cancellation of enrolment to the Australian Government, as directed by the Director, EQI
  • ensure safe and appropriate arrangements are made if the Overseas student’s enrolment is cancelled, in accordance with the Change of welfare – Subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure
  • maintain up-to-date records in the international student management system and Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS)
  • provide advice and support to the school principal and school staff implementing this procedure.

School principal (or delegate )

  • appoint sufficient and suitably qualified staff to monitor course progress (for example, an international student coordinator)
  • reinforce school processes, relevant DoE procedures, ISP standard terms and conditions with Overseas student, parent and DHA approved guardian and homestay provider, highlighting the consequences for non-compliance 
  • escalate unsatisfactory course progress and issues to the Director, EQI.

Process

Flow chart: Step 1 Monitor, Step 2 Intervene, Step 3 Escalate, Step 4 Cancel

Figure 1 – Process flow chart

1. Monitor

School staff

  • monitor academic performance to ensure Overseas students are on track to achieve satisfactory course progress:
    • review assessment results and school reports in OneSchool regularly
    • liaise with and seek feedback from class teachers during the term
    • seek feedback from the Overseas student and/or parent/DHA approved guardian/homestay provider
  • report on Overseas student achievement as per the P-12 curriculum, assessment and reporting framework
  • identify when an Overseas student is not on track to meet satisfactory course progress as per the ISP entry and course requirements standards, and will need additional help to improve their academic performance
  • identify when an Overseas student is eligible for Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) credit for non-Queensland studies (for example, senior secondary transfer from another Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students [CRICOS] provider in another state or territory) as outlined in the QCE & QCIA policy handbook, and apply to the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCCA) portal.

2. Intervene

School staff

  • at any time before the end of the first study period, where the Overseas student is not on track to make satisfactory course progress (refer to the ISP entry and course requirement standards):
    • liaise with teaching staff and discuss the Overseas student’s course progress and effort, referring to ISP entry and course requirement standards, the ISP standard terms and conditions and potential consequences for non-compliance (for example, Overseas student may be reported to the Australian Government and the Overseas student’s visa and enrolment may be cancelled)
    • facilitate access to learning support services consistent with the requirements of the course, mode of study and the learning needs of Overseas student cohorts, including having and implementing documented processes for supporting and maintaining contact with Overseas students undertaking online or distance units of study
    • review and implement intervention strategies, collaboratively with the Overseas student, to support them to improve their academic achievement and to meet course progress requirements, for example, which require them to:
      • attend academic skills programs
      • attend tutorial or study groups
      • receive individual case management
      • attend study clubs
      • attend counselling
      • receive assistance with personal issues which are influencing progress
      • receive mentoring
      • be placed in a suitable alternative subject within a course or a suitable alternative course
      • have their course load reduced (refer to the Ongoing enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure)
    • record details as a record of contact in OneSchool
  • discuss with the Overseas student and parent/DHA approved guardian or homestay provider the reasons for unsatisfactory course progress, referring to the ISP standard terms and conditions and potential consequences for non-compliance (for example, Overseas student may be reported to the Australian Government and the Overseas student’s visa and enrolment may be cancelled)
  • where an Overseas student is at risk of not making satisfactory course progress due to an illness, injury or other serious event, consider whether a temporary suspension of enrolment on compassionate or compelling grounds is appropriate
    • assist the Overseas student to complete a ISP temporary suspension request form, ensuring that appropriate evidence (for example, a medical certificate) is attached, if required. Overseas students are not assessed during the period of a temporary suspension
  • escalate to the school principal if there is no improvement in the Overseas student’s performance by the end of the first study period
  • where applicable, inform homestay provider of the course progress intervention strategies (for example, by issuing a Course progress warning letter).

School principal (or delegate)

  • at the end of the first study period, where a Overseas student is identified as being at risk of not achieving satisfactory course progress (if they have not met the required standard for their course, detailed in the ISP entry and course requirement standards), and intervention strategies were implemented:
    • issue Course progress warning letter to the Overseas student and parent/agent and DHA approved guardian outlining actions the Overseas student needs to take to improve by the end of the next study period
    • meet with the Overseas student and (if possible) parent/DHA approved guardian and homestay provider to discuss the Overseas student’s performance, reinforce the ISP entry and course requirement standards, the ISP standard terms and conditions and consequences for non-compliance (if the Overseas student’s parent/DHA approved guardian or homestay provider is unable to attend meeting, meet with Overseas student and liaise with parent/DHA approved guardian or homestay provider after meeting)
    • review intervention strategies that are in place to ensure they are still appropriate and adjust if required
    • inform Director, EQI that the Overseas student has been issued a Course progress warning letter.

3. Escalate

School principal

  • at the end of the next study period (refer to ISP entry and course requirement standards), if the Overseas student’s report indicates that satisfactory course progress has not been made, notify Director, EQI by sending an email to EQInternational@qed.qld.gov.au, including:
    • “(student name), failure to make satisfactory course progress, (school name)” in the subject line of the email
    • a list of all the relevant documents, in chronological order, in the body of the email (for example, school report/s, OneSchool records of contact, meeting notes, meeting/warning letters, evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances, appropriate intervention strategies)
    • an explanation about how unsatisfactory course progress has been determined
    • assurance that the school has complied with this procedure
  • liaise with the Overseas student and relevant school staff to assist the Overseas student to improve their course progress and to emphasise the consequences.

Director, EQI

  • as soon as practicable, after receiving a notification that the Overseas student has not made satisfactory course progress, issue a Course progress show cause notice to the Overseas student and parent, notifying the DHA approved guardian and agent (where applicable):
    • give the Overseas student/parent/DHA approved guardian five working days to show cause as to why the Overseas student should not be reported to the Australian government for failing to meet course progress requirements
    • ask for evidence demonstrating that compassionate or compelling circumstances apply
  • consider the Overseas student/parent/DHA approved guardian’s request to extend the deadline to respond to show cause, if required
  • where a response to the show cause is received, consider it and decide, within three working days, whether or not the Overseas student should be reported to the Australian Government and have their enrolment cancelled
  • if the decision is to not report (course progress is deemed satisfactory, or sufficient evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances supplied):
    • issue a Decision not to report for unsatisfactory course progress letter to the Overseas student and parent, notifying the DHA approved guardian and agent (where applicable) making it clear what is expected of the Overseas student
    • inform the school principal and EQI staff of the decision not to report
  • if no response is received, or if a response to the show cause has been received and the decision is to report, issue an Intention to report for unsatisfactory course progress letter to the Overseas student and parent, notifying the DHA approved guardian and agent (where applicable)
  • follow Complaints and appeals – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure if an appeal of the Intention to report for unsatisfactory course progress letter is received.

School staff

  • closely monitor the Overseas student’s course progress and keep the principal informed
  • keep the homestay provider informed about the Overseas student’s course progress
  • maintain the Overseas student’s enrolment and welfare while appeal process is underway.

4. Cancel

Director, EQI

  • instruct EQI staff to report unsatisfactory course progress and cancellation of enrolment to the Australian Government, in PRISMS where either:
    • no appeal is made
    • an appeal is withdrawn (in writing)
    • the internal appeal (20 working days) and external appeal (10 working days) are unsuccessful (EQI is required to wait for the outcome of an external appeal before notifying).
  • issue applicable template letters under the Complaints and appeals – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure (for example, No appeal received letter template) to the Overseas student and parent, notifying the DHA approved guardian and agent (where applicable)
  • notify the school principal of the outcome of any internal or external appeals process
  • inform the Overseas student of the need to seek advice from DHA on the potential impact on his or her student visa

EQI staff

  • report the Overseas student to the Australian Government, in PRISMS, as soon as practicable (within 14 days), whether or not the Overseas student has elected to cancel their enrolment in the program prior
  • cancel the Overseas student’s enrolment record/s in the international student management system and notify the school once completed
  • ask the Overseas student/parent/DHA approved guardian to complete the ISP refund request form, if eligible for a refund
  • review and ensure refunds requests are paid in accordance with the Refund policy as outlined ISP standard terms and conditions 
  • give notice of any refund to the Australian Government within 7 days of the repayment.

School staff

  • refer to the Change of welfare  - subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure to ensure that safe and appropriate arrangements are in place for the Overseas student’s departure, if the Overseas student is in homestay
  • finalise and issue any outstanding school reports to the Overseas student
  • cancel the Overseas student’s enrolment in OneSchool. 

Definitions

Term

Definition

Agent

Education agent registered with EQI to recruit students for EQI programs.

Compassionate circumstances

Circumstances that:

  • are not in the student’s control or created by the student; and
  • adversely impact on the student’s welfare or course progress (for example, illness, bereavement or traumatic events may qualify).

Compelling circumstances

Circumstances which, in the opinion of EQI staff or school staff, are in the student’s best educational interests.

Course

A course registered on CRICOS offered by Department of Education trading as Education Queensland International.

Delegate

Is a classified officer (Heads of Department, Deputy Principals and Principals) nominated by the principal who is authorised to make some International Student Program decisions on behalf of the school principal.

DHA approved guardian

A parent, legal custodian or a relative over the age of 21 years approved by the Department of Home Affairs to be responsible for the welfare of students under the age of 18 years.

EQI staff

DoE employees working in DEi, trading as EQI.

Homestay provider

Homestay provider is a family, a couple or a single person who is approved by DEi or schools to host overseas students in their home.

International Student Programs (ISP)

A study pathway offered to Overseas students to fulfil their academic potential, develop new skills and achieve personal goals in a way that suits their individual needs. International Student Programs includes: Primary School, High School, International Baccalaureate, and High School Preparation.

OneSchool

A comprehensive program to help Queensland State Schools manage key teaching and school administrative activities. Its features cover a wide range of school operations (DoE employees only).

Overseas student

Student in Australia on visa subclass 500 (schools sector) enrolled in EQI course.

Parent

Natural parent or legal custodian.

Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS)

The national database owned by the Commonwealth Department of Education which all Australian education providers enrolling international students must enter their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) details.

School

For International Student Programs: Queensland state schools accredited by EQI to deliver international student programs.

School staff

Employees of schools with responsibilities to support international students. For example – International student coordinator, Homestay coordinator, Head of department, Deputy principal. Accredited Officer (Study tours).

Study period

A study period is defined as a semester (or equivalent) as per the P-12 curriculum assessment and reporting framework for the following programs:

A study period is defined as a unit for the:

A study period is defined as one term for the:

Study Abroad program (Junior or Senior Secondary High School courses).

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

Nil

Review date

24 January 2023
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