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Enrolment in state primary, secondary and special schools procedure

Version number 7.5 | Version effective 19 April 2022
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Enrolment in state primary, secondary and special schools procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

The Department of Education (the department) provides access to state education to ensure all students can participate in and gain positive outcomes from schooling.

This procedure outlines the protocols for school-based staff and regional office staff to follow when enrolling prospective students in the Preparatory Year (Prep) to Year 12 in state primary, secondary and special schools.

Overview

All eligible children and young people are entitled to 26 semesters of state education (including Prep)* and may apply to enrol in any state primary and secondary school, unless there is an Enrolment management plan or Enrolment eligibility plan in place. This means students may not be entitled to enrol unless they live within the local catchment area, or for students from outside the local catchment area, have met eligibility criteria contained in the plan. Some prospective students are entitled to enrol at a school with an enrolment management plan as if in-catchment, such as those who have been excluded from another school (if approved by the Regional Director), those who are subject to Child Protection orders, and those prospective students who are verified with a disability wanting to attend the specific disability program if it is the closest program to their home and meets their individual needs. Other conditions may also affect a prospective student’s entitlement to enrolment.

Queensland state schools offer enrolment to children of compulsory school age and to young people in the compulsory participation phase. There are specific legal obligations about enrolment, attendance, and participation that apply to parents/carers of children of compulsory school age and young people in the compulsory participation phase.

The Application for student enrolment form need only be signed by one parent/carer (or the student if they are mature age or independent). It is not the role of the school to resolve disagreements between parents/carers about school enrolment. Parents/carers are encouraged to resolve their differences privately or through a family relationship centre, a family law service, a family dispute resolution service, or the Family court.

Specific provisions may apply to those students who are over 18 years of age at the time of enrolment.

People from the communities of Aurukun, Coen, Doomadgee, Hopevale and Mossman Gorge may be subject to the requirements under s.41 of the Family Responsibilities Commission Act 2008 (Qld) in relation to enrolment of their children.

In certain circumstances schools may treat a student’s enrolment as having ended.

Additional requirements must be met for a prospective student to be enrolled in a state special school as outlined in the State special school enrolment (additional requirements) procedure.

* Students who commenced schooling in Year 1 prior to 2007 (i.e. prior to the introduction of the Prep Year in Queensland) are entitled to a basic allocation of 24 semesters of state education, not 26 semesters.

Responsibilities

Principals – state primary, secondary and special schools

  • Providing all relevant information to parents/carers and/or prospective students.
  • Overseeing the enrolment process.
  • Making enrolment decisions (primary and secondary principals only).
  • Making decisions about early entry to Prep (primary and P–10/P–12 principals only).
  • Maintaining enrolment of students in specific circumstances (e.g. if a student is in a youth detention centre, on a charge-related suspension, in out-of-home care, or attending a hospital education program) and recording their absence using the appropriate reason code as outlined in Roll marking in state schools.

State special school principals only

Complying with the requirements set out in the State special school enrolment (additional requirements) procedure.

Regional officers

Making decisions on applications for transport assistance on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the School transport assistance programs for students with disabilities.

Process

Process for enrolling in any state primary, secondary or special school

Note: If a prospective student is currently enrolled at a state school and is seeking enrolment at another state school, a semi-populated Application for student enrolment form may be produced by the current school for that student before their enrolment ceases. The applicant should ensure the details on the form are updated if necessary, and that any questions which have not been pre-populated are completed before providing the form to the new school.

Before the school receives an application for enrolment:

  1. Applicant contacts school to enquire about specific enrolment procedures, such as an Enrolment Management Plan (EMP) or an enrolment eligibility plan for Queensland Academies, or additional processes for enrolment in a state special school. If considering early entry into Prep, arrange to meet with the principal of the school to discuss the early entry requirements and request an application form. If not an Australian resident or citizen, or the child of an Australian resident or citizen, contact Education Queensland International (EQI) in the first instance. Where the applicant is over 18 years of age, refer to the Mature age student applications procedure to determine if an application for enrolment needs to be made in accordance with these provisions.
  2. School provides the following to the applicant:
  1. Where the prospective student is under 18 years of age, the applicant completes and provides to the school an Application for student enrolment form, answering all questions on the form marked with an (*). NOTE: For all enrolments, the Application for student enrolment form must be signed by at least one parent/carer, or the student if mature age or independent.
  1. Where the prospective student is 18 years of age or older at time of applying, refer to the Mature age student applications procedure to determine if an application for enrolment needs to be made in accordance with these provisions.

Once the school receives the application for enrolment:

  1. If the prospective student is not an Australian resident or citizen, or the child of an Australian resident or citizen, school refers application to Education Queensland International for further advice as visa restrictions may apply and fees may be charged.
  2. School processes the completed Application for student enrolment form ensuring that:
  • all questions marked with an (*) are answered;
  • if applicable, any semi-populated data on the form extracted from OneSchool by the previous state school is confirmed with the parent/carer for accuracy;
  • the birth certificate or passport is sighted (copies are not to be made or kept on file) and the birth certificate or passport number is recorded on the enrolment form if this is the first time the child has enrolled in a state school. The requirement to sight the birth certificate does not apply where OneSchool indicates that a birth certificate has been previously sighted. An alternative to a birth certificate (DoE employees only) will be considered where it is not possible to obtain a birth certificate (e.g. child born in a country without a birth registration system - passport or visa documents will suffice). This does not include failure to register a birth or reluctance to order a birth certificate.
    • International students approved for enrolment by Education Queensland International
      • A passport or visa will be acceptable. 
    • Mature age students
      • Photographic identification, which proves their identity, must be provided (e.g. current drivers licence, proof of age card, or passport). Mature age students who provide appropriate photographic proof of identity do not need to present a birth certificate
  • a copy of any relevant current Child Protection Order, Family Court or other court orders (signed and sealed) concerning the welfare, safety or parenting arrangements for prospective student is provided, if applicable
  • satisfactory evidence and appropriate documentation that the prospective student is entitled to apply for enrolment at school is provided (e.g. a satisfactory criminal history check if a mature age student, proof of residency documents if school has an Enrolment Management Plan, Australian citizenship document, Permanent Residence status or eligibility under a Visa category)
  • if the prospective student has a medical condition, details of symptoms and any associated health management plans are provided
  • the student’s gender is recorded, noting that there is no requirement for this to align with the sex shown on the student’s birth certificate or passport.
  • the legal name (on birth certificate or passport) is recorded as well as the preferred name if requested. Ensure that parents/carers nominating a preferred name for their child are made aware that the preferred name can appear on semester reports (instead of legal name) if requested and will be used on internal school documents such as class rolls. If a preferred name has been requested, school staff should respect this choice. If parents/carers cannot agree on the use of the preferred name, then the legal name is to be used until an agreement can be reached or there is a court or custody order in place which determines the name to be used
  • the form is signed by at least one parent/carer if prospective student is enrolled by parents/carers, or signed by the prospective student if mature age or independent
  • for special schools only, the enrolment application has been approved by the Chief Executive Delegated Officer and referred back to the principal.

If the prospective student is transferring from another school in Australia:

  1. If the prospective student is transferring from one Queensland state school to another (including between primary, secondary or special school), a transfer note is not required as required information is already recorded in OneSchool.
  2. If coming from a non-state school to a state school (or vice versa) within Queensland, a transfer note will help ensure continuity of the prospective student’s educational program and meet the school’s duty of care obligations in relation to the prospective student and school community. A transfer note can be requested by a parent/carer (or prospective student if mature age or independent) when the prospective student’s enrolment at the previous school ceases; or by the new principal when an enrolment application has been received. The new principal requests a transfer note from the previous principal using the Request for student transfer note and advises parent/carer (or student if mature age or independent) that a transfer note has been requested. The completed transfer note, and copies of documents mentioned in the transfer note (where applicable), should be provided to the requesting principal within 10 school days of the request. Parent/carer (or student if mature age or independent) consent is not required for a principal to complete or obtain a Transfer note. Additional information not included in the Transfer note may be sought by the new principal either from the parent/carer (or student if mature age or independent), or from the previous principal with the consent of the parent/carer (or student if mature age or independent).
  3. If the prospective student has moved from interstate, the principal requests consent from parents/carers and the student (if aged 16 years or older) to obtain student information from the previous school using the Interstate student data transfer note and referring to specific processes and supporting documents.

Assessing entitlement to enrol:

The principal determines if the prospective student is entitled to be enrolled at the school (referring to factors affecting entitlement to enrol).

  1. Where the principal reasonably believes the prospective student would, if enrolled, at the school pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of members of the school community, refer to the Refusal to enrol – Risk to safety or wellbeing procedure.
  2. Principal makes decisions regarding applications for early entry into Prep using the decision-making tool in the Early entry to Prep – Guideline for principals (DoE employees only), considering whether the child:
  • will turn 5 years by 31 July in the year of proposed attendance and is ready for education in Prep, having regard to the child’s attributes (including aptitude and ability, social and emotional competence, physical development, and level of knowledge and understanding); OR
  • has started education in another state or country that is equivalent to Prep and is ready for education in Prep, having regard to the child’s attributes (including aptitude and ability, social and emotional competence, physical development, and level of knowledge and understanding).

Where a prospective student is entitled to enrol:

  1. The principal advises applicant of the decision as soon as practicable. The decision should also be recorded in the ‘For office use only’ section of the Application for student enrolment form.
  2. Principal discusses with parents the appropriate year level their child is to be placed in (if from another school, interstate or overseas) and advises them of their remaining allocation of state education.
  3. Principal discusses with parents/carers the enrolment agreement and seeks signature from parents/carers and students (if appropriate) as acknowledgement of expectations of enrolment agreement, including the Student Code of Conduct, Student Dress Code and other school policies, programs and services. If not signed, the principal makes a notation on the enrolment agreement that information has been provided and discussed.
  4. School processes the prospective student’s enrolment in OneSchool (DoE employees only).

Where a prospective student is not entitled to enrol:

  1. Where the principal determines that the prospective student is not entitled to enrol, the principal advises applicant in writing as soon as practicable, which includes the reason/s why the prospective student is not entitled to enrol and that information on the complaints process is available at:

The principal may choose to use the example notification template. Other templates are available for when the prospective student:

  1. The decision should also be recorded in the ‘For office use only’ section of the Application for student enrolment form.

Records management:

  1. School retains all completed Application for student enrolment forms (successful and unsuccessful enrolments) in accordance with the Education and training sector retention and disposal schedule.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Applicant for enrolment

  • A parent/carer of a prospective student who is under 18 years of age.
  • A child, in their own right, where the school principal believes it is in the child’s best interests to make the application.
  • A prospective student if they are mature age or recognised as independent.

Compulsory school age

Refer A child is of compulsory school age if the child is at least 6 years and 6 months, and less than 16 years.

However, a child is no longer of compulsory school age if the child has completed year 10.

See Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) section 9.

Compulsory participation phase

A young person's compulsory participation phase starts when s/he stops being of compulsory school age (i.e. turns 16 or completes Year 10 whichever comes first) and ends when the person:

  • gains a Certificate of Achievement, Senior Statement, Certificate III or Certificate IV or
  • has participated in eligible options for 2 years after the person stopped being of compulsory school age or
  • turns 17 years of age.

Early entry into Prep

Children who are younger than the prescribed age for Prep may be enrolled in Prep if they:

  • turn 5 years by 31 July in the year of proposed attendance and the principal is satisfied the child is ready for education in Prep, having regard to their attributes (including ability, aptitude, social and emotional competence, physical development, and level of understanding); OR
  • have previously started education that is equivalent to Prep in another state or country and the principal is satisfied the child is ready for education in Prep, having regard to their attributes (including ability, aptitude, social and emotional competence, physical development, and level of knowledge and understanding).

A program is considered to be equivalent to Prep if it is full-time, school based, and has a defined curriculum delivered in the year prior to Year 1.

There are no exceptions to these requirements. The conditions for early entry to Prep are set out in legislation, specifically Part 4, Section 17 of the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2017.

Eligible option

An eligible option is a recognised education or training program or course, offered by a recognised provider, which will enable a young person to gain a Certificate of Achievement, Senior Statement and/or a Certificate III or IV in a Vocation Education Program. Eligible options and providers are:

See Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) section 232.

Enrolment Agreement

An Enrolment Agreement document that states the respective rights and obligations, about the education of a person at a state school, with respect to the responsibilities of the:

  • student
  • parents/carers of students
  • staff of the school.

Enrolment Eligibility Plan

A document outlining specific criteria which must be satisfied in order for a prospective student to enrol in a particular school, such as the Queensland Academies. These criteria are in addition to the general enrolment requirements for state schools

Enrolment Management Plan (EMP)

A document outlining:

  • the school's catchment area (the geographical location where a state school’s core intake of students must live); and
  • the school's enrolment capacity for a student whose principal place of residence is outside the catchment area; and
  • the requirements for enrolment at the school to be satisfied by a student whose principal place of residence is outside the catchment area.

Parent/carer

As defined in the legislation governing schooling in Queensland ( Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) section 10 "Meaning of parent").

Prospective student

A prospective student is a person who has applied to enrol at a state school but who has not yet been accepted for enrolment.

Special school

Special school means a state school only providing special education.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

Other resources

Interstate student data transfer note

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

6.0 Enrolment in state primary, secondary and special schools

7.0 Enrolment in state primary, secondary and special schools

Review date

29 April 2024
Attribution CC BY
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