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Flexible arrangements for school students procedure

Version number 3.1 | Version effective 21 March 2019
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Flexible arrangements for school students procedure

Audience

All state and non-state schools

Purpose

This procedure outlines processes to be undertaken when considering, planning and approving flexible arrangements for a student’s educational program during compulsory schooling or the compulsory participation phase.

Overview

A flexible arrangement allows for all or part of a student’s educational program to be delivered by an alternative education provider, where it is in the best educational interest of the student. A flexible arrangement can occur on or off the school site, and the program should be equivalent to the student’s full-time participation at school.

A flexible arrangement may be appropriate when:

  • a secondary student (e.g. Year 10) wants to study a subject at another school because that subject is not offered at their school;
  • a student is attending a Positive Learning Centre full time while remaining enrolled at their school; or
  • a student is acting in a movie for two weeks and will participate in an educational program delivered by a tutor while on set.

A flexible arrangement is not appropriate in situations where parents cannot agree on which school to enrol their child in.

A flexible arrangement is not required when:

If the proposed arrangement is for the dual enrolment of a student with disability in both a non-state school and a state special school, refer to the Enrolment in state primary, secondary and special schools procedure for specific processes.

Responsibilities

Parents/students

Teaching staff (state and non-state schools)

  • make the Information for parents/students - flexible arrangements document available to parents and students, and discuss possible flexible arrangements if necessary
  • document, research and gather information, and assess the proposed flexible arrangement
  • with the authorised entity’s approval, assist the parent/student to implement the flexible arrangement, as appropriate
  • monitor and evaluate the student’s participation in the proposed flexible arrangement.

Authorised entity (state school principal)

  • ensure the proposed flexible arrangement is appropriate, having regard to the student’s individual needs and circumstances, learning outcomes, and any other matters
  • ensure that the alternative education provider has agreed, in writing, to the flexible arrangement
  • approve the flexible arrangement if the arrangement involves another state school or a non-state school
  • ensure that student absences are recorded appropriately in accordance with the Roll marking in state schools procedure
  • ensure the alternative education provider (if the provider is not a school) is aware that any student absences are to be reported to the school on the day of the absence
  • oversee the management and record keeping of the flexible arrangement.

Authorised entity (non-state school’s governing body or a staff member of the school given written authorisation by the governing body to undertake flexible arrangement activities)

  • ensure the proposed flexible arrangement is appropriate, having regard to the student’s individual needs and circumstances, learning outcomes, and any other matters
  • ensure that the alternative education provider has agreed, in writing, to the flexible arrangement
  • approve the flexible arrangement if the arrangement only involves non-state schools
  • ensure that student absences are recorded appropriately
  • ensure the alternative education provider (if the provider is not a school) is aware that any student absences are to be reported to the school on the day of the absence
  • oversee the management and record keeping of the flexible arrangement.

Authorised entity (regional director)

  • in exceptional circumstances, approve the flexible arrangement where the state school principal of the base school (the school where the student was first enrolled) is unable to make a decision (e.g. due to a conflict of interest).

Alternative education provider

  • deliver the education program to the student as outlined in the Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement
  • regularly provide updates to the student’s school on the status of the flexible arrangement
  • notify the student’s school of any absences by the student on the day of the absence (only applicable if the alternative education provider is not a school)
  • record student absences (if alternative education provider is a state school, refer to the Roll marking in state schools procedure).

Process

Refer to flowchart  

Proposing a flexible arrangement

  1. A flexible arrangement may be proposed by a parent, a student, or the school. Teaching staff provide the information sheet to the parent/student when a flexible arrangement is first proposed.
  2. Teaching staff discuss the proposed flexible arrangement with the student/parent.
  3. Teaching staff and/or parent/student research and gather supporting documentation regarding the proposed arrangement, which may include liaising with the alternative education provider. Any information gathered by the parent/student should be provided to teaching staff and vice versa.
  4. If the parent/student verbally agrees in principle to the proposed flexible arrangement, teaching staff either:
  • complete the Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement Parts A and B;
    OR
  • if the flexible arrangement is for the student to undertake a subject (not offered at their school) through a state school of distance education, complete the school-based subject enrolment form provided by the relevant school of distance education. Provide the completed form to the relevant school of distance education to finalise enrolment in the subject/s.

Assessing a proposed flexible arrangement

Note: Where the arrangement involves a school-based subject enrolment with a school of distance education, further assessment is not required.

Where the proposed flexible arrangement involves more than one school, the school where the student was first enrolled conducts the assessment.

  1. Teaching staff use Part C of the Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement to prepare and document assessments of the:
  • student’s educational and other needs (e.g. student requires access to a specialised program to support their educational program)
  • learning outcome(s) the proposed flexible arrangement is intended to achieve
  • suitability of the alternative education provider for the proposed flexible arrangement.
  1. Teaching staff record how, and by whom, the student’s participation in the proposed flexible arrangement will be monitored, and how the effectiveness of the proposed flexible arrangement will be evaluated, in Part D of the Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement.

Obtaining agreement

Note: Where the arrangement involves a school-based subject enrolment with a school of distance education, agreement is documented using the school-based subject enrolment form and steps 1-6 in this section do not apply.

  1. Teaching staff discuss proposed flexible arrangement with the alternative education provider. If the alternative education provider is another school, the proportion of full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolment at each school (e.g. 0.6 FTE at one school, 0.4 FTE at the other) should be discussed.
  2. The alternative education provider considers information in the Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement and decides whether or not to agree to the arrangement.
  3. If the alternative education provider does not agree to the proposed flexible arrangement:
  • the parent/student should be advised by teaching staff and discussions may need to occur with the alternative education provider and/or the parent/student, and possible amendments to the arrangement may be required; or
  • the proposed flexible arrangement does not proceed any further.
  1. If the alternative education provider agrees to the proposed flexible arrangement, the provider signs Part E of the Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement.
  2. Teaching staff obtain written agreement (signature) from the parent/student in Part E of the Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement.
  3. Teaching staff provide the completed Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement (with all signatures) to the authorised entity for approval.

Decision making

Note: Where the arrangement involves a school-based subject enrolment with a school of distance education, the decision to enrol the student is made by the principal of the school of distance education, and steps 1–4 in this section do not apply.

All parties must agree to the flexible arrangement before it can be considered for approval by the authorised entity.

  1. The authorised entity, upon receipt of a completed Flexible arrangement: plan, assessment and agreement, considers the proposed arrangement, ensuring that:
  • if the student is of compulsory school age, the parent has given written agreement to the arrangement and the arrangement has been discussed with the student as appropriate, having regard to the student’s age and other relevant circumstances;
    OR
  • if the student is in the compulsory participation phase, the student has given written agreement to the arrangement and the arrangement has been discussed with the parent if practicable and appropriate in the circumstances (unless the student is independent).
  1. The authorised entity makes a preliminary assessment of the proposed flexible arrangement and decides whether or not to approve the proposed flexible arrangement. The authorised entity may approve the arrangement only if:
  • the teaching staff have prepared written assessments of:
    • the student’s educational and other needs
    • the learning outcomes that the arrangements are intended to achieve; and
    • the suitability of each provider for the arrangement; and
  • the authorised entity has considered:
    • the written assessments prepared; and
    • how, and by whom, the student’s participation in the arrangement is to be monitored; and
    • how, and by whom, the provider’s involvement in the arrangement is to be monitored and its effectiveness evaluated; and
  • the authorised entity is satisfied the arrangement is appropriate, having regard to:
    • the student’s individual needs and circumstances; and
    • what the authorised entity considers is most likely to achieve the best learning outcomes for the student; and
    • the desirability, unless it would be inappropriate in all the circumstances, of the arrangement requiring the student’s participation at a level that is equivalent to full-time participation in the school’s educational program in the usual way; and
    • any other matters prescribed under a regulation.
  1. If the preliminary view is that the proposed flexible arrangement should be approved, the authorised entity documents their decision in Flexible arrangement: authorised entity’s decision (it is not necessary to document the reason/s for the decision if the arrangement is being approved) and, as soon as practicable, advises the parent/student of the decision (either verbally or in writing).
  2. If the preliminary view is that the proposed flexible arrangement should not be approved, the authorised entity:

Management and record keeping

  1. Where the flexible arrangement is with an alternative education provider that is not another school, the student remains enrolled at their usual school and the principal retains authority and responsibility for the student’s educational program, and management of the flexible arrangement.
  2. Where a flexible arrangement involves more than one school, the student will have an enrolment at each school (with the total enrolment being at least 1.0 FTE), and the authorised entity at the approving school is responsible for management of the flexible arrangement.
  3. Where the flexible arrangement involves a school-based subject enrolment with a school of distance education, refer to material provided by the school of distance education for information about the responsibilities of the student, their base school and the school of distance education.
  4. For state schools, retain flexible arrangements documentation in line with the department’s procedures: Information asset and recordkeeping, Information privacy and right to information, and Information security.
  5. For non-state schools, retain all documentation relating to flexible arrangements for at least five years after the arrangement stops applying to the student.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Alternative education provider

The alternative education provider could be another school (either state or non-state) including schools of distance education, a private education provider, a registered training organisation, or a community organisation that offers special programs for children and young people.

Authorised entity

For state schools, means the chief executive (or their delegate, i.e. principal, regional director).

For non-state schools, means the school’s governing body, or a staff member of the school given written authorisation by the governing body to undertake activities associated with flexible arrangements.

See ( Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s.182(6) and s.183(2))

Compulsory school age

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) s.9)

Compulsory participation phase

A young person's compulsory participation phase starts when they stop 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.

Eligible option

An eligible option (Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s.232) 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 Vocational Education Program. Eligible options and providers are:

Parent

  1. A parent, of a child, is any of the following persons—
  • the child’s mother;
  • the child’s father;
  • a person who exercises parental responsibility for the child.
  1. However, a person standing in the place of a parent of a child on a temporary basis is not a parent of the child.
  2. A parent of an Aboriginal child includes a person who, under Aboriginal tradition, is regarded as a parent of the child.
  3. A parent of a Torres Strait Islander child includes a person who, under Island custom, is regarded as a parent of the child.
  4. Despite subsections (1), (3) and (4), if—
  • a person is granted guardianship of a child under the Child Protection Act 1999; or
  • a person otherwise exercises parental responsibility for a child under a decision or order of a federal court or a court of a State;

then a reference in this Act to a parent of a child is a reference only to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).

See ( Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s.10)

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.0 Flexible Arrangements for School Students

3.0 Flexible Arrangements for School Students

Review date

07 January 2022
Attribution CC BY
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