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Mature age student applications procedure

Version number 6.11 | Version effective 20 December 2021
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Mature age student applications procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure outlines the protocols to be followed by prospective mature age students and school staff in relation to applications for enrolment at mature age state schools.

Overview

A prospective mature age student is a person who is 18 years or older and seeking to enrol in a mature age state school. They will be subject to a criminal history check by the Queensland Police Service.

A prospective mature age student who is ineligible to enrol at a mature age state school (i.e. where they have been refused enrolment by the Director-General in accordance with the Refusal to enrol - Risk to safety or wellbeing procedure) may apply for enrolment at a school of distance education. They will not be subject to a further criminal history check and will receive free distance education if their principal place of residence is at least 16 kilometres from a mature age state school.

A person is not considered a prospective mature age student where they:

  • turn 18 years of age while at a Queensland or interstate school and are a continuing student
  • were previously enrolled in a state school or non-state school in Queensland or interstate; and
    • on the last day of enrolment they were under 18 years of age; and
    • the period between their last day of attendance at their previous school and the proposed first day of attendance at the state school is not more than 12 months (which may need to be verified with previous school).
  • hold a student visa (certified copy of visa is required).

People who are not prospective mature age students may apply for enrolment at any appropriate state school and will not be subject to a criminal history check by the Queensland Police Service. Entitlement to enrol at a state school is subject to meeting all eligibility criteria of the school and all enrolment requirements outlined in the Enrolment in state primary, secondary and special schools procedure.

Responsibilities

Principal

  • Principals of mature age state schools are responsible for requesting a criminal history check from the Queensland Police Service for a prospective mature age student and assessing if the prospective student would pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of members of the school community.

State Schools Division

  • Officers from State Schools Division are responsible for notifying relevant mature age state schools when a notice has been received from the Queensland Police Service advising that there has been a change to the criminal history of a mature age student enrolled at their school.

Mature age student

  • Inform the principal of the mature age state school of any change of name and/or address.
  • Inform the principal of the mature age state school of withdrawal of an application at any time before the enrolment has been decided.
  • Disclose any changes to criminal history to the principal by completing the Mature age student criminal history change notice form before next attending the school or participating in the school’s educational program.

Process

Commence mature age student application process

  1. Prospective mature age students peruse the Information for adults considering enrolment at a mature age state school prior to applying for enrolment as a mature age student.
  2. Principals discuss study options and career goals with the prospective mature age student (the applicant) with reference to the Guide for adult learners.
  3. Principals inform the applicant that they are eligible for fee-free distance education where their principal place of residence is at least 16 kilometres from a mature age state school or where they have been refused enrolment at a mature age state school by the Director-General.
  4. Principals provide the applicant with the following:
  1. Principals calculate the applicant’s remaining allocation as per the Allocation of state education procedure
  2. Applicants complete and provide to the mature age state school:
  1. Applicants provide proof of identity and pay the prescribed fee for the criminal history check to the school. If the applicant requests that the school pays the criminal history check fee, this can be considered by the school and recorded on the Prospective mature age student criminal history check consent form. Please note - applications should not be processed until the criminal history check fee payment is finalised.
  2. Schools make photocopies of the prospective mature age student’s proof of identity for the criminal history check process.

Assess mature age student application

  1. Principals submit a request to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) for the prospective mature age student’s criminal history. See Submitting a criminal history request to the Queensland Police Service.
  2. Principals refer to the Decision making flowchart for principals of mature age state schools.
  3. Using the Mature age applicant risk assessment guide, principals consider the following in relation to each offence in the prospective mature age student’s criminal history as part of their consideration of whether the applicant’s attendance at the school would pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of the school community:
  • whether the offence is a serious offence or an offence of concern
  • when the offence was committed or alleged to have been committed
  • the nature of the offence and its relevance to a person being a mature age student of a school
  • for a conviction – whether a penalty was imposed and the nature of the penalty.
  1. Where necessary, request further information from the QPS using the Requesting further information from the Queensland Police Service template.
  2. Principals consider other relevant information that may indicate the applicant poses an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of members of the school community, for example if the person had a significant school behavioural record involving violence against other students/staff, was previously excluded from school, or had their enrolment cancelled.
  3. Principals advise the prospective mature age student of the decision as to whether it is reasonably believed they pose an unacceptable risk and either:
  • activate the enrolment in OneSchool if satisfied the applicant is eligible for enrolment and advise the applicant according to the school’s administrative processes; or
  1. Schools follow applicable information management procedures and ensure appropriate protections are in place to protect against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or other misuse of the applicant’s information, including criminal history.
  2. Schools destroy criminal history advice as soon as practicable after it is no longer needed i.e. after the applicant’s enrolment has been accepted by the principal and QPS monitoring has been activated, or after the Director-General has refused the applicant’s enrolment
  3. If enrolling the prospective mature age student, schools select the OneSchool Independent student status (DoE employees only) checkbox.

Monitoring of criminal history of mature age student

  1. To activate monitoring, schools complete the Request for monitoring by the QPS for any change in criminal history form for every mature age student enrolment at the school. The completed form is to be submitted to the QPS via email at pic.co@police.qld.gov.au.
  2. If there are any changes to the mature age student’s name or address details, schools advise the QPS via email at pic.co@police.qld.gov.au so that monitoring details can be amended accordingly.
  3. The QPS will send notices of any charges to State Schools Division, Department of Education, who will email this information to the relevant school principal via the school’s dedicated mature age student mailbox.
  4. When the mature age student’s enrolment ends, schools deactivate the monitoring (i.e. advise the QPS via email at pic.co@police.qld.gov.au using the Request for monitoring by the Queensland Police Service for any change in criminal history form).

Changes to criminal history of mature age student

  1. If notified by the QPS that a mature age student has been charged with an offence, the principal may write to the student using the template to remind them of their obligation to give the school a criminal history change notice before the student next attends the school or otherwise participates in the school’s educational program, and that it is an offence not to provide this notice.
  2. If a student submits a completed Mature age student criminal history change notice form, and the school has not already been advised of the change via the QPS monitoring process, principals forward the notice to the QPS (pic.co@police.qld.gov.au) for verification. QPS will provide verification of criminal history changes to State Schools Division who will provide this information to the relevant principal via the school’s dedicated mature age student inbox.
  3. Principals use the Mature age applicant risk assessment guide to update the risk assessment on the student’s enrolment at the school. 
  4. If the student’s attendance does not pose an unacceptable risk, the enrolment can continue.
  5. If the student’s attendance poses an unacceptable risk, principals can apply a disciplinary consequence such as exclusion (refer to the Student discipline procedure).
  6. Once the risk assessment has been completed, the QPS notice for that student must be destroyed and should not be copied or kept under any circumstances.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Charge

Charge (Schedule 1 of Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld)) of an offence means a charge in any form, including, for example, the following—

  • a charge on an arrest
  • a complaint under the Justices Act 1886 (Qld)
  • a charge by a court under the Justices Act 1886 (Qld), section 42(1A) or another provision of an Act
  • an indictment.

Charge for an offence, in relation to a charge made outside Queensland, means any allegation of an offence made in a way that is the same, or substantially the same, as a charge under the law of Queensland.

Convicted

Convicted of an offence means being found guilty of the offence, on a plea of guilty or otherwise, whether or not a conviction is recorded.

Criminal history

Criminal history, of a relevant mature age student, means both of the following—

  • every conviction of the student for an offence, in Queensland or elsewhere, whether before or after their commencement at a mature age state school
  • every charge for an offence made against the student, in Queensland or elsewhere, whether before or after the commencement.

For a relevant mature age student who does not have a criminal history, there is taken to be a change in the student’s criminal history if the student acquires a criminal history.

Mature age state school

A state school listed on the department’s website as a mature age state school.

Mature age student

A person who is 18 years or older and actively enrolled in a mature age state school under the provisions of ss.155-156 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld).

Offence of concern

This would include a violent offence, an offence that suggests the applicant has difficulty complying with authority, an extensive number of offences, a recent offence, and/or a pattern of offending.

Proof of identity

Prospective mature age students must provide documentation, which proves their true identity. One of the following forms of identification must be supplied to the mature age state school (copies of the original will be made at the school or original certified copies will be accepted):

  • current driver’s licence
  • current Proof of Age Card (18+ card)
  • current passport (photograph and signature page).

Prospective mature age student

A person who is 18 years or older and seeking to enrol in a mature age state school.

Note: A person is not considered a prospective mature age student where they:

  • turn 18 years of age while at a Queensland or interstate school and are a continuing student
  • were previously enrolled in a state school or non-state school in Queensland or interstate; and
  • hold a student visa (certified copy of visa is required)
  • are enrolled in a program of distance education.

Prospective mature age student criminal history check

A mature age state school principal must, before deciding on an application for enrolment from a prospective mature age student, ask the police commissioner for a written report about the prospective mature age student’s criminal history.

Serious offence

Serious offences are defined in Section 167 and Schedule 2 or 3, column 1 (subject to any qualification described in column 3) of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld). It may include offences of violence, sex offences or offences involving drugs. 

Unacceptable risk

The principal of a mature age state school must consider whether the prospective mature age student would, if enrolled at the school, pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of members of the school community.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

5.0 Mature Age Student Applications

6.0 Mature Age Student Applications

Review date

16 January 2021
Attribution CC BY
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