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Suspension of enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Version number 1.3 | Version effective 23 December 2021
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Suspension of enrolment – 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 school staff and EQI, and the steps they follow to assist Overseas students to apply for a temporary suspension of enrolment, assess applications, decide on temporary suspensions of enrolment, and report temporary suspensions of enrolment to the Australian Government.  

Overview

EQI can suspend an enrolment where compassionate or compelling circumstances have been determined to justify the suspension. Where a suspension of enrolment has been approved, non-attendance does not impact the attendance monitoring calculations as per the Attendance – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure. A suspension of enrolment is different to a school disciplinary absence (suspension) that can only be applied by a school principal as a disciplinary consequence for Overseas student misbehaviour. As outlined in the Ongoing enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure, a school disciplinary absence can impact the attendance monitoring calculations for the Overseas student.

Overseas students must apply in writing to suspend their enrolment due to compassionate or compelling circumstances as per the International Student Programs (ISP) standard terms and conditions of their enrolment agreement. For example, where the Overseas student is, or is likely to be, absent for more than four school days due to an illness, injury or other serious event, EQI assesses the request and makes a decision.

EQI can immediately initiate a suspension of an Overseas student’s enrolment where there are compassionate or compelling circumstances or where evidence shows that the Overseas student’s health or wellbeing, or the wellbeing of others is likely to be at risk; even when the Overseas student/parent/DHA approved guardian has not initiated the suspension themselves.

Overseas students can refer to the Complaints and appeals – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure if they are not satisfied with a decision in relation to a suspension of enrolment.

EQI informs the Australian Government if an Overseas student’s enrolment is suspended, as required by Australian law. This may affect the Overseas student’s visa.

If EQI approves the suspension of an enrolment, EQI ensures appropriate welfare arrangements are in place until alternative arrangements have been made for the Overseas student (for example, until the time welfare can be transferred to a parent/DHA approved guardian; see Change of welfare – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure).

Responsibilities

School staff (for example International Student/Homestay Coordinator or Line Manager)

  • assist an Overseas student to apply for a suspension of their enrolment
  • escalate issues and concerns to school principal
  • ensure the period of an approved suspension of enrolment is not counted as an absence in attendance monitoring calculations as per Roll marking in state schools procedure
  • when a suspension of enrolment is not approved, ensure Overseas student absences are counted in attendance monitoring calculations as per Roll marking in state schools procedure
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records in OneSchool (for example, adding a record of contact in OneSchool for each contact with Overseas student)
  • monitor the Overseas student’s general health, safety and wellbeing and ensure appropriate accommodation and/ welfare arrangements are in place.

Director, EQI, ISP

  • decide whether to suspend an Overseas student’s enrolment and direct EQI staff to notify the Australian Government.

EQI staff

  • notify suspensions to the Australian Government within the timeframe required by the ESOS Act, as directed by the Director, EQI, ISP maintain accurate and up-to-date records in the international student management system and Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS)
  • provide advice and support to Overseas students and school staff in implementing this procedure.

School principal (or delegate)

  • follow school processes and relevant Department of Education (DoE) procedures, and reinforce ISP standard terms and conditions with Overseas students, parents/DHA approved guardians and homestay providers, highlighting the consequences for non-compliance 
  • notify issues to the Director, EQI, ISP.

Process

Suspension of enrolment flowchart 1. Apply 2. Assess 3. Decide 4. Suspend

Image 1 : Suspension of enrolment flowchart

1. Apply

1.1 Student initiated

School staff

  • provide advice to the Overseas student when a suspension of enrolment may be required (for example, absent for more than four school days due to an illness, injury or other serious event)
  • assist the Overseas student to apply for a suspension of their enrolment as per the ISP standard terms and conditions by directing them to:
  • in the event an immediate suspension of enrolment is required (for example, the student has to return to their home country immediately for a family emergency), complete the form and obtain a parent’s signature on their behalf.

EQI staff

  • liaise with school staff and provide advice as to when a suspension of enrolment may be required
  • in the event an immediate suspension of enrolment is required (for example, the Overseas student must return to their home country immediately for a family emergency), complete the form and obtain a parent’s signature on their behalf.

1.2 EQI initiated

The school can escalate concerns to EQI to initiate the suspension of enrolment for compassionate or compelling circumstances even where the parent/DHA approved guardian/Overseas student disagrees with a temporary suspension (for example, the school is concerned about the Overseas student’s welfare/health and recommends they suspend their enrolment until the Overseas student’s health has improved).

School principal (or delegate)

  • notify the Director, EQI, ISP where circumstances warrant consideration of an EQI initiated suspension of enrolment as per above by sending an email to EQInternational@qed.qld.gov.au, including:
    • “(student name), consideration for suspension of enrolment, (school name)” in the subject line of the email
    • completed form with details of compassionate and compelling circumstances
    • attach any evidence, prior correspondence and relevant supporting documents.

2. Assess

2.1 Student initiated

EQI staff

  • assess the ISP temporary suspension request form and supporting documents ensuring that there is evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • collate ISP temporary suspension request form with all supporting documents and make a recommendation to the Director, EQI, ISP about whether or not to approve the Overseas student’s request
  • follow the instructions of Director, EQI, ISP including preparing draft correspondence.

Director, EQI, ISP

  • assess applications for suspension of enrolment, considering all relevant circumstances and evidence submitted by the Overseas student in relation to compassionate or compelling circumstances.

2.2 EQI initiated

EQI staff

  • confirm whether the Overseas student and parent/DHA approved guardian support a suspension of enrolment for compassionate and compelling reasons
    • if they do, make a note on the form of this support and progress to the Director, EQI, ISP for approval as a 'student-initiated suspension '
  • where the Overseas student and parent/DHA approved guardian do not support a suspension for compassionate and compelling reasons, progress to the Director, EQI, ISP to decide whether to initiate a suspension of enrolment
  • follow instructions of Director, EQI, ISP including collating evidence and preparing draft correspondence.

Director, EQI, ISP

  • assess the evidence to determine if EQI should initiate a suspension of enrolment.

3. Decide

3.1 Student initiated

Director, EQI, ISP

  • make a decision to approve or not approve a temporary suspension of enrolment based on the compassionate and compelling reasons provided by or on behalf of the Overseas student
  • if the request is approved, notify the school, Overseas student, parent/DHA approved guardian and notify agent (where applicable) using the ISP Suspension of enrolment approved letter and attach the completed form:
    • instruct EQI staff to update PRISMS promptly and within 31 days
  • if the request is refused, notify the school, Overseas student, parent/DHA approved guardian and agent (where applicable) using the ISP suspension of enrolment not approved letter, attach completed form and advise the Overseas student of their right to appeal
  • follow the Complaints and appeals – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure, if an appeal against the Suspension of enrolment not approved letter is received
  • notify the school principal and school staff of the outcome of the appeal process.

3.2 EQI initiated

Director, EQI

  • make a decision to approve or not approve a suspension on enrolment based on the circumstances presented by the school principal (e.g. extenuating circumstances relating to the student’s welfare)
  • if the decision is not to suspend the enrolment, make a note on the form and advise the school principal
  • if the decision is to suspend enrolment, issue a Decision to suspend enrolment letter to the Overseas student, parent/DHA approved guardian and agent (where applicable) as soon as practicable
  • consider the Overseas student, parent/DHA approved guardian request to extend the deadline to respond to show cause, if required
  • follow the Complaints and appeals – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure, if an appeal against the Decision to suspend enrolment letter is received.

School principal

  • advise school staff of the decision made by the Director, EQI.

School staff

  • closely monitor the Overseas student’s progress and keep the principal informed where a suspension of enrolment is not approved
  • maintain the Overseas student’s enrolment and welfare arrangements (where applicable) while appeals process is underway
  • where a suspension of enrolment is not approved, ensure Overseas student absences are counted in attendance monitoring calculations as per Roll marking in state schools procedure.

4. Suspend

Director, EQI

  • instruct EQI to notify the Australian Government of the suspension of enrolment, in PRISMS where either:
    • no appeal is made against the decision to initiate a suspension
    • an appeal is withdrawn
    • the internal appeal (20 working days) and/or external appeal (10 working days) is in favour to suspend (EQI is only required to wait for the outcome of an internal appeal before implementing)
  • 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, parent/DHA approved guardian and notify agent (where applicable)
  • notify the school principal of the outcome.

EQI staff

  • notify the Australian Government via PRISMS, promptly and within 31 days, that the Overseas student’s enrolment is suspended
  • suspend Overseas student’s enrolment record/s in the international student management system
  • ask the Overseas student, parent/DHA approved guardian to complete the ISP refund request form if eligible for a refund
  • review and assess the refund request in line with the ISP standard terms and conditions
  • give notice of any refund to the Australian Government within 7 days of the repayment.
  • inform the Overseas student of the need to seek advice from DHA on the potential impact on his or her student visa determine if the temporary suspension will affect the end date of the Overseas student’s Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE); refer to Ongoing enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure.

School principal

  • ensure the Overseas student is appropriately supervised and accommodated during the period of suspension
  • contact the Overseas student, parent/DHA approved guardian and notify agent (where applicable), when the end of the suspension period is approaching, to discuss the arrangements in place for the Overseas student’s return to school
  • reassess the situation after the suspension, and determine if the suspension has been an effective way of managing any behavioural issues, if applicable (consider the cancellation process in Ongoing enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) via procedure, if required).

School staff

  • if the Overseas student is returning home or changing welfare arrangements due to the suspension of enrolment, refer to the Change of welfare – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure to ensure that safe and appropriate supervision arrangements are in place
  • if the Overseas student is residing with a homestay provider during the suspension, monitor the Overseas student and ensure safe and appropriate supervision arrangements are in place:
  • ensure the period of suspension is recorded correctly in OneSchool as per Roll marking in state schools procedure
  • monitor the Overseas student’s return to school to ensure they are in attendance on the nominated return date.

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.  

DHA approved guardian

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

Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

A Confirmation of Enrolment is document created in Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) by EQI as evidence of a student’s course and duration of study in a nominated Queensland state school.

Course

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

EQI

Education Queensland International

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

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).

Parent

Natural parent or legal custodian.

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).

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

  • Student initiated deferral, suspension and cancellation of enrolment procedure
  • EQI initiated suspension and cancellation procedure

Review date

24 January 2023
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND
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