Victorian law requires children to attend school OR be registered for home education. While awaiting registration approval, school attendance is required.
However, there is provision for non-attendance set out under section 2.1.3 of The Education and Training Reform Act (details here) e.g. for
So, if your child is unsafe (including risks to their mental health), do NOT send them to school while you await approval to protect them.
Instead, notify the principal that you have applied to home educate and that your child is unsafe/unable to attend in the waiting period. State the reasons why they are unsafe/unable to attend and request that the principal approve the child’s absence in the application period. It is important this notification is in writing and dated, as this creates a paper-trail.
Keeping school communication open and polite can help avoid escalation and also count in your favour if the case is escalated.
The Student Attendance Guidelines makes it clear that their gradual escalation nature makes it highly unlikely there would be ramifications to families who remove their children to safety.
This is the process if a principal refuses to accept your reason for non-attendance:
If they decide to take it further the next stages are:
In the meantime:
For the safety of children who need immediate removal from school, it is important that this process is not abused by families who aren’t in that situation.
If you need support, let HEN know.
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