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Education Participation (Enrolment and Attendance) Policy

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. The policy describes the education participation requirements in the Education Act 2004 (the Act) and the responsibilities of schools and parents in relation to compulsory education. A suite of procedures supports the implementation of the policy.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. The Act requires any child living in the ACT between the ages of 6 and 17 years old to be enrolled with an education provider or registered for home education until they complete year 10.
    2. Once a child has completed year 10, they must participate in an education option until they turn 17 or complete year 12, whichever happens first.
    3. Where a child is attending a school, the child must attend school on every day the school is open for attendance and all activities that the school requires the child to attend, unless there is a reasonable excuse.
    4. Where a child is attending an education course provided by other than a school, the child must comply with the education provider’s requirements about full time attendance under the course requirements or for at least 25 hours per week.
    5. The attendance requirements do not apply to children approved for distance education.
    6. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure the enrolment and attendance requirements are met.
    7. The Director-General or delegate may issue an Exemption Certificate where a child is unable to meet the education participation requirement of the Act due to exceptional circumstances.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to all ACT public schools, principals, Directorate staff, students and parents.
  4. Context
    1. Schools work with families and other government and non-government agencies to ensure that each child is engaged in learning and is given every opportunity and support to enable them to meet the education and participation requirements of the Act.
    2. The Education Act 2004 Chapter 2 sets out the compulsory requirements for enrolment and attendance of children attending ACT schools.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. Schools: are responsible for monitoring the attendance of students enrolled in their schools.
    2. The Manager, Liaison Unit: is responsible for implementing this policy.
    3. Policy Owner: The Director, Governance and Assurance is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact Governance and Assurance Branch’s Liaison Unit by telephone: +61 2 6205 5429 or via the Directorate’s online form which is available at
    2. Queries regarding the progress of enrolment applications should be raised with the relevant school in the first instance.
  8. Complaints
    1. Concerns about the policy should be raised with the policy owner.
    2. see also the Complaints Policy on the Directorate’s website.
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • A child completes year 10 if:
        • the child is awarded or completes the requirements for being awarded a year 10 certificate
        • the child completes the requirements in relation to year 10
        • the Director-General or delegate is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the child has completed year 10 or its equivalent.
      • A child completes year 12: if the child is awarded or completes the requirements for being awarded:
        • a year 12 certificate
        • a certificate equivalent to a year 12 certificate that shows completion of a higher education pre-entry course or one issued under the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)
        • a certificate approved by the Director-General or delegate
        • the Director-General or delegate is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the child has completed year 12 or its equivalent.
      • Education provider: refers to a school; a registered training organisation (RTO); a university; or a non self-accrediting higher education provider. The Director-General or delegate may approve additional education providers.
      • Home education: means education conducted by one or both of a child’s parents from a home base. A child must be registered for home education.
      • Living in the ACT: means that a person resides at a physical street address located within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
      • A parent: is a person having parental responsibility for the child under the Children and Young People Act 2008 including a carer appointed under that Act.
    2. Legislation
      • The Education Act 2004 states the responsibilities of parents and the government in relation to education.
    3. Implementation Documents
      • Attendance at ACT Public Schools - procedures relating to school attendance
      • Attendance at Non-government Schools - procedures relating to school attendance
      • Education Options (other than school) - outlines the education providers other than schools, in which children may enrol.
      • Enrolment in ACT Public Schools (Early Childhood to Year 10) sets out the procedures for enrolment in ACT public schools.
      • Exemption Certificate Procedures - outlines matters which the Director-General may consider when deciding whether or not to issue an Exemption Certificate.
      • Non-compliance - outlines the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved with ensuring that a child living in the ACT of compulsory education age is meeting the attendance and participation requirements of the Act.
      • Post Year 10 Alternatives (work Related Training and Employment) Procedure –outlines the requirements for obtaining an Approval Statement.
    4. Related Policies and Information

Education Participation (Enrolment and Attendance) Policy: EP201111 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at