Distance Education

ACT resident school aged students who are prevented from attending school due to a diagnosed health or mental health condition, isolation or special circumstances may be eligible for distance education programs provided by the NSW Department of Education through:

  1. Queanbeyan Primary School Distance Education Centre (DEC) - Primary school children
  2. Karabar High School DEC - Secondary school children

Where single course study programs are sought by an ACT resident student, the student’s ACT school should contact the relevant DEC to discuss what options are available.

Approval for Distance Education requires the parent of an ACT resident student to submit a completed application form to the ACT Education Directorate together with required supporting documentation (See Questions and Answers below)

Approval for distance education also requires the student’s parents to demonstrate that an appropriate level of adult supervision is provided to the student whilst studying by distance.

Questions and Answers

What supporting documentation do I need to send with my application for distance education?

You will need to submit the following documents to the ACT Education Directorate with your application for distance education approval:

  1. a certified copy of the student’s birth certificate, and if both parents were born outside of Australia – a certified copy of the student’s Australian citizenship or permanent residency papers
  2. a certified copy of a document that proves the family are residents of the ACT (e.g. utilities notice or rental agreement)
  3. specific documentation as outlined below.

For distance education due to a diagnosed medical issue you will also need to provide a current letter from the student’s medical specialist/paediatrician which:

  1. provides a contact number/email address for the medical specialist/paediatrician
  2. outlines the student’s medical condition and explains why the student is prevented from attending school for a minimum of two full school terms
  3. recommends distance education for the student
  4. includes an assessment of the length of time it is expected that the student will be unable to attend a regular school
  5. assesses any risks to the student.
    Examples of risks could include, for example, a lack of adequate adult supervision in the home, the student’s propensity to self-harm or access alcohol or drugs, unsupervised access to the internet, or unsupervised visitors to the home.

For distance education due to a diagnosed mental health and learning / support needs you will also need to supply a current letter from the student’s registered psychologist / psychiatrist which:

  1. provides a contact number/email address for the psychologist / psychiatrist
  2. outlines the student’s diagnosis and explains why the student is prevented from attending school for a minimum of two full school terms
  3. recommends distance education for the student
  4. advises that the registered psychologist/psychiatrist will be providing ongoing support to the student
  5. includes an assessment of the length of time it is expected that the student will be unable to attend a regular school
  6. assesses any risks to the student.
    Examples of risks could include, for example, a lack of adequate adult supervision in the home, the student’s propensity to self-harm or access alcohol or drugs, unsupervised access to the internet, or unsupervised visitors to the home.

For distance education due to isolation or special circumstances you will also need to supply certified written evidence that proves, for example, that a court order has been issued that will prevent the student from attending school.

When do I need to submit the application for my child to begin distance education?

Applications for distance education approval should be made at least 20 school days prior to the commencement date of learning. For HSC (year 11 and 12) study, applications should be made before the end of term 3 in the year before the commencement of year 11.

Can distance education start mid-term?

No. Distance education is approved for whole term periods only.

I live in NSW and my child attends an ACT school. How do I apply for Distance Education?

NSW resident applicants should contact the relevant NSW Distance Education centre directly.

Where can I find information about distance education if we don’t live in the ACT or NSW?

Please contact the Education Department (or equivalent) in the state or territory where you live.

Further Information

Distance education approvals for ACT resident children

ACT Education Directorate
Phone: +61 2 6205 5429
Online: Education Directorate Contact Form via Access Canberra

Distance education curriculum for kindergarten to year 6 students

Queanbeyan Distance Education Centre
Phone: +61 2 6299 2966
Web: Queanbeyan Distance Education Centre

Distance education curriculum for year 6 – year 12 students

Karabar Distance Education Centre
Phone: +61 2 6298 4300
Web: Karabar High School and Distance Education Centre

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