PROCEDURE

Elements of the Enrolment Process

 

Parents wishing to enrol their child at a school will be made aware of the culture of the school, its education offerings, the terms on which a child is enrolled as a student and the responsibilities of parents of children enrolled before the parent makes a commitment. 
 

The procedures for enrolment of students will include the following elements:
 

  1. A background document (eg Prospectus) will be prepared to provide an outline of the school's programs including academic courses and other activities and the school's philosophy.  It will be made clear that the programs may vary from time to time.  The document will avoid extravagant claims or giving promises of particular outcomes.

  2. An application form will be provided which is sent with the background document and a document outlining the conditions of entry of the school.

  3. At some stage, there will be an interview with the parents and the child to assist in establishing that the expectations of the parents can be met.

  4. A letter of offer of enrolment will be sent to the parents of the student(s) which again contains the conditions of entry to the school.

 

The parents may accept the offer, agreeing to the terms.

 

DOCUMENTATION

 

Enrolment Application Form

 

This form will capture the following information:
 

  • Personal information about both parents and the student


Student details that are required will include the following information:
 

  • Full name, age verified by sighting original Birth Certificate and placing a certified copy of Birth Certificate on the Student’s File

  • Home address

  • Parent/Carer contact phone numbers

  • Emergency Contact numbers

  • Date of enrolment.

  • For students entering the school at age 6+, registering their previous school or their pre-enrolment situation

  • Medical alert information (eg Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes)

  • Details of special circumstances of the student that may need to be taken into account by the school (such as medical conditions, special gifts or talents, special needs, psychological test results, results of testing that may impact on the student's education, English as a second language)

  • Clear indication that the student will need to be offered a place before enrolment can be confirmed

  • Current school fee list should be attached and should indicate if a percentage of the fees will be used for capital purposes

  • Information regarding any application and/or enrolment fees that may apply and any possible forfeiture of these fees

  • Question's as to whether the student will be identified as an overseas student

  • Declaration by the parents that the information provided is true and correct

 

Note:  Where applicable, the application form will be signed by both parents.

 

 

Conditions of entry:
 

The following will be outlined to prospective families:

  • Process in dealing with absences from school because of

    • sickness

    • other

  • Requirements of the school relating to the behaviour of students

  • Policy on discipline and expulsion of students

  • Removal of the student in case of a breakdown of the relationship with parents

  • Uniforms

  • Information regarding fees and possible fee increases

  • Payment for books and stationery

  • Permission for urgent hospital or medical treatment

  • Responsibility for the care of personal belongings

  • Requirement (if any) to take part in school activities

  • Future amendments to terms and conditions of enrolment

  • The responsibility of parents to advise the school of change of address and contact number

 

Letter of offer:

  • Clear offer requiring acceptance of conditions of entry

  • Signed by all parents/guardians

 

RECORDING ENROLMENT INFORMATION

 

The school will ensure that all enrolment data is maintained for students electronically. A copy of the signed Enrolment Application, Enrolment Contract, certified copies of Visa, Birth Certificate, Medical Information, etc will be maintained in hard copy on the student’s file.

 

Departing Students

The following will be recorded for all departing students:

  • Departure Date

  • Future school destination for any student <17 years of age. 

  • In instances where the destination of the student < 17 years of age is unknown, then a notification will be made to the Home School Liaison officer with the NSW Department of Education. This notice will include details of the student’s full name, DOB, last known address and family contact details, as well as any information regarding the possible destination.  Further information regarding any health and safety risks associated with the contacting parents or the student will also be provided. Copies of all documentation and communication with the Home School Liaison Officer will be kept on the student’s file.

 

Maintaining Enrolment Records

 

Enrolment Registers will be maintained in electronic and hard copy form for a minimum of 5 years.  Following this enrolment data will be archived electronically.

 

GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH APPLICATIONS FOR ENROLMENT ON BEHALF OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Standards) apply to a school's dealings with all students with disabilities (i.e. those enrolled at the school even if they have not yet commenced) and also prospective students with disabilities (i.e. those for whom an that will help the school to comply with the Standards in the context of the enrolment process for students with a disability as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
 

Some general comments:

  • These guidelines are intended to be flexibly applied to suit the circumstances of each application.

  • The Standards and DDA have been developed to advocate for the student with the disability and the school will consider its approach accordingly. The school may seek advice on the appropriate interpretation of the Standards.

  • When considering any application for enrolment, a determination will be made regarding the school’s capacity to address the student’s individual needs.  This will be achieved by working through the individual planning process to identify the reasonable adjustments that would be required to facilitate the student’s access to and participation in the educational opportunities provided by the school.  This process may require lateral thought to identify solutions.

  • The school is aware of the importance to demonstrate to the family that the school is seriously considering relevant issues; is willing to listen to their views; will seek assistance in finding solutions; is willing to be flexible and think laterally about solutions; and will make genuine efforts to find ways to meet the student's needs.

  • A collaborative approach where the school, family and relevant experts work together to identify the adjustments required and jointly seeking solutions is most likely to produce positive results for all parties.

  • When considering adjustments, a detailed analysis for the initial years of the student’s schooling will be prepared.  This will include consideration of the student's potential needs in the years following enrolment.

  • The school may seek special education advice in analysing the student’s needs and to develop the potential range of adjustments.

  • At all stages of the enrolment process, including if the school makes inquiries of a third party, care will be taken to protect the privacy of the applying student and family in accordance with the school's privacy policy and the Privacy Act. The school will seek the parent’s permission to speak with preschools, other schools and/or specialists.

  • Objective notes will be recorded regarding all discussions and interviews with parents and kept on file. Records will also be kept of any decisions made about adjustments for the student.

 

Guidelines
 

The school will follow these guidelines.

  • In the prospectus (or similar document) provide information about the schools:

    • entry requirements

    • educational and other offerings (including sport, camps, music)

    • approach to progression through course and programs which is consistent with the object of the course

  • To enable a person with a disability to make informed choices and supply relevant information.  The enrolment application form should contain an acknowledgement that the family has received and read this information.

  • Ensure that the enrolment process does not disadvantage a person with disabilities (e.g. because information is not easily accessible).

  • Ask all students/families (e.g. in enrolment application forms) to identify any specific needs they have which may impact on their education and/or participation in the programs and opportunities provided by the school.

  • Invite the student and parents to attend an interview/meeting at the school as part of the enrolment process before making any decision about the enrolment. At the interview discuss if the student requires any special services or facilities which the school would need to provide to assist the student.  It may be of assistance to obtain information from a third party (such as AIS and/or the student’s specialist support personnel) about the student’s needs related to an identified disability.  It is essential to obtain all relevant information as quickly as possible as schools are expected to process the application from a student with a disability in the same/ similar timeframe as would apply to any other student. A collaborative team approach to planning to use the combined expertise of the family and their specialist/s with the school and their advisors is recommended.

  • Document the people involved and the issues raised in a format which allows objective notes on possible adjustments agreed actions and a timeline. This format can be used on an on-going basis to document the individual planning process and will be a protection for the school in the case of a complaint.

  • Request the family to provide information about the student’s needs as part of the individual planning process. Relevant information will assist in identifying any adjustments and could include:

    • previous school or preschool reports, noting current achievements and areas of need

    • psychologist's report documenting functional skills and recommended strategies for working with the student

    • speech pathologist's report documenting receptive and expressive language skills and any recommendations for programs or technology in the classroom

    • occupational and physiotherapy reports documenting self-help skills and mobility, including assistive technology reports recommending equipment and access audits regarding access to premises

    • medical specialist reports identifying issues which need to be considered by the school

    • vision and hearing reports documenting level of functioning and recommended strategies

  • Where appropriate, invite the family to bring relevant specialists (for example special educators, preschool staff, therapists, psychologists and medical specialists) to visit the school to discuss specific needs or issues and participate in developing potential adjustments to address the specific needs or issues.

  • Assess the school's physical environment, and the likely impact of any adjustments required (including, but not necessarily limited to, the financial impact). Provide a tour of the school with the student, parents and where relevant, specialists, to identify issues and potential solutions. If a student with a physical disability has difficulty with the environment a specialist paediatric occupational therapist should undertake an access audit to have a comprehensive assessment of the difficulties with the site.

  • Request feedback and suggestions from relevant staff within the school and external special educators about the possible impact of the adjustments required by the school if the student was enrolled.

  • Seek information about possible levels of Australian Government funding and access to other support services. Contact the AIS to obtain a list of the documentation required for applications for funding and the range of available funding programs.

  • Consult with the family and the student’s specialist, where appropriate, about possible adjustments.

  • Keep the family informed about the progress of the application.

  • If the decision is taken to enrol a student with a disability, any strategies which need to be put into place to accommodate the student's special needs should be identified before communicating the enrolment decision.

  • If the school considers that it may have to decline the enrolment, involve the principal or deputy principal before the decision is communicated to the family.

  • If the school considers that it may have to decline an enrolment, seek advice from the AIS or a specialist in the area before informing the parent of the preliminary decision.

  • Any preliminary decision regarding the school's ability to meet the child's special needs must be justifiable. For example, where the school declines to enrol a student with a disability, it must be able to demonstrate that it is unable to meet that student's needs without imposing unjustifiable hardship, having regard to the student's current condition and prognosis.

  • Before making a final decision about the required adjustments, or before declining an application for enrolment, communicate the preliminary decision to the family and invite their input to the school. The onus is on the school to demonstrate why they are declining the enrolment.

  • Discuss the process the school will use to manage ongoing or emerging issues which require further adjustments, with the family. Based on the process for determining reasonable adjustments, the ongoing use of a collaborative team approach involving school, home and relevant experts is likely to deliver mutually agreed outcomes.

  • Provide a review mechanism for dealing with any issues or disputes between family and school about decisions made.

 

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF STAFF
 

Professional development will be provided to assist staff – for example in the use of appropriate language and ensuring all staff are informed that the school will consider the enrolment applications for students with or without a disability.

 

Professional development will also include information on the school’s policy on the prevention of harassment and victimisation of students with disabilities and their associates.

 

Where adjustments are to be implemented to support individual students with disabilities, professional development of staff to ensure the adjustments are provided in a consistent, appropriate and timely manner is advised.

 

The Standards also have implications for participation in all school activities, curriculum implementation and access to support services.  The school will actively consult and make adjustments to accommodate the student with a disability.  Accordingly, the enrolment process will be closely aligned with the school's management of these areas (for example through a special needs department or coordinator).  The school will give careful consideration to the adjustments in these areas before deciding whether to enrol a student.

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