Edition 58

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New regulations, new requirements

The Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 have commenced, replacing the 2007 Regulations.

What's changed for schools?

  • Within school governance, the probity minimum standard has been strengthened to a 'fit and proper person' requirement replacing the 'good character' requirement.
  • A new definition of a 'responsible person' has been developed.
  • The 'not-for profit' requirements have been strengthened.
  • A registered school must now publish a clear statement of its philosophy and be able to demonstrate how the school's philosophy is enacted.
  • The school's proprietor is now responsible for ensuring that the governance of a school is structured to enable:
    1. the effective development of the school's strategic direction
    2. the effective management of the school's finances
    3. the school to fulfil its legal obligations.

What's changed for complaints investigation?

There were also some changes to how the VRQA investigates complaints, with arrangements revised to include:

  • an exemption to the complaints procedure if VRQA is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to not initially raise the complaint with the relevant school, person or body (regulation 100)
  • a referral of complaints from the Commission for Children and Young People.

What's changed for home schooling?

The Regulations also include changes to the regulation of home schooling. From 1 January 2018:

  • all new home schooling applications will require a one-off learning plan
  • the VRQA will annually review around 10 per cent of families.

In the lead up to 1 January 2018, the VRQA will be working with home schooling families to help them prepare for the changes.

The Regulations are made under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. They prescribe a number of matters under the Act relating to registration of schools, including non-government schools, education and training organisations, children for home schooling, as well as the role of the VRQA in investigating complaints.

For more information on the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017, see the DET website.

Updated VRQA guidelines

To support the new Regulations and to help providers understand their regulatory requirements, the VRQA has updated its publications, guidelines and forms.

The following documents have been updated and are available on the VRQA website:

What if my school is up for review?
Existing schools will be reviewed against the old regulations until 1 July 2018. To help prepare for a review, see our website to understand which guidelines you should follow.