Independent schools are reviewed against the minimum standards and other requirements for school registration by the VRQA.
All schools are reviewed at least once every five years. A school may be reviewed at any time.
A review may relate to all minimum standards (general review) or prescribed minimum standards (specific review).
Schools under review undergo an initial assessment by the VRQA. Depending on the outcome, a school may be the subject of a desk audit (documentation review) or a site audit. In some cases no further action is taken.
The VRQA may also conduct financial capability assessments of independent schools.
Registered schools must participate in reviews, including providing the VRQA with evidence of compliance.
The Independent School Self-Assessment Tool is a downloadable resource to help independent schools prepare for a review.
Where a finding of non-compliance with a minimum standard is made, the VRQA may take any of the following actions in relation to a registered school:
impose conditions on the registration of a school for the whole or any part of the period of registration
impose interim conditions on a school prior to a review being completed
prohibit the school from enrolling any new students
require the school to report its non-compliance to parents
suspend or cancel the school’s registration.
A notice of proposed action is generally provided to the school, allowing the school 28 days to show cause as to why the proposed action should not take place.
A person whose interests are affected by a VRQA decision can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to review the decision.
School review bodies
VRQA school review bodies manage the registration and the monitoring of compliance of schools in their system against the minimum standards and other requirements for registration.
The VRQA has approved the Regional Services Group of the Department of Education and Training, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) and Seventh-day Adventist Schools (Vic) Ltd as review bodies for government schools, Catholic schools and Seventh-day Adventist schools respectively.