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DISTANCE EDUCATION ENROLMENTPROCEDURESImplementation document for Enrolment of Students in NSW Government SchoolspolicyPolicy document number: PD-2002-0006-02-V1.1.0Implementation date: November 2013Applicable from: 20 January 2021Contact: Rural and Distance Education CoordinatorPhone: 02 6334 8070

Document historyVersionDateDescriptionApproved by11/11/2013Distance Education EnrolmentProceduresA/Executive Director, Learning andLeadership05/09/2014Annual updateDirector Secondary Education04/09/2015Annual updateDirector Secondary Education20/09/2016Annual updateDirector Secondary Education25/09/2017Update to Extraordinary CircumstancesCategoryR/Executive Director, Learning andTeaching19/09/2017Annual updateDirector Secondary Education01/11/2018Annual updateA/Director Secondary Education1.0.010/12/2019Annual updateDirector Rural and Pathways1.1.020/01/2021Annual updateDirector Educational Support andRural InitiativesNSW Department of Education PD-2002-0006-02-V1.1.0If this is a printed document, refer to the department’s Policy Library for the most recent version.2

ContentsDocument history . 212Distance education in NSW .41.1Attendance .41.2The difference between distance education and home schooling .41.3Full-time students .51.4Single course and curriculum access.51.5Support and advice.5Full-time enrolment in distance education .6Enrolment reviews .6Common requirements for enrolment .6Supervisor responsibilities .72.1Preschool students who meet geographic isolation and other criteria . 82.2Students who meet geographic isolation criteria . 92.3Students travelling within Australia .102.4Students temporarily resident or travelling overseas .112.5Students with a medical condition that prevents their attendance at a regular school orother local provision: short-term provision .122.6Pregnant students/young parents for whom no appropriate local provision is available .122.7Vocationally talented students employed in the entertainment industry and studentsparticipating at elite levels in the performing arts or sport .132.8Students with additional learning and support needs .152.9Transition for students with significant support needs .172.10Students in extraordinary circumstances .182.11National school for travelling show children .192.12Students where an enrolment direction has been made by the NSW Department ofEducation Secretary or delegate.19Accessing distance education linked to your local school: where to apply . 193Years 9 to 12 curriculum access single subject provision categories and conditions .213.1Applications where the quota applies.223.2Applications not subject to quota .234Curriculum access provision for special education settings .265Sir Eric Woodward Memorial School Distance Education Support Unit.286Complaints, compliments and suggestions .297Distance education schools .308Appendix A: Access requests .32NSW Department of Education PD-2002-0006-02-V1.1.0If this is a printed document, refer to the department’s Policy Library for the most recent version.3

1 Distance education in NSWThe NSW Department of Education provides distance education for students living in NSW who areisolated or whose special circumstances prevent them from attending school on a regular basis.Distance education also provides for those students unable to access an appropriate curriculum in theirlocal school.These enrolment procedures provide information for principals and parents/carers when accessing thedepartment’s distance education provision. They should be applied to other relevant departmentalpolicies and procedures including: Enrolment of Students in NSW Government SchoolsExemption from School ProceduresChild Protection Policy: Responding to and reporting students at risk of harmDistance education students follow the relevant NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) approvedsyllabus and must apply themselves with diligence and sustained effort to set tasks to maintainsatisfactory attendance.1.1AttendanceState attendance data does not contain information about students in distance education because of thenature of distance education. Attendance is monitored in a number of ways, including records of studentengagement in learning activities, student reviews, and regular contact between students and subjectteachers. Distance education schools will maintain a register of interactions that take place between thestudent and the teacher and use these interactions to assess satisfactory attendance. All studentsenrolled in distance education must meet standards of engagement and participation set by thedistance education school to satisfy the compulsory attendance requirements of the Education Act 1990.Examples of interactions that may indicate satisfactory attendance include, but are not limited to: the regular return of allocated workengagement in synchronous remote teaching sessions such as phone lessons, satellite lessons, weblessons and video conference sessionsengagement in synchronous face-to-face teaching sessions such as lessons and study days at learninghubsasynchronous remote teaching practices such as email, authenticated online learning and learningmanagement systemsfield services such as camps and workshops, home visits and excursions.1.2The difference between distance education and home schoolingHome schooling allows parents/carers to choose to educate their children at home while distanceeducation provides schooling for students who are unable to access a local government school. Indistance education, the school and teacher are responsible for developing, implementing and evaluatingstudent learning programs. In home schooling, parents/carers are responsible for developing teachingand learning programs for their children. More information about home schooling can be found at theNESA website.NSW Department of Education PD-2002-0006-02-V1.1.0If this is a printed document, refer to the department’s Policy Library for the most recent version.4

1.3Full-time studentsFull-time enrolment in NSW distance education is provided for eligible students, from preschool toYear 12, either on a continuing basis or as a temporary provision to meet the particular needs ofstudents or their family.Principals of distance education schools determine the category under which a student will be admittedto distance education and the duration of the enrolment, acting on advice or recommendations fromother departmental officers, relevant professionals, documentary evidence and their own inquiries. Astudent will be admitted to distance education only when it is established that this is the best course ofaction for that student after consideration of all known circumstances.1.3.1Enrolment of adultsNSW Government schools provide education for compulsory school-aged children. The education ofadults is provided primarily by TAFE NSW, the Adult and Community Education (ACE) sector, and othereducation providers.Adults do not have a legal entitlement to be enrolled in schools. However, principals may accept adultenrolments for purposes of receiving instruction usually leading to the award of the Higher SchoolCertificate (HSC).A distance education enrolment of an adult may be considered in the full-time enrolment categoriesoutlined in sections 2.2, 2.6 and 2.7 in this document, in accordance with section 10 of the GeneralEnrolment Procedures, or if directed under section 2.10 in this document.1.4Single course and curriculum accessSingle course and curriculum access provisions enable students to meet the department’s mandatoryrequirements and the NESA minimum requirements in Stages 5 and 6 leading towards the award of theHSC. In all cases, the principal of the distance education school must be satisfied that the student’sneeds cannot be met within their home school or setting, or by accessing other local resources. Seesection 3 of this document for further detail.1.5Support and advicePrincipals and designated staff of distance education schools can provide support and advice aboutdistance education to other schools, learning and wellbeing teams in delivery support andparents/carers. Contact details are provided in section 7 of this document.The Rural and Distance Education team can provide policy support and advice to schools across NSW,state offices, learning and wellbeing teams in delivery support and parents/carers. For assistance,please contact the Rural and Distance Education team on email rde@det.nsw.edu.au ortelephone 02 6334 8072.NSW Department of Education PD-2002-0006-02-V1.1.0If this is a printed document, refer to the department’s Policy Library for the most recent version.5

2 Full-time enrolment in distance educationFull-time enrolment in distance education is available to students who are isolated or whose specialcircumstances prevent them from attending a school or another appropriate local provision.Parents/carers may seek full-time enrolment in distance education for a student who is eligible to enrol ina NSW Government school and meets the criteria in one of the enrolment categories listed in thissection. The specific conditions and processes to be followed for each enrolment category are detailed inthis section.A student should be enrolled in only one school at any given time. However, the distance educationschool may establish a shared enrolment to facilitate a transition with another government school fordocumented student wellbeing reasons in some enrolment categories.The following information sets out the conditions, in addition to the common requirements for enrolment,for each full-time enrolment category.Before enrolling, it is recommended that the potential student and supervisor visit the school. Thisallows an assessment of the student’s needs, an opportunity to meet the teachers, and for thesupervisor to discuss his/her role and responsibilities.When applying to enrol, the school will advise all students of the voluntary school contribution andother contributions that may cover the cost of items such as course kits, materials and equipment.Parents/carers who, because of financial hardship, are unable to pay for elective subjects may beeligible for assistance.Enrolment reviewsAll enrolments are subject to periodic review. If a student is no longer eligible for distance education, thestudent’s enrolment will cease and the parent/carer will be required to enrol the child at the local schoolor other approved education provider to meet the requirements of the Education Act 1990.As a condition of enrolment, all students enrolled in distance education must meet standards ofengagement and participation set by the distance education school to satisfy the compulsoryattendance requirements of the Education Act 1990.Some full-time enrolments target temporary circumstances and have set time limits that cannot beextended.Common requirements for enrolmentIn addition to adhering to the department’s General Enrolment Procedures, applications for full-timeenrolment in a distance education school must include: a completed application form to enrol in either a NSW Government school or preschoolevidence of a residential address in NSW, a post office box is not acceptableparent/carer confirmation that the home learning environment is suitable for effective distanceeducation provisiona declaration by the parent/carer that they recognise their roles and responsibilities in thestudent’s educationan undertaking by the parent/carer to provide and maintain an agreed mode of communicationbetween themselves and the distance education school for the duration of the enrolmentNSW Department of Education PD/2002/0006/02/v1.0.06

acceptance of the parent/carer to perform the role of supervisor during the period of enrolment,and carry out the supervisor responsibilities listed below.Working with Children legislation requires all people working or volunteering with children under 18 yearsto have a Working with Children Check. Parents or carers who engage tutors for support should ask thetutor to provide a Working with Children Check clearance number, then verify that number online.Parents/carers can verify the status of a Working with Children Check number by using the online toolavailable from the Office of the Children’s Guardian.Supervisor responsibilities liaising with the school about the program of learning that will be provided for the student andthe scheduling of the student’s and supervisor’s time for engaging in schoolwork and thecompletion of set taskssupervising the student during school or learning activitiessupporting and encouraging the student through assistance with locating materials andresources needed for lessons, development of a timetable for work, provision of a suitableworkplace and basic equipmentensuring that the student follows the course developed by the school and addresses, withdiligence and sustained effort, the set tasks and experiences provided by the schoolinteracting with the student as required by the learning materialsinterpreting and explaining to the student the spirit and intention of instructions or commentsincluded in lesson materials or in messages from the distance education teacherproviding feedback to the distance education teacher on the student’s responses to the lessonactivities and on the student’s performance and interest, including advice about illnesses orabsences that have affected the student’s ability to complete activitiesmonitoring the student’s participation in satellite, computer-based or teleconference lessons andfield services as appropriatesupervising examinations and assessment tasks, as required by the school.NSW Department of Education PD-2002-0006-02-V1.1.0If this is a printed document, refer to the department’s Policy Library for the most recent version.7

2.1Preschool students who meet geographic isolation and other criteriaThese Enrolment Procedures should be read in conjunction with the associated department preschoolpolicies.The department operates a limited number of distance education preschool classes that complementpreschool provision in the broader children’s services sector in NSW. Distance education preschoolscater for geographically isolated children who cannot access other early childhood education services.In assessing a preschool child’s eligibility for enrolment in distance education, principals will take intoaccount the distance from the applicant’s home to any local children’s services, including communitybased preschools, mobile children’s services and/or long day care. Preschool children need to meet thesame distance criteria as primary school aged children.Distance education preschool is a state-wide service that operates from Dubbo School of DistanceEducation and Broken Hill School of the Air. The educational programs offered from these schools aredesigned to meet the needs of isolated children across the state and support a smooth transition to thechild’s closest school.The designation of distance education sites that will provide pre-school will be assessed every threeyears on a needs basis.Children generally attend departmental preschool classes for 15 hours per week for one year only.Children are eligible for enrolment at the distance education preschool from the beginning of the schoolyear if they turn four years of age on or before 31 July in that year. In exceptional circumstances, anadditional year of enrolment may be considered, provided that the child is not within the compulsoryyears of schooling.Applications for enrolment extension under this provision must be referred to the Leader, Rural andDistance Education at rde@det.nsw.edu.au through the school the child is attending.In addition to the common requirements for enrolment, the department also requires relevantsupporting documentation to establish the distance from the student’s home to the nearest earlychildhood service and to any local children’s services, such as community-based preschools, mobilechildren’s services or long day care.Submit completed documents to the principal of the appropriate distance education school (see’Accessing distance education linked to your local school’ at the end of section 2 in this document).NSW Department of Education PD-2002-0006-02-V1.1.0If this is a printed document, refer to the department’s Policy Library for the most recent version.8

2.2Students who meet geographic isolation criteriaStudents who meet the geographic isolation criteria will be eligible to enrol at their local distanceeducation school and must provide evidence to the principal of the enrolling school that they meet one ofthe following conditions: the distance between home and nearest government school is 48 kilometres or morethe student does not have reasonable access to an appropriate government school for at least 20school days in a year because of adverse travel conditions such as impassable roadsa primary school student for whom the distance between home and transport pickup point is3 kilometres or more and the nearest government primary school is 16 kilometres from thetransport pickup pointa journey time that regularly exceeds 60 minutes each way to access nearest government primaryschoola secondary school student for whom the distance between home and transport pickup point is 5kilometres or more and the nearest government high school provision is 16 kilometres from thetransport pickup pointa secondary school student with a journey time that regularly exceeds 90 minutes each way toaccess the nearest government high school.In addition to the common requirements for enrolment the following may be required: evidence that Transport for NSW is unable to extend transport routessupporting document

distance education to other schools, learning and wellbeing teams in delivery support and parents/carers. Contact details are provided in section 7 of this document. The Rural and Distance Education team can provide policy support and advice to schools across NSW, state offices, learning an

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