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Section 6 – Administrative information: student enrolment

Administrative information: Student enrolment

1 Registration: VCE and VCAL Student Personal Details form

Students must complete and submit the relevant VCE and VCAL Student Personal Details form to their home school for each academic year in which they enrol. The accuracy of student details should be audited against information provided on a student’s form. Students must use their legally registered names when enrolling in a senior secondary qualification. Schools should request the student’s birth certificate or change of name document, both of which are issued only by Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria to ensure the accuracy of student names and birth dates.

If a student’s enrolment changes, it is the school's responsibilty to ensure that VCE and VCAL eligibility reports are run on VASS; these should be run periodically during the year.  By running eligibility reports regularly, schools will be able to identify where there are issues with students not being able to meet satisfactory completion of that Senior Secondary Certificate. If errors are reported, the errors must be fixed and then the eligibility report run again.

The following sections on the form should be checked, where applicable.

1.1 General declaration

Before undertaking any studies, all students must sign an agreement to abide by Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) regulations.

1.2 Consent for disclosure to other organisations

Students must give permission for their data to be forwarded to newspapers and other government bodies for the calculation of awards and prizes and for the Department of Education and Training (DET) On Track survey. This must be done for each academic year of enrolment.

1.3 Permission for use of student work

Students are asked to grant copyright permission for the use of their work in publications and productions approved by the VCAA.

1.4 Students with past results

A ‘past result’ is any result in Matriculation, HSC, TOP, T12, STC, VCE or VCAL in a previous year (unless the result was achieved in the year immediately before the current academic year and the student is continuing at the same home school).

Students with past results will need to provide sufficient personal details to enable their records to be matched to database records. The VCAA database matches a student’s records based on their student number or all of the following data: date of birth, first name, family name and gender. Students who have past results and who know their student number should indicate this on their form.

If a student’s records are not matched, the student may not be awarded the certificate in which they are currently enrolled. Home schools can view on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) all past results for VCE, VCE VET and VCAL achieved by students, including results from a student’s previous school.

1.5 Fee-paying international students

Overseas students wishing to undertake the VCE, VCAL or International Baccalaureate (IB) must indicate if they are a fee-paying international student when completing their form.

2 VCE enrolment

The only VCE studies with enrolment restrictions are English as an Additional Language (EAL), VCE Second Languages and VCE Chinese Language, Culture and Society.

The following VCE studies consist of more than four units:

  • History
  • Applied Computing
  • Australian and Global Politics
  • Mathematics
  • Music.

Except for units that are deemed to be equivalent, there are no restrictions within a study on the number or combinations of units that students may undertake or for which credit may be gained towards satisfactory completion of the VCE. For example, students may obtain credit in VCE Applied Computing for Units 3 and 4 of both Data Analytics and Software Development. However, to get credit for a sequence, students must satisfactorily complete both Units 3 and 4 from the one study. See the Qualifications: Victorian Certificate of Education section for full details.

2.1 Students seeking EAL status

As the satisfactory completion of an English study is a compulsory requirement for achieving the VCE, students who are unfamiliar with the English language because they are from non-English-speaking backgrounds or who are deaf or hard of hearing may have access to EAL status. Students applying for EAL status should indicate this on their VCE and VCAL Student Personal Details form. Identifying a student as having EAL status does not automatically enrol the student in EAL.

Students who complete Bridging EAL, which is available only as Units 1 and 2, are not automatically considered eligible for EAL status for Units 3 and 4 of EAL.

Students from a non-English-speaking background

To apply for EAL status, each student is required to submit an Application for Enrolment in English as an Additional Language Units 3 and 4 form to the school. This is designed to assist schools in evaluating a student’s EAL status. Schools should maintain a record of all completed applications. Schools should not enrol a student in EAL unless they have received all documentation verifying that the student meets the EAL eligibility criteria.

A student may be eligible for EAL status if they meet two criteria

For Criterion 1, the student must satisfy one of the following:

  • On the first day of the calendar year, the student must not have been a resident in Australia or New Zealand or other predominantly English-speaking country for more than seven years. The period of seven years is to be calculated cumulatively over the student’s whole life. The calculation of time spent in Australia is made from the date of last arrival plus any previous periods of time spent in Australia or any predominantly English-speaking country. Time spent out of Australia during school holidays should be included in the accumulation towards the seven years because there would have been no disruption to education during these periods.
  • The student is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person whose first language is not English.

For Criterion 2, the student must satisfy the following:

  • English has been the student’s major language of instruction for a total period of not more than seven years over the period of their education. Schools must sight the student’s overseas school reports to confirm that the language of instruction was not English during this period.

Special circumstances for EAL status

There are special circumstances that may be considered by the VCAA in determining a student’s eligibility for EAL status, including:

  • minimal or no primary school education
  • material interruptions to schooling during primary years, particularly if there were changes to the language of instruction
  • material interruptions to schooling after arrival in Australia.

Circumstances not considered for EAL status

The following are not grounds for a special application for EAL status:

  • the language spoken in the student’s home
  • the standard of the student’s spoken and written English
  • the failure of the student’s school to provide EAL assistance to the student.

Determinations about EAL status

If a student clearly meets the conditions, the principal has the authority to grant this provision. Such applications should not be sent to the VCAA; they should be retained on the school file.

If a decision is not clear, the principal may apply to the VCAA for a determination using the Application for Enrolment in English as an Additional Language Units 3 and 4 form. Only if a determination is sought from the VCAA should the completed application form, together with all supporting documentation, be forwarded to the Student Records and Results Unit as soon as possible.

Students who have resided and studied in Singapore or India

VASS disables EAL approval for students whose country of origin is Singapore or India, even though the student may have resided in Australia for less than seven years. A message on VASS will appear, stating ‘EAL eligibility for this country of origin can only be approved by the VCAA’. The school must forward the application to the VCAA for a thorough assessment. These applications need to include supporting school documentation and passport stamp and/or International Movement Records, to determine whether the student is eligible for EAL. If the application is reviewed by the VCAA, and the approval granted, it will be entered on VASS and the school will be able to enrol the student in EAL.

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing

Students seeking EAL status on the grounds of being deaf or hard of hearing must:

  • produce evidence of a hearing test administered by the Australian Government Hearing Services Program, or an equivalent body, not more than two calendar years before the year of enrolment in a Unit 3–4 sequence. The audiogram and accompanying report submitted must show that the student has a hearing loss of 60 decibels or greater in their better ear. Other aspects of hearing loss, such as issues relating to sound frequencies, should be noted in the report. The report should be written in an accessible language, with the implications of the audiogram results clearly explained
  • have been ascertained by the Visiting Teacher Service as being eligible for assistance on the basis of being deaf or hard of hearing, or be enrolled in a school for the deaf or hard of hearing or a recognised unit or facility for the deaf or hard of hearing attached to a regular school.

Schools can make decisions about the eligibility of a deaf or hard of hearing student for EAL status on the basis of these criteria. If necessary, advice may be sought from the Student Records and Results Unit.

If the principal has approved the student’s application, their status can be entered on VASS. If the principal is uncertain about a student’s eligibility, they should apply to the VCAA using the Application for Enrolment in English as an Additional Language Units 3 and 4 form. All evidence as described in the eligibility criteria must be supplied with the application.

To satisfy the requirements of English or EAL, students who are deaf or hard of hearing may undertake an alternative assessment task to the one specified in the English/EAL study design. For those students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who have a limited capacity for oral communication, an alternative may be a data presentation (for example, using Microsoft PowerPoint) or a presentation using Auslan, which is translated into Auslan by an interpreter.

School-based arrangements for EAL

Studies have been designed so teachers can develop courses appropriate to the needs of their students. The flexibility in the study design should be used to take account of a student’s comparative unfamiliarity with the English language.

2.2 Students seeking enrolment in VCE Second Language studies

There are specific eligibility requirements for VCE Second Language studies in Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. These studies are designed to cater for students who have learnt all they know of the language in an Australian school or similar environment.

All enrolments in Units 3 and 4 of a VCE Second Language study must be approved by the VCAA. Enrolment in VCE Second Language Units 1 and 2 studies does not need to be approved by the VCAA.

The home school is responsible for submitting the relevant VCE Second Language Studies Units 3 and 4 Application form, which should be submitted with the relevant supporting documentation in the academic year before enrolment. Schools should meet this deadline so that students are aware of their Second Language status at the beginning of the academic year in which they are enrolled. If this is not possible, schools should enrol students who may have difficulty meeting the required Second Language criteria into a First Language class until approval is granted. If the school does not offer the relevant First Language, the student should be enrolled in Distance Education at the Victorian School of Languages (VSL).

The student must provide sufficient evidence to support their application. The home school principal or their delegate must then make an initial assessment, using criteria and advice that has been provided by the VCAA, and complete the Principal’s Declaration section of the relevant VASS forms. All accompanying documentation must be in English or have been translated into English by a recognised translation authority.

The responsibility for providing supporting documentation rests with the student. The VCAA may not permit enrolment in the study if forms are not complete or the supporting documentation is incomplete or is deemed insufficient.

Eligibility for Second Language studies

The criterion for eligibility for a VCE Second Language study is the number of years the student has been educated in a school where the specific language is the medium of instruction. Students who have learnt all they know of the language in an Australian school are eligible for VCE Second Language enrolment.

Chinese Second Language

A student is not eligible for Chinese Second Language if they have either:

  • completed one year (12 months) or more of education in a school where Chinese is the medium of instruction
  • completed three years (36 months) or more of residence in any of the VCAA-nominated countries or regions (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau).
Chinese Second Language Advanced

A student is eligible for Chinese Second Language Advanced if:

  • they have completed no more than seven years of education in a school where Chinese is the medium of instruction
  • the highest level of education they have attained in a school where Chinese is the medium of instruction is no greater than the equivalent of Year 7 in a Victorian school.

As the formal education commencement age for a Victorian student is five years of age, all applicants will be deemed to have commenced formal education by the end of their fifth year of age, regardless of their setting.

Indonesian Second Language

A student is eligible for Indonesian Second Language if they have completed no more than seven years of education in a school where Indonesian or Malay is the medium of instruction.

Japanese Second Language

A student is eligible for Japanese Second Language if they have completed no more than seven years of education in a school where Japanese is the medium of instruction.

Korean Second Language

A student is eligible for Korean Second Language if they have completed no more than seven years of education in a school where Korean is the medium of instruction.

Vietnamese Second Language

A student is eligible for Vietnamese Second Language if they have completed no more than seven years of education in a school where Vietnamese is the medium of instruction.

Applying for VCE Second Language studies (Units 3 and 4 only)

Student enrolment responsibilities include:

  • completing the relevant VCE Second Language Studies Units 3 and 4 application, giving details of their language background
  • ensuring that all requested information is correctly provided and that the ‘Certification by student and parent or guardian’ section is completed
  • providing the school with relevant documents in English (or translated into English by a recognised translation authority) to support their applications.

The student has the responsibility for providing supporting documentation. Students should contact the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) on 1300 557 470 or (03) 9642 3301. The VCAA will not permit students to enrol in the study if the application form is not complete, or the supporting documentation is incomplete or deemed insufficient to allow eligibility to be determined. The following information may also need to be provided as supporting documentation to the VCAA:

  • Students who have Australian citizenship must provide a copy of their birth certificate or passport showing their date of arrival in Australia and country of residence.
  • Students who have attended school overseas must provide reports from the school showing languages studied and years of attendance.
  • Students who have had non-attendance at school in any year, or part year, from the age of six years must provide official relevant documentation. Acceptable documentation may be an official letter from the school in the country concerned, a report from a medical officer in that country, or a statement from the education authority in that country.
  • Students who have lived overseas must provide passport entry and exit dates that detail international movement. Students who have misplaced their passports may obtain this information from the Department of Home Affairs.

The principal of the home school, or their delegate, must make an initial assessment using criteria and advice provided by the VCAA, and complete the Principal’s Declaration section of the application form.

The home school must:

  • certify that the information provided in the form and supporting documentation is true and correct before submitting them to the VCAA
  • inform the student and their assessing school if the student is deemed to be ineligible. The application forms of these students should be forwarded to the VCAA only if endorsement of the school’s recommendation is required
  • forward application forms and a copy of relevant supporting documentation to the Student Records and Results Unit
  • check the student’s eligibility approval on VASS
  • enrol students on VASS if their eligibility for VCE Second Language study is approved
  • notify the assessing school of the VCAA’s decision concerning a student’s eligibility (by forwarding a Student Full Details Report).

Schools should contact the Student Records and Results Unit for advice about:

  • student transfers
  • students arriving from overseas at the commencement of the academic year
  • criteria for eligibility
  • enrolment procedures.

Exceptional circumstances

If a principal considers that a student who does not clearly satisfy the criteria should be allowed to enrol in the study due to exceptional circumstances, an application detailing the circumstances (supported by appropriate documentation) should be sent to the Student Records and Results Unit for consideration.

Difficulty in obtaining documents to explain non-attendance at school is not an exceptional circumstance. Appropriate documentation must be provided.

Approval for Second Language status will not be granted because of a student’s standard of writing, speaking or listening in the language.

Chinese studies enrolment

There are four VCE Chinese studies available for enrolment; three of these studies have specific eligibility requirements.

Students planning to enrol in Units 1 and 2 Chinese Second Language or Chinese Second Language Advanced and who are also considering further studies at Units 3 and 4 level are advised to discuss the eligibility requirements with their VCE coordinator before finalising their VCE program.

Chinese First LanguageLO04Units 1–2Application is not required for enrolment in Units 1 and 2Units 3–4Application is not required for enrolment in Units 3 and 4
Chinese Second Language AdvancedLO48Units 1–2Application is not required for enrolment in Units 1 and 2Units 3–4Application is required for enrolment in Units 3 and 4
Chinese Second LanguageLO39Units 1–2Application is not required for enrolment in Units 1 and 2Units 3–4Application is required for enrolment in Units 3 and 4
Chinese Language, Culture and SocietyLO57Units 1–2Application is not required for enrolment in Units 1 and 2Units 3–4Application is required for enrolment in Units 3 and 4

2.3 Students seeking enrolment in Chinese Language, Culture and Society

A student is not eligible for Chinese Language, Culture and Society if they have either:

  • undertaken six months or more of education in a school where Chinese is the medium of instruction
  • resided for 24 months or more in any VCAA-nominated countries or regions (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau).

2.4 Students seeking enrolment in VCE Modern Languages

Enrolment in VCE Modern Language Units 3 and 4 studies does not need to be approved by the VCAA; however, students are required to declare their status as either a First Language Learner or a Second Language Learner.

A student will be considered a Second Language Learner if they have completed all their schooling in Australia or they have accumulated less than seven years of education in a school where the language they are enrolling in was the main language of instruction.

First and Second Language Learners undertake the same curriculum and examinations; however, the VCAA uses the two language learner categories in the study score calculation process for VCE Modern Languages.

For each applicable study, study scores will be calculated based on Second Language Learners. The outcomes from these calculations will then be applied to all students. This process maintains the rank order of all students within the study, but ensures that the study scores of Second Language Learners are not impacted by First Language Learners.

This applies to students enrolling in: Arabic, Armenian, Bosnian, Chin Hakha, Croatian, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Karen, Khmer, Macedonian, Maltese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish and Yiddish.

Students will need to complete the Declaration for enrolment in VCE Modern Languages Units 3 and 4 form and submit this to their home school. Students should submit declaration forms to their home school with the relevant supporting documentation for the principal’s certification, before they are enrolled in the language study.

The home school is responsible for recording each student’s status on VASS as either a First or Second Language Learner in the language of study. Language learner statuses are required to be entered on VASS before the enrolment deadline for VCE Unit 3–4 sequences.

3 VCAL enrolment

There are no restrictions on the VCAL studies students may enrol in. The decision about the level in which a student enrols should be made by the VCAL provider in consultation with the student and should take into account the student’s preparation and degree of readiness. It is critical that the certificate level is correct as this may affect the student’s satisfactory completion.

4 VET enrolment

Students should be enrolled in the certificate and all units of competency they expect to complete in the current academic year only, rather than the complete qualification. If a student does not complete a unit of competency and wishes to complete it in a following academic year, they must be re-enrolled in the following academic year.

There may be restrictions on the VET training students can undertake because of industrial arrangements, the nature of the industry from which training is derived, and/or regulatory requirements. The enrolment into a qualification designated as an apprenticeship only is not permissible where a student does not have a valid, current training plan. The VCAA requires all schools wishing to enrol students into Certificate IV or Diploma qualifications to complete an Application for Higher Level Qualifications form, which is available on the VET page of the VCAA website. The decision about the content of the training program will be made by the school in consultation with the registered training organisation (RTO).

After enrolments have been finalised, a VCE or VCAL Student Eligibility Report should be run in VASS.

Schools should comply with the deadlines (which some sectoral authorities use to determine their funding arrangements) set out in the Important Administrative Dates for the following:

  • finalising unit of competency enrolments within VCE VET scored Unit 3–4 sequences
  • finalising unit of competency enrolments for any students undertaking any certificate type (VE1, VE2 or VE3)
  • withdrawing students from units of competency from a VCE VET scored Unit 3–4 sequence
  • finalising Assessment Plan information for VCE VET scored Unit 3–4 sequences.

5 International Baccalaureate registration

International Baccalaureate (IB) students need to be identified as such on VASS and the same attention to detail should be given to their personal details as required for VCE and VCAL students.

All Australian Year 12 IB students are required to sit the General Achievement Test (GAT) for the calculation of a notional Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). These students should complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Student Personal Details form. All international Year 12 IB students are required to be enrolled on VASS by the deadline in Important Administrative Dates so that this information can be forwarded to VTAC. The GAT is optional for international students at the school’s discretion; however, if students do not sit the GAT, an ATAR will not be calculated (they will, however, receive a notional ATAR statement).

There is an administrative fee for each IB student sitting the GAT (as per the Summary Schedule of Fees and Charges). The VCAA invoices students through their school. Each school is responsible for the collection of VCAA payments from its students. Schools are required to submit one cheque to cover all IB students included on the invoice. Where schools have an IB student wishing to undertake a VCE study, the principal must request permission for this enrolment from the VCAA before entering the enrolment on VASS. The school should provide to the Student Records and Results Unit a full course outline of the IB program the student is undertaking and provide the VCE study the student wishes to undertake. This VCE study must be different from any study being undertaken as part of their IB program.

6 Year 10 students without a program

Schools are required to identify Year 10 students on VASS regardless of whether they are enrolled in a VCE, VCAL or IB program. The course type for these students will be VCE and if a student does not have a VCE, VCAL or IB program, the school will be required to tick the Personal Details Only (PDO) box on the enrolment screen identifying the student as PDO. This information is collected for the purposes of the DET On Track project. The Year 10 Student Personal Details form must be completed by such students. The school should hold these forms until the following year.

7 Atypical enrolment in VCE or VCAL

There are some students who do not start and finish their VCE or VCAL at the one school or within a continuous timeframe, including those who:

  • transfer from one school to another within Victoria
  • transfer from another state system to the VCE or VCAL
  • transfer from another country to the VCE or VCAL
  • require a break in their VCE studies due to personal circumstances (interrupted studies).

There are some students who combine their VCE studies with Higher Education Studies at university. The records of all such students need to be appropriately managed.

7.1 Students transferring within Victoria

If VCE or VCAL students transfer from one Victorian school to another, schools use VASS for the transfer procedure. When a student transfers to another school, the school that the student is leaving is required to transfer the student on VASS, so they can be enrolled at the new school. If this is not done, the new school must contact the student’s former school and request the transfer. Students should not be transferred until the new home school is known.

A student must not be enrolled at the new school until correct transfer procedures have been completed, to ensure that a second student number is not created. Multiple records in the same academic year for the one student may lead to the student not being awarded their VCE or VCAL.

Students who transfer during the academic year must have results for units or School-based Assessment recorded on VASS at the time they transfer.

VCE transfers

If a VCE student transfers:

  • very early in the academic year and completes all outcomes at the receiving school, the receiving school determines satisfactory completion for both Units 3 and 4
  • very late in the academic year, having completed all outcomes at the original school but sitting any examinations at the receiving school, satisfactory completion of Units 3 and 4 is determined by the original school
  • midway through the academic year and completes Unit 3 at the original school, that school determines satisfactory completion of the unit, while the receiving school determines satisfactory completion for Unit 4
  • part way through completion of a unit, the original school enters all information on its assessments for any outcomes completed before transferring the student to the receiving school, while the receiving school determines satisfactory completion of the remaining outcomes and the unit.

The scheduling of assessment tasks at the receiving school may mean that a student would not have the opportunity in the normal teaching program to complete their remaining tasks for the unit. The receiving school should provide support for the student to complete any missing tasks, including the necessary teaching and preparation for the task. The scheduling of other tasks for the unit may prevent this, or the student may be disadvantaged by an overload of work in comparison with other students in the class. In such cases, the principal may award an S for the unit on the advice of the teacher of that study, if the student has completed sufficient work overall for a valid decision to be made.

VCAL transfers

If a VCAL student transfers:

  • very early in the academic year and completes all learning outcomes at the receiving school, the receiving school determines satisfactory completion for any VCAL units
  • midway through the academic year and has completed any units/learning outcomes at the original school, that school determines satisfactory completion of the units, while the receiving school determines satisfactory completion of any other units
  • part way through completion of a unit, the original school provides any information on learning outcomes completed before transferring the student to the receiving school; the receiving school will determine satisfactory completion of the remaining learning outcomes and the unit.

7.2 Students transferring from interstate on exchange programs

Students transferring from interstate on exchange programs may have late enrolments approved. Written applications should be made to the Manager, Student Records and Results Unit at the VCAA.

7.3 Students transferring from interstate during Year 11

How schools deal with students who transfer from interstate during Year 11 will depend on the time of year that the student transfers. The following examples describe the varying procedures.

Case 1: Student arrives before the end of Term 1

The school to which the student transfers should:

  • request documentation of the student’s progress from their previous school
  • enrol the student in VCE units in the usual way
  • determine a reasonable expectation for completion of work in each VCE unit in which the student enrols, taking into account the time remaining in the teaching period
  • assess the student’s satisfactory completion of units on the basis of the expectations established in the previous steps and the information provided by the student’s former school.

Students cannot at this stage be credited with completion of a unit by virtue of work completed at their previous school.

Case 2: Student arrives before the end of Term 2

The school to which the student transfers should:

  • request documentation of the student’s progress from the previous school
  • determine what would constitute a reasonable work program for the student for the remainder of the teaching period
  • apply for credit on the basis of work undertaken at the interstate school, taking into account work completed at the Victorian school, if appropriate
  • enrol the student in VCE units in the usual way.

Case 3: Student arrives before the end of Term 3

The school to which the student transfers should:

  • request documentation of the student’s progress from the previous school
  • apply for credit the student should receive
  • enrol the student in VCE units in the usual way
  • determine a reasonable expectation for completion of work in each VCE unit in which the student enrols, taking into account the time remaining in the teaching period
  • assess the student’s satisfactory completion of units on the basis of the expectations established above and the information provided by the previous school.

Case 4: Student arrives after the end of Term 3

The school to which the student transfers should:

  • request documentation of the student’s progress from the previous school
  • determine a reasonable work program for the student for the remainder of the teaching period
  • apply for credit for studies undertaken interstate, taking into account work completed at the Victorian school, if appropriate.

Students arriving in a Victorian school after enrolments for that year are closed will have to enrol in the following year.

7.4 Students transferring from interstate during Year 12

How schools deal with students who transfer from interstate during Year 12 will depend on the time of the academic year that the student transfers. The following cases describe the procedures schools should follow.

Case 1: Student arrives before the last day for enrolment in Unit 3–4 sequences

The school to which the student transfers should:

  • request documentation of the student’s progress from their previous school
  • enrol the student in VCE units in the usual way
  • determine a reasonable expectation for completion of work in each VCE unit in which the student enrols, taking into consideration the time remaining in the teaching period
  • assess the student’s satisfactory completion of units on the basis of the expectations established in the previous procedures and the information provided by the previous school
  • apply for credit for units completed at Year 11 and/or Year 12 level.

Case 2: Student arrives after the last day for enrolment in Unit 3–4 sequences

The school to which the student transfers should:

  • request documentation of the student’s progress from their previous school
  • determine a reasonable work program for the student for the remainder of the teaching period
  • apply to the VCAA for credit for studies undertaken interstate, taking into account work completed at the Victorian school, if appropriate.

Students who receive credit at Unit 3 and 4 level will be permitted to enrol in Unit 4. Wherever possible, it is expected that students enrolling in only Unit 4 will enrol in VCE studies that are related to the interstate subjects on which the credit granted for Unit 3 level is based. Requests to enrol interstate students directly into Unit 4 must be made in writing to the Manager, Student Records and Results Unit.

Students who are awarded credit for Unit 3 of a study completed interstate in 2020 and who complete Unit 4 of a similar VCE study and two or more graded assessments will have a study score calculated. This applies only to the current year of enrolment. Students who obtain an N for Unit 4 cannot return in the following year to satisfy the unit and have a study score calculated.

Students who obtain an N for Unit 4 may return in the following year, but must enrol in the Unit 3–4 sequence. An S for Unit 4 will satisfy the sequence. A study score will be calculated only if the student satisfactorily completes Units 3 and 4 in the one year.

Case 3: Student arrives after the deadline for withdrawing from a Unit 4 study

Students transferring from interstate during Year 12 after the deadline for withdrawing from a Unit 4 study will not be permitted to enrol in Unit 4 for that year.

7.5 Students arriving from overseas

Students transferring from overseas may have late enrolments approved. Written applications should be made to the Manager, Student Records and Results, VCAA.

Students arriving from overseas during Year 11

How schools deal with students transferring from overseas will depend on the time of year the student arrives. The procedures outlined for interstate transfers during Year 11 also apply to overseas transfers.

Students arriving from overseas during Year 12

Overseas students may complete the VCE in one year if the VCAA awards them credit at Unit 1 and 2 level. For overseas students transferring during Year 12 in the period before the last day for enrolment in Unit 3–4 sequences, schools should follow the same steps as those described in Case 1 in 7.4 Students transferring from interstate during Year 12. Students transferring from overseas after the last day for enrolment in Unit 3–4 sequences will not be permitted to enrol in Units 3 and 4.

7.6 Late enrolments in VCAL for exchange students

Late enrolment in VCAL for exchange students who are transferring from interstate or arriving from overseas on exchange programs and wishing to enrol in a VCAL program require approval. Written applications should be made to the Manager, Student Records and Results. Providers should consider the following:

  • Some of a student’s prior studies may contribute to one or more of the VCAL strands or as a general credit towards the VCAL. Providers should contact the VCAL unit at vcaa.vcal@edumail.vic.gov.au.
  • Providers should ensure that a student’s VCAL program is a valid program. See the Qualifications: Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning section.
  • Students may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for some VCAL units. Further information on VCAL RPL can be found in Section 4 of the VCAL Unit Assessment Planning Guide.
  • Students arriving after a VCAL unit has commenced may not be able to successfully complete all the learning outcomes in the time allocated to the unit.

The VCAA website provides information on overseas qualifications and their credit into the VCE. This information may also be useful in determining credit into the VCAL at the appropriate level.

7.7 Interrupted Studies students

Interrupted Studies status enables students to complete VCE Units 3 and 4 and have a study score calculated over two academic years. The principal or principal’s delegate, on behalf of the student, applies to the VCAA once the Interrupted Studies Status Application form (on VASS) has been completed.

The Interrupted Studies provision is primarily designed as a means to manage a student’s program to ensure access to the full range of assessments. Schools will need to demonstrate a student’s eligibility in the application documentation, the action taken so far in managing the student’s circumstances, and the arrangements being made by the school to ensure that the student can complete their studies when they return to study in the following academic year.

Eligibility for Interrupted Studies

Students who are enrolled in Units 3 and 4 and undertake a recognised overseas exchange program or experience serious illness or other major adverse personal circumstance during the course of the academic year may apply for Interrupted Studies status and withdraw from Unit 4 of a sequence. Students may apply for Interrupted Studies status for their whole program of studies or for only part of their program (for example, interrupting two studies of an enrolment of five studies).

Students who will be unable to satisfactorily complete Unit 3 in a study before their departure should consider Compassionate Late Withdrawal from the study, encompassing both Units 3 and 4.

Interrupted Studies status is not granted to students who wish to enrol in an alternative course of study or participate in activities of personal interest. Schools may consider making specific arrangements for a student who chooses to participate in sporting events either interstate or overseas and who will be absent from school for a brief period. These arrangements should focus on allowing students to achieve satisfactory completion of outcomes.

Students who take up full-time employment or a full-time apprenticeship but maintain their commitment to the VCE by continuing enrolment in at least two sequences of Units 3 and 4 may be considered eligible.

Australian Defence Force personnel may apply for Interrupted Studies status. Schools should contact the Student Records and Results Unit for advice.

There is no specific date by which the VCAA must receive applications; however, Interrupted Studies status will not be granted to students who satisfy the outcomes for Unit 4 but were unable to complete VCE external assessments. In these cases the student may be eligible to apply for a Derived Examination Score.

Sample program structures

Eligible students may vary their program to suit their circumstances. The following table outlines two examples. The first student needs to take a complete break from study. The second student has continued with two of their five studies and taken a complete break in three studies, then chosen to repeat one of the continued studies the following year, repeat Unit 3 of two of the interrupted studies, and complete Unit 4 of each of the interrupted studies.

Type of Interrupted Studies First year Second year Third year

Student 1: Complete break

English
Units 1 and 2

Mathematical Methods
Units 1 and 2

Chemistry
Units 1 and 2

Media
Units 1 and 2

Literature
Units 1 and 2

English
Unit 3

Mathematical Methods
Unit 3

Chemistry
Unit 3

Media
Unit 3

Literature
Unit 3

English
Unit 4

Mathematical Methods
Unit 4

Chemistry
Unit 4

Media
Unit 4

Literature
Unit 4

Student 2: Partial break

English
Units 1 and 2

Mathematical Methods
Units 1 and 2

Chemistry
Units 1 and 2

Media
Units 1 and 2

Literature
Units 1 and 2

English
Unit 3

Mathematical Methods
Unit 3

Chemistry
Unit 3

Media
Unit 3

Literature
Unit 3

English
Unit 4

Mathematical Methods
Unit 4

Mathematical Methods
Unit 3

Media
Unit 3

Literature
Unit 3

Mathematical Methods
Unit 4

Chemistry
Unit 4

Media
Unit 4

Literature
Unit 4

Returning to complete Unit 4 studies

A student is not automatically flagged as a returning Interrupted Studies student when they resume their studies the following academic year. The VCAA requires notification in writing that the student has returned and has been enrolled in the relevant studies.

Arrangements for a student’s return to school with Interrupted Studies

In preparation for a student’s return to undertake Unit 4 of a study commenced in a previous academic year, schools are strongly advised to check the curriculum content to ensure continuity of the sequence. If there are significant curriculum changes, teachers should ensure students receive advice and additional preparatory work.

Students who return to a different school after Interrupted Studies

A student who returns to a different school after Interrupted Studies should inform their new school that they have Interrupted Studies status to ensure enrolment in Unit 4 of the studies for which they were granted this status.

Inability to return to school after Interrupted Studies

If a student is unable to return to school to complete Unit 4 at the agreed time, the school may apply on their behalf for an extension of Interrupted Studies for a further 12 months. Applications for extension must be in writing from the school principal and include current medical or other professional documentation to support the application.

Repeating studies

It is not intended that students who are granted Interrupted Studies status repeat Unit 3, but they may do so if they wish to use it as an opportunity to improve assessment results. If a student was awarded an N for Unit 3 because of illness or other serious cause, they should repeat the unit. They must complete all set tasks in accordance with the study design to assess learning outcomes in the academic year of their return.

8 Withdrawal from study

Students may choose to withdraw from their studies at any time. However, the records of their enrolment can be withdrawn from a unit only if the enrolment date for that unit has not passed. Student enrolments cannot be withdrawn from the database if there are results recorded for the enrolment.

8.1 Compassionate Late Withdrawal

A student may, under exceptional circumstances, be given approval for Compassionate Late Withdrawal from VCE Units 3 and 4. The principal or principal’s delegate, using the Application for late VCE and VCAL enrolment amendments form, must apply to the Manager, Student Records and Results, on the student’s behalf, for permission to withdraw from one or more VCE Unit 3 and 4 studies. Documentation of the exceptional circumstances must be included. Compassionate Late Withdrawal is not available to students who are simply not coping with the demands of VCE studies. This provision is designed to assist students who have made a genuine attempt to continue with their VCE studies while suffering major adverse circumstances, but find that they cannot complete their studies. If the exceptional circumstances claimed are for medical reasons, evidence from a qualified person – for example, a general practitioner or psychologist – is required as part of the application. No fees apply for Compassionate Late Withdrawal.

Compassionate Late Withdrawal from a Unit 3 and 4 study will not be approved if a student has a final reported grade for an examination or School-based Assessment. If the student has scores for an examination or School-based Assessment associated with Unit 3 only, and wishes to continue with that study the following year, the school may apply for Interrupted Studies status on the student’s behalf.

8.2 Total withdrawal from the VCE or VCAL

Students wishing to withdraw from the VCE or VCAL must first complete a Student Exit form (on VASS). It is not possible for schools or individuals other than the student to withdraw a student’s enrolment without the student’s written permission. The Student Exit form should be incorporated into the school’s exit procedures and documentation and should be stored at the school; the withdrawal must be entered on VASS. Withdrawal from VCE or VCAL can be completed by the school provided the enrolment date for that unit or units has not passed.

9 Fee-paying international students

Fee-paying international students studying at a Victorian school who wish to undertake the VCE, VCAL or IB must indicate that they are a fee-paying international student on their VCE and VCAL Student Personal Details form. Note that IB and VCAL studies are not available to international students studying at a Victorian government school.

International students are students from overseas who do not hold Australian citizenship, do not have permanent residence, and are in Australia on a visa that permits them to study. Some international students are required to pay fees to study in Victoria and others are not. Fee liability is determined each education provider. International students in Australia on a recognised overseas exchange program are not required to pay fees to attend school in Victoria and are not required to pay VCAA fees.

In Victorian government schools, the fee-paying status of international students is set in accordance with 2.2.9 (1) of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, Ministerial Order 819 – Fees for Overseas Students in Government Schools and the International Student Visa Fee Table (Fee Table) document. The Fee Table assists Victorian government schools to correctly identify which international students must pay fees based on the visa they hold. Fee-paying international students wishing to study at a Victorian government school must enrol in the Department of Education and Training’s International Student Program, administered by the Department’s International Education Division. Queries about the fee-liability of international students at Victorian government schools, can be directed to the International Education Division: (03) 7022 1000 or international@education.vic.gov.au.

In non-government schools, such as schools operating under the Catholic Education Commission of Victorian (CECV) or Independent Schools Victorian (ISV), the fee-paying status of international students is set by each school. Contact the relevant schools for further information on the fee liability of international students at these schools.

9.1 VCAA administration fee for fee-paying international students

The VCAA administration fee invoiced to fee-paying international students covers the cost of enrolment, assessment and examination procedures, printing and delivery of results, and the forwarding of results to VTAC. The VCAA invoices students through their schools after the last day for enrolment in a Unit 3–4 sequence. No payments should be sent until invoices have been received. A tax invoice for the school will not be issued. If the accounts department at the school requires a tax invoice in order to issue a cheque, the control report and student invoices may be photocopied before being distributed to the students.

The VCAA fees for fee-paying international students are listed in Summary Schedule of Fees and Charges on the VCAA website. These fees are GST exempt.

As fees are dependent on unit enrolments, it is essential that student enrolments are correct at the time of invoicing. Students must be enrolled in their complete program for the academic year before the last day for enrolment in a Unit 3–4 sequence. Schools should pay particular attention to the enrolments of students who are studying units at other assessing schools, for example, VCE Language providers.

First-, second- and third-round invoice and payment due dates for fee-paying international students are listed in Important Administrative Dates. Schools are required to distribute invoices, collect payments and submit one payment either by cheque or bank transfer to cover all students invoiced. Note that payments made by students directly to the VCAA will not be accepted and will be returned to schools.

Fee-paying international students should be made aware that failure to pay all VCAA invoices received over the period of their enrolment in the VCE program (which may be over one or more years) will result in final results being withheld from the student, the school and VTAC.

Principals are required to ensure that the list of fee-paying international students provided by the VCAA is a complete record of all VCE and VCAL students with this status in the school. The list, which needs to be certified by the principal as correct, must be returned to Student Records and Results, VCAA.

If any student’s status needs to be amended, either to or from fee-paying status, the required amendment is to be made on VASS and the Student Full Details Report forwarded to Student Records and Results with a brief explanation.

9.2 VCAA fee refund policy for fee-paying overseas students

If VCAA fees have been received for a student who has been incorrectly flagged as a fee-paying international student or who formally withdrew prior to the enrolment date, the VCAA will refund the school. An international student who is granted Australian residency status after the enrolment date must still pay the fees invoiced.

10 Student observance of assessment and attendance rules

At the beginning of each academic year, students agree in a signed declaration to abide by the rules and instructions relating to the conduct of the VCE assessment program. This includes school rules related to their assessment, both School-based Assessment and VCE external assessments.

Students must also sign a declaration that they will abide by their school’s policies and rules relating to the appropriate use of the internet.

Schools should refer to the Scored assessment: School-based Assessment and Scored assessment: External assessment sections for detailed information on VCAA rules relating to assessment, and what to do if there is a breach of these rules.

10.1 VCE attendance

All VCE units involve at least 50 hours of scheduled classroom instruction. A student needs to attend sufficient class time to complete work. The school sets minimum class time and attendance rules. If a student has completed work, but there has been a substantial breach of the school’s attendance policy, the school may be unable to authenticate the student’s work completed across the outcome. Where the school chooses to assign an N result for the unit, because the work cannot be authenticated, the school must assign an N for the outcome that cannot be authenticated.

A school policy and set of procedures to cover absence from School-based Assessment tasks should be published and made available to staff, students and parents. When a student is absent from school for prolonged periods, or has been unable to complete all School-based Assessment tasks because of illness or other special circumstances, the school may, upon application from the student, grant Special Provision for School-based Assessments. In this case, the student should not be penalised for lack of attendance. Special Provision may allow a student to work from home for a period of time. Schools should ensure they retain documentation about any decisions relating to granting provisions for School-based Assessment, including supporting evidence.

In the situation where a student is allowed to work from home, the school must have in place additional measures to be able to authenticate the student’s work as their own. Advice about authentication measures is provided in the Scored assessment: School-based Assessment section.

10.2 VCAL attendance

Within a school setting, a VCAL learning program would normally be based on a full-time load of scheduled and unscheduled learning (1000 hours). Attendance in a school setting is determined by school regulations. In other educational settings the nominal hours may vary, taking into consideration the specific needs of the student.

VCAL programs often include learning outside the school, including VET classes and structured workplace learning. Expectations related to these settings are set by the RTO or workplace.

A school policy and set of procedures related to VCAL attendance should be published and made available to staff, students and parents.