Flexible Arrangements for School Students

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Implementation Date



All state and non-state schools


​This procedure outlines processes to be undertaken by delegated officers in approving flexible arrangements for a student’s educational program during compulsory schooling or the compulsory participation phase.


A Flexible Arrangement allows for all or part of a student’s educational program to be delivered by another education provider. The other education provider could be a community organisation that offers special programs for children and young people, or another school (state or non-state).

For example, a flexible arrangement may be appropriate for:
  • A secondary student who wants to study a subject that is not offered at their school and whose principal agrees for them to study the subject at another school or through distance education;
  • A student participating in a behaviour management program at an alternative education centre for two days a week, and who attends their usual school for the rest of the week; or
  • A student who is acting in a movie for two weeks and will participate in an educational program delivered by a tutor while on the set of the movie.
During the flexible arrangement the student remains enrolled at their usual school and the principal retains authority and responsibility for the student’s educational program. The program should be equivalent to the student’s full-time participation at school.  A flexible arrangement can occur on or off the school site.

If the flexible arrangement is between two schools, both principals should discuss the proportion of Full-time Equivalent (FTE) enrolment at each school (e.g. 0.6 at one school, 0.4 at the other). The student’s educational program is the responsibility of the school where the student spends most of the time. In situations where the FTE enrolment is equal between the two schools (i.e. 0.5), both principals should discuss and share responsibility for the student’s educational program. Student absences are recorded by the school where the student is due to attend at that time (for state schools, refer to the Roll Marking in State Schools procedure).
A flexible arrangement for a student of compulsory school age can be approved only if the student’s parent has given written agreement to the arrangement and the arrangement has been discussed with the student as appropriate to their age and other relevant circumstances.
A student in the compulsory participation phase must give written agreement to the flexible arrangement. The arrangement must be discussed with the student’s parents when practicable and appropriate in the circumstances.
All parties must agree to the flexible arrangement before it can proceed.
A student in the compulsory participation phase does not require a flexible arrangement when a recognised provider is providing an eligible option. A flexible arrangement is not required when a student is undertaking a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.



School Staff:

  • make available to parents and students fact sheet Information for Parents/Students -  Flexible Arrangements 
  • discuss the proposed flexible arrangement with the parent and student
  • with the principal's support, assist the student/parent to establish the flexible arrangement, as appropriate.


  • if satisfied with proposed arrangement, approve the flexible arrangement
  • ensure that the alternative education provider has agreed, in writing, to the flexible arrangement by completing Part C of the Flexible Arrangement: Assessment, Plan and Agreement form
  • ensure the alternative education provider (if not a school) is aware that any student absences are to be reported to the school.


School Staff:


Online Resources

Review Date

Attribution CC BY

Compulsory school age (Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) section 9) 

A child is of compulsory school age if the child is at least 6 years and 6 months, and less than 16 years. However, a child is no longer of compulsory school age if the child has completed year 10.

Compulsory participation phase

A young person's compulsory participation phase starts when s/he stops being of compulsory school age (i.e. turns 16 or completes Year 10 whichever comes first) and ends when the person:

  • gains a certificate of achievement, senior statement, Certificate III or Certificate IV or
  • has participated in eligible options for 2 years after the person stopped being of compulsory school age or
  • turns 17.

Eligible option (Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) section 232)

An eligible option is a recognised education or training program or course, offered by a recognised provider, which will enable a young person to gain a certificate of achievement, senior statement and/or a Certificate III or IV. Eligible options and providers are listed in the following table:

​Eligible Option ​Provider
​an educational program provided under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) ​a State school
​an educational program provided under the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001 (Qld) ​a non-State school
​a course of study under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cwlth) ​a registered higher education provider
​a VET course under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (Cwlth) ​a registered training organisation
​an apprenticeship or traineeship under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 ​a registered training organisation
​a departmental employment skills development program under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 ​the chief executive administering the Further Education and Training Act 2014

Parent (Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) section 10)

A parent of a child is the child’s mother or father, or a person who exercises parental responsibility for the child. However, a person standing in the place of a parent of a child on a temporary basis is not a parent of the child.