Mature Age Student Applications

Version Number

5.2

Implementation Date

28/07/2016

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

This procedure outlines the protocols to be followed by mature age applicants and school staff in relation to applications for enrolment at mature age state schools.

It also outlines the protocols to be followed during the transitional period for mature age student applications that were processed before 27 January 2015.

Overview

From 27 January 2015, a mature age student can only apply for enrolment at a prescribed mature age state school. However, students who have a current Positive Notice will be able to enrol at the school for which they have a Positive Notice.

All mature age applicants will be subject to a criminal history check by the Queensland Police Service, which may take eight weeks or longer to complete. Only mature age applicants who meet all enrolment requirements and whose enrolment would not pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of the school community may be enrolled at a mature age state school of their choice.

Fee-free distance education is available to mature age applicants whose principal place of residence is at least 16 kilometres from a mature age state school, or where the applicant has been refused enrolment by the Director-General.

Responsibilities

​Principals of mature age state schools are responsible for assessing if a mature age applicant would pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of the school community.

Process

For mature age applications received prior to 27 January 2015, schools and regions must follow transitional arrangements processes.

From 27 January 2015:

Mature age applicants:

Principals of mature age state schools:

  • discuss study options and career goals with the mature age applicant (applicant)
  • inform applicant that they are eligible for fee-free distance education where the applicant’s principal place of residence is at least 16 kilometres from a mature age state school or where the applicant has been refused enrolment by the Director-General
  • provide applicant with the following:
  • decide if the school has capacity (subject to any enrolment management plan)
  • inform applicant that a criminal history check will be required if they wish to enrol at the school and may take more than eight weeks to complete
  • calculate applicant’s remaining Allocation of State Education
  • receive proof of identity from applicant and ensure photocopies are made
  • consider request (if any) by applicant for the school to pay the criminal history check fee and record on the Mature age student criminal history check consent form. Applications should not be processed until the application fee payment is finalised.
  • inform applicant of the responsibility to disclose any change in criminal history to the Principal of the mature age state school
  • receive applicant’s completed:
  • submit a request to the Queensland Police Service for applicant’s criminal history. See Submitting a criminal history request to the Queensland Police Service
  • where necessary, request further information from the Queensland Police Service using the Requesting further information from the Queensland Police Service template letter
  • using the Mature age applicant risk assessment guide, consider the following in relation to each offence on the applicant’s criminal history as part of the Principal’s consideration of whether the applicant’s attendance at the school would pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of the school community:
    • whether the offence is a serious offence
    • when the offence was committed or alleged to have been committed
    • the nature of offence and its relevance to a person being a mature age student of a school
    • for a conviction – whether a penalty was imposed and the nature of the penalty
  • consider other relevant information that may indicate the applicant poses an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of the school community, for example if the person had a significant school behavioural record involving violence against other students/staff, was previously excluded from school, or had their enrolment cancelled
  • advise of the decision as to whether it is reasonably believed they pose an unacceptable risk and either:
    • activate the enrolment in OneSchool if satisfied the applicant is eligible for enrolment and advise the applicant according to the school’s administrative processes or
    • commence the Refusal to Enrol process
  • follow applicable Information Management procedures and ensure appropriate protections are in place to protect against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or other misuse of the applicant’s information, including criminal history
  • destroy criminal history advice as soon as practicable after it is no longer needed i.e. after the applicant’s  enrolment has been accepted by the Principal or after the Director-General has refused the applicant’s enrolment
  • on request of applicant or student, provide a copy of Mature age student criminal history change notice form
  • refer to Safe, Supportive and Disciplined School Environment for information relating to exclusion of an enrolled mature age student.

Online Resources

Review Date

27/01/2017
Attribution CC BY

Charge
Charge of an offence means a charge in any form, including:

  • a charge on arrest
  • a notice to appear served under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, section 382
  • a complaint under the Justices Act 1886
  • a charge by a court under the Justices Act 1886, section 42(1A) or another provision of an Act
  • an indictment.

Charge for an offence, in relation to a charge made outside Queensland, means any allegation of an offence made in a way that is the same, or substantially the same, as a charge under the law of Queensland.

Convicted
Convicted of an offence means being found guilty of the offence, on a plea of guilty or otherwise, whether or not a conviction is recorded.

Criminal history
Criminal history of a mature age applicant means:

  • every conviction of the person for an offence, in Queensland or elsewhere, at any time
  • every charge for an offence made against the person, in Queensland or elsewhere, at any time.

For a mature age applicant or a mature age student who does not have a criminal history, there is taken to be a change in the person's criminal history if the person acquires a criminal history.

Mature age applicant
A mature age person who is not yet actively enrolled in a mature age state school.

Mature age student
A mature age student is a person who is 18 years or older and enrolled in a mature age state school.

Note: A person is not required to apply as a mature age student where the person:

  • turns 18 years of age whilst they are still at school
  • was previously enrolled in a state school or non-state school (and on the day of enrolment was under 18 years of age), and the period between their last day of attendance at their previous school and the proposed first day of attendance at the mature age state school is not more than 12 months (which may need to be verified with previous school)
  • holds a student visa (certified copy of visa is required)
  • wishes to enrol at a school of distance education or a special school.

Mature age applicant criminal history check
A mature age state school Principal must, before deciding on an application for enrolment from a mature age applicant, ask the police commissioner for a written report about the mature age applicant’s criminal history.

Mature age state school
Mature age state schools are state schools as prescribed in the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2006 as a mature age state school.

Positive Notice
Prior to 27 January 2015, a Positive Notice was a notice issued to mature age applicants when they were declared to be a suitable person to enrol as a mature age student of a state school.

A Positive Notice remains current for a period of six months after it is issued.

Proof of identity
Mature age applicants must provide documentation, which proves their true identity. One of the following forms of identification must be supplied to the mature age state school (copies will be made at the school or certified copies will be accepted):

  • current Driver’s Licence
  • current Proof of Age Card (18+ card)
  • current passport including photograph and signature.

Serious offence
Serious offences are defined in Section 167 and Schedule 2 or 3, column 1 (subject to any qualification described in column 3) of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000. It may include offences of violence, sex offences or offences involving drugs. 

A summary of current serious offences can also be found on the Blue Card Services website.

Unacceptable risk
The Principal of a mature age state school must consider whether the mature age applicant would, if enrolled at the school, pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of members of the school community.