Variation to School Age Entry Enrolment

Version Number

6.2

Implementation Date

13/05/2013

Scope

Parents, carers, schools and educators

Purpose

​This procedure outlines practices associated with approval of variations to school age entry when a child or a student’s ability, aptitude and developmental capabilities suggest that an alternative placement to regular age-based enrolment is required to maximise their learning.

Overview

​All Queensland children are eligible to attend full-time Prep when they attain the age of 5 years by 30 June in the year they propose to attend Prep. Participation in a Preparatory program of schooling is not compulsory.

Enrolment in, and full-time attendance at, Prep fulfils the legal obligation of enrolment where a student is of compulsory school age. 

Decisions relating to early entry and delayed entry to school settings or repeating the Preparatory Year (Prep) must be documented in writing; detailing relevant team members (parents, school staff) involved, evidence looked at, facts relied upon and reasons for the decision as per Decision-making and Responding to a Request for Reasons for a Decision.

Variations to school age entry enrolment include the following four situations:

(1) Early Entry to Preparatory Year

Early entry to Prep is a strategy for maximising continuity of learning for children on transfer across Australia and internationally. Children who are younger than the age prescribed for Prep in Queensland (aged 5 years by 30 June in the year they propose to attend Prep) may be enrolled in Prep only if the Principal’s supervisor, the Regional Director, is satisfied the child:

  • had started education in another State or country that is equivalent to the Prep and;
  • is ready for education in Prep, having regard to the child’s attributes.

(2) Early Entry to Year 1
Children who are younger than the age prescribed for Year 1 in Queensland (aged 6 years by 30 June in the year they propose to attend Year 1) may be enrolled in Year 1 if the Principal’s supervisor (i.e. Regional Director) is satisfied the child meets the required criteria to be enrolled, having regard to the child’s attributes, which include the child’s aptitude and ability, social and emotional competence, physical development and level of knowledge and understanding.
 
(3) Repeating the Preparatory Year
Repeating Prep is an option for students for whom it is considered educational and developmental benefits would be gained from participation in a second year of Preparatory education.

The decision to repeat the Prep Year is made following consideration of evidence of the student’s attributes. If the student is also attending an Early Childhood Development Program (ECDP) it is particularly important that prior to any decision, full consultation and discussion occurs between the school Principal responsible for the ECDP and the school Principal providing a Prep program (if different to the ECDP), parents, Prep teachers, and the Head of Special Education Services who may be involved in the delivery of programs or services to the student.

If parents and/or non-state school staff seek to repeat the Prep year for a student in a dual enrolment between an ECDP and a non-state school Prep Year program, prior discussion and approval must occur with the state school principal and the Head of Special Education Services for the ECDP if ongoing dual enrolment is sought.  It is essential the Principal Education Officer, Student Services be informed by the state school Principal of the outcome via the Modified Form D.

However, it should be noted that, if participation in a second year of Prep means that the child will be at least 7 years and 6 months before beginning Year 1; this may affect their remaining allocation of semesters of state education

(4) Flexibility to delay entry to the Preparatory Year for children who have not previously been enrolled in the Preparatory Year
The Principal makes the decision to enrol a child who turns, or is already of, compulsory school age (6 years 6 months) in Prep where:

  • parents seek enrolment in Prep and the Principal considers that this is the best educational program for the child; and
  • the child would benefit from attending Prep giving consideration to child’s aptitude and ability, social and emotional competence and physical development prior to Year 1.

In making the decision, Principals should consult with parents, Prep teachers, school administrators and the Head of Special Education Services who may be involved in the delivery of programs or services to the child.

Enrolment in and full-time attendance at Prep of a child turning compulsory school age, or who is already compulsory school age, is deemed to comply with compulsory schooling requirements. An exemption from compulsory schooling requirements is therefore not necessary. However, it should be noted that, if such delayed entry means that the child will be at least 7 years and 6 months before beginning Year 1; this may affect their remaining allocation of semesters of state education

Responsibilities

Principals:

  • make decisions regarding delaying entry to Prep Year
  • make decisions regarding repeating the Prep Year

Regional Directors:

  • make decisions regarding early entry into Preparatory Year to Year 1.

Process

Principals:

Early entry to the Preparatory Year or Year 1

  • Ensure all relevant information is attached to the application including a certified copy of the birth certificate.
  • Forward application to the Regional Director for consideration.
  • Enrol child in Prep or Year 1 only if the Regional Director has decided that the information provided by parents to support the application is satisfactory.

Flexibility to delay entry to the Preparatory Year

  • Gather information from parents regarding the reasons for their request for delaying the child’s entry to Prep (and subsequently, Year 1) and the child’s aptitude and abilities, prior experiences, social and emotional capabilities and physical development as described under Flexibility to delay entry to the Preparatory Year.
  • Explain to parents the implications, if any, for the student’s allocation to state education of delayed entry to Prep or Year 1.
  • Discuss educational options for children of parents seeking to delay the child’s entry to Prep or Year 1 with reference to school support programs, the child’s aptitude and abilities, prior experiences, social and emotional capabilities and physical development.
  • For children with a disability:
    • consult with the Principal and/or Head of Special Education Services, ECDP (when the child receives specialist services from this program) and the Principal Education Officer, Student Services at the Regional Office to identify the best educational option for the child.
    • decide whether to approve delaying entry to Prep or Year 1 based on the outcome of the consultation
    • document the reason(s) for the decision
    • inform parents, the Principal and/or Head of Special Education Services, ECDP (when the child receives specialist services from this program) and the Principal Education Officer, Student Services at the Regional Office of the decision of delaying entry to Prep or Year 1.

Repeating the Preparatory Year

  • Gather information on the reasons for request/identification to repeat.
  • Consult with relevant staff of the school (e.g. Prep teacher, school administrators), the Principal and/or Head of Special Education Services from the ECDP (when the student receives specialist services from this program), and the Principal Education Officer, Student Services at the Regional Office to determine whether repeating Prep is the best educational option for the student as described under Repeating the Preparatory Year.
  • Decide whether to approve repeating Prep based on the outcome of the consultation and document the reason(s) for the decision.
  • Explain to parents the implications, if any, for the student’s allocation to state education of repeating Prep.
  • Inform parents, the Principal and/or Head of Special Education Services, ECDP (when the student receives specialist services from this program) and the Principal Education Officer, Student Services at the Regional Office regarding the decision about repeating Prep.


Regional Director:

  • Consults with personnel who have relevant expertise (e.g. Head of Special Education Services, Senior Guidance Officer, Principal Education Officer, Student Services) to review information provided by parents to support the applications for early entry to Prep or Year 1.
  • Decides whether the child meets the criteria using the information provided:
    • For early entry to Prep that the child:
      • had started education in another State or country that is equivalent to Prep; and
      • is ready for education in Prep, having regard to the child’s attributes (that include, the child’s aptitude and ability, and social and emotional competence, and physical development).
    • For early entry to Year 1, the child is ready to be enrolled in Year 1 of schooling, having regard to the child’s attributes (that include the child’s aptitude and ability, and social and emotional competence, and physical development, and level of knowledge and understanding).
  • Advises the Principal that the child meets or does not meet the criteria for being enrolled.
  • Informs parents in writing outlining:
    • the decision
    • reasons for the decision
  • Provides a copy of this documentation to the Principal.

Parents

  • Give consideration to their child’s aptitude and ability, social and emotional competence and physical development and to the flexible nature of early childhood programs when considering making a request for variation to school age entry enrolment.
  • Direct requests for variation to school age entry through the Principal.
  • Submit Application for Early Entry to Year 1 or Early Entry to the Preparatory Year to Principal for forwarding to Regional Director.
  • Provide all relevant information with application.

Online Resources

Review Date

1/06/2013
Attribution CC BY

Program equivalent to Preparatory Year
A program is considered to be a program equivalent to the Preparatory Year if it is full-time, school based, and has a defined curriculum.