School boarding premises regulation

Why regulate school boarding premises?

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse identified school boarding facilities as high risk environments for children. It found that a disproportionate amount of abuse occurred in school boarding premises, and recommended they be regulated to ensure they meet the Child Safe Standards.

In response, the Victorian Government expanded the VRQA's remit to include the regulation of school boarding premises. The VRQA began regulating school boarding premises on 18 June 2021.

What is a school boarding premises?

The Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 define the type of accommodation regulated by us:

  • School boarding premises – a premises at which school boarding services are provided or intended to be provided by a person for a fee or reward.
  • School boarding services – accommodation services provided for the primary purpose of enabling or facilitating a person to enrol at or attend a registered school.
  • Accommodation services – the provision of accommodation, which may also include meals, laundry or cleaning.

These definitions apply to traditional school boarding premises, as well as other types of accommodation including:

  • services where students receive overnight accommodation ranging from one night to a term or longer
  • 'day boarding', including non-overnight accommodation services, where students receive accommodation outside normal school hours, including to enable them to undertake sports training or religious instruction.

The requirement to register as a school boarding premises also applies to student homestay arrangements where four or more students are accommodated at the one premises. It does not apply to Outside School Hours Care (OSHC).

How to determine if your school boarding premises needs to register

It is the responsibility of schools and organisations to identify whether they need to register with us and meet the school boarding minimum standards.

To help you determine this, we have created a responsibility indicator survey. Complete the survey to receive an indication of whether your school or organisation is required to be registered and meet the school boarding minimum standards: