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 has expanded the VRQA's remit to include the regulation of school boarding premises. The new regulations will commence on 18 June 2021.
What is a school boarding premises?
The Education and Training Reform Amendment Regulations 2021 introduce terms that explain the type of premises that will be regulated:
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 the traditional concept of school boarding, as well as what is often referred to as 'day boarding', including:
- accommodation services where students receive overnight accommodation ranging from one night to a term or longer
- 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 will need to register with us and meet the new 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 will be required to meet the school boarding minimum standards:
We'll use the data collected from the indicator survey to help identify relevant schools and organisations and provide them with more information.