Deferral, suspension and cancellations of enrolment

This procedure outlines the roles and responsibilities of school and Education Queensland International (EQI) staff in the deferral, suspension and cancellation of enrolment of an overseas student enrolled in an EQI program (‘student’). It also details the process for managing students’ unsatisfactory behaviour and the appeals process where EQI initiates a cancellation of a student’s enrolment.

The appeals process provides students with 20 working days to appeal to the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills (‘internal appeal’). EQI will not notify the Commonwealth Government about the cancellation of enrolment until any internal appeal has been decided, unless extenuating circumstances relating to the welfare of the student, apply.

The deferral, suspension or cancellation of a student’s enrolment may affect their student visa.

Students should refer to the terms and conditions (PDF, 500KB)​​ of the students' enrolment agreement for information about:

  • the standards of behaviour expected of them;

  • how to apply for a suspension or deferral of enrolment;

  • grounds for cancellation of their enrolment;

  • how to lodge an appeal.

 

      Deferral and Su​​spension

      Stude​​nts

      Students may apply to defer enrolment (delay commencement of your studies) or temporarily suspend their studies (after commencement) on compassionate or compelling grounds.

      If a student cannot commence their course on the agreed starting day, due to compassionate circumstances (for example, a natural disaster in their home country), the student should apply to EQI to defer their enrolment, as soon as possible.

      If a student will be absent from school for more than 4 school days, or is otherwise frequently absent during a semester, due to compassionate circumstances (for example, illness or death in the family) the student should consider applying for a suspension of their studies. This will ensure the student is not at risk of breaching the condition of their student visa to maintain satisfactory attendance.

      If a student’s academic performance is being affected by compassionate circumstances (for example, a traumatic event) the student should consider applying for a suspension of their studies. This will ensure the student is not at risk of breaching the condition of their student visa to maintain satisfactory course progress.

      To Ap​ply

      As set out in the student’s Enrolment Agreement, to apply for a deferral or suspension of enrolment, students should send an email to EQInternational@det.qld.gov.au. Students must include “application to defer commencement” or “application to suspend studies” and the name of their school in the subject line of their email and provide evidence supporting the compassionate or compelling circumstances (for example, a medical certificate or a police report). If students are not able to send an email, they should telephone 1800 316 540 (inside Australia) +61 7 3513 5301 (outside Australia​) for assistance.

      Students applying for a suspension of their studies should consult their school’s international student coordinator before making the application.

      Sch​ool International Student Coordinator

      The international student coordinator is responsible for assisting students to apply for a suspension of their enrolment and ensuring they understand what documentary evidence will need to accompany their application (this will vary according to the circumstances, but may include a medical certificate, death certificate (if available) or a police report). The period of a suspension of enrolment will not be included in attendance monitoring calculations.

      Operations M​anager, International Student Programs, EQI

      The Operations Manager, International Student Programs, EQI will:

      • receive and assess requests by students for deferral or suspension of enrolment; and
      • make a recommendation to the Director, International Student Programs (ISP), EQI about whether or not to approve the student’s request for deferral or suspension of their enrolment.

      Director, International Student Programs, ​​​EQI

      The Director, International Student Programs (ISP) will decide applications for deferral and suspension, taking into account all relevant circumstances and all evidence submitted by the student. Students will be advised of the decision as soon as practicable. If the application is approved, the Director, ISP will consider whether a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) needs to be issued (to ensure the student can complete their course within the timeframe stated on the CoE).

      If the application is refused, the student will be given written notice and will have 20 working days to appeal to the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills.

      The Director, International Student Programs may suspend a student’s enrolment, at EQI’s initiative, in the case of:

      • compassionate or compelling circumstances; or
      • unsatisfactory behaviour.

      E​​Q​​​I

      EQI promptly notifies the Commonwealth Government, via PRISMS, where a student’s enrolment is deferred or suspended.

       


      Behaviour man​​ag​ement

      When an overseas student enrolled in an Education Queensland International (EQI) program (‘student’) commences at a Queensland state school, the international student coordinator is responsible for making sure the student is informed about the standard of behaviour expected of them. Students (or parents/approved relatives of primary school age students) should be provided with the school’s responsible behaviour plan and reminded about the standards of behaviour, set out in their Enrolment Agreement.

      Students will generally be subject to school discipline in the same way as domestic students, except where deferral, suspension or cancellation of a student’s enrolment is concerned.

      A suspension from attending school (as opposed to a suspension of enrolment) for a maximum period of 5 days in any school term, may be considered as a disciplinary consequence. Whether or not a suspension from attending school will be appropriate for a student will depend on all relevant circumstances, including:

      • the period of the proposed suspension;

      • whether the student is living in a homestay;

      • whether the student can be appropriately supervised during the suspension; and

      • how a suspension may affect the student’s school attendance (the period of suspension will count towards the student’s attendance percentage and this may affect their compliance with their visa condition to maintain satisfactory attendance – see EQI Attendance procedure.

      “In school suspensions” (where a student is excluded from their usual classes but still attends school each day) will not affect a student’s school attendance and may be considered in appropriate circumstances (where provided for in the school’s responsible behaviour plan), or EQI may simply move to cancel the student’s enrolment.

      For further information about behaviour management in Queensland State schools, please refer to the Department of Education and Training’s procedure ‘Safe, Supportive and Disciplined​ School Environment’.


       

      Un​​​satisfactory behaviour

      School International Stu​​​dent Coordinator

      If a student’s behaviour is unsatisfactory, but does not warrant a warning letter or referral to the Director, International Student Programs (ISP), the international student coordinator must:

      1. tell the student and their parent/approved relative/homestay provider (where applicable) that they must attend a meeting to discuss the unsatisfactory behaviour and they should bring with them any relevant evidence (consider using the template ‘Behaviour – meeting’; and

      2. at the meeting, discuss the student’s behaviour, the school’s rules, the EQI behaviour policy in the student’s Enrolment Agreement and the potential consequences for misbehaviour (the student’s enrolment may be cancelled, which could result in their visa being cancelled).

      If the student’s parent/approved relative/homestay provider is unable to attend the meeting, meet with the student and liaise with the parent/approved relative/homestay provider after the meeting.

      The international student coordinator must regularly monitor the situation, develop and implement a strategy to support the student to improve their behaviour, liaise with the student, relevant school staff and parent/approved relative/homestay provider and keep detailed file notes of all actions on the student’s file (on OneSchool).

      School ​​Principal

      The principal (or delegate) issues a warning letter if:

      • the student’s behaviour does not improve, after meeting with the international student coordinator; or

      • for serious misbehaviour which does not warrant immediate referral to the Director, ISP.

      The student is given one final opportunity to improve their behaviour. Copies of warning letters are sent to the Director, ISP (by email to EQInternational@det.qld.gov.au) and stored on the student’s file (on OneSchool).

      If the student’s behaviour does not improve, the principal (or delegate) must notify the Director, ISP (see below).

      Urgent interv​​ention

      If the student’s misbehaviour is sufficiently serious, the principal (or delegate) should immediately refer the matter to the Director, ISP. Examples of behaviour which is “sufficiently serious” include:

      • physical fighting;
      • possession of drugs;
      • being charged with a criminal offence;
      • the student poses a threat to themselves or others;
      • behaviour which could result in a student being excluded from the school.

      To notify the Director, ISP

      The principal (or delegate) must send an email to EQInternational@det.qld.gov.au. The email must include:

      1. “(student name), misbehaviour, (school name)” in the subject line of the email;

      2. an indication of whether the referral is about an urgent intervention;

      3. a copy of the warning letter issued to the student (if applicable);

      4. a list of all the relevant documents, in chronological order, in the body of the email (e.g. written request to attend a meeting with the international student coordinator, school reports, records of contact, witness statements, meeting notes, evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances);

      5. all relevant documents attached;

      6. any other relevant information; and

      7. the principal’s (or delegate’s) assurance that this procedure has been complied with.

      If the principal (or delegate) becomes aware of new, relevant and credible information after she/he has sent the email, above, she/he should email the new information to EQInternational@det.qld.gov.au with “(student name), misbehaviour, further information” in the subject line of the email.

       


      Cancellation

      EQI may cancel a student’s enrolment as set out in the terms and conditions (PDF, 500KB)​​ of the students' enrolment agreement. Natural justice will be provided, as required by Australian Law. If a student’s enrolment is cancelled, the student should refer to the EQI refund policy, in their Enrolment Agreement, for information about what fees may be refunded and how to apply for a refund.

      Director, International Student Programs, EQI

      Show cause

      Within 10 working days after receiving a compliant notification from the principal (or delegate), the Director, ISP will form a preliminary view about cancelling the student’s enrolment. If the Director, ISP forms the preliminary view that the student’s enrolment should be cancelled, the Director, ISP will issue a show cause notice. The student and their parents will have 5 working days to make a submission as to why the Director, ISP should not cancel the student’s enrolment. (Extension of time to make a submission may be granted upon request).

      No response to show cause

      If the student/parent chooses not to respond within the timeframe, the preliminary view will become final and the Director, ISP will issue a ‘notice of intention to cancel enrolment’ letter and the student will have 20 working days to submit an appeal to the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills, following the appeals policy in the student’s Enrolment Agreement.

      Decision after receipt of response to show cause
      Director, ISP will consider the submission and all relevant information and make a decision, within 10 working days from the date of receipt of the submission, whether or not to issue a ‘notice of intention to cancel enrolment’ letter.

      If the Director, ISP issues a ‘notice of intention to cancel enrolment’ letter, the student will have 20 working days to submit an appeal to the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills, following the appeals policy in the student’s Enrolment Agreement.

      If the Director, ISP decides not to issue the ‘notice of intention to cancel enrolment’ letter, the Director, ISP will:

      • inform the principal who will be responsible for liaising with the student, their parent and relevant school staff; and

      • give written notice to the student and their parent.

       


      Appe​​​als

      Internal appeals

      Students are given the full 20 working days to appeal. The time for making an appeal expires at end of the 20th working day after the day the student was given the decision.

      If no appeal is received within the set timeframe, the decision of the Director, ISP, will take effect and the student’s enrolment will be cancelled. EQI must make the notification of cancellation of enrolment in PRISMS, as soon as practicable but no later than 14 days after the date of cancellation.

      If an appeal is received, the assessment of the appeal will commence within 10 working days. The appeal policy in the student’s Enrolment Agreement will apply and the student and parents will be advised, in writing, of the final decision of the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills.

      If the student withdraws from the appeal before a final decision is made, the decision of the Director, ISP takes immediate effect and EQI must make the notification of cancellation of enrolment in PRISMS, as soon as practicable but no later than 14 days after the date of cancellation.

      Maintaining the student’s enrolment while the interna​​l appeals process is ongoing

      EQI must maintain the enrolment of the student until the internal appeals process is completed, unles​s extenuating circumstances, relating to the welfare of the student, apply. (Note: ‘maintain enrolment’ means EQI will not notify the relevant Commonwealth department of any change to the student’s enrolment status through PRISMS).

      The relevant school principal will discuss with the Director, ISP the arrangements in place for the student during the period they have to submit an appeal and while the internal appeals process is ongoing. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis. For example, the student may be required to attend classes at school, it may be appropriate to exclude a student from attending classes, but continue to provide work to complete outside of the classroom, and in some circumstances it may be determined that EQI will not continue to offer learning opportunities throughout the appeals process.

      If a school principal is of the opinion ‘extenuating circumstances’ exist, they must raise this with the Director, ISP.

      If EQI has issued a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter for the student EQI will maintain the student’s accommodation and welfare, while the internal appeals process is ongoing, unless extenuating circumstances, relating to the welfare of the student, exist.

      If EQI cancels the student’s enrolment and reports cancellation of enrolment, via PRISMS, EQI will continue to monitor the accommodation and welfare arrangements for the student until the student leaves Australia, other arrangements are made which satisfy legal requirements or EQI reports that it can no longer approve of the arrangements for the student.

      External appeals

      Students who are dissatisfied with a decision of the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills may lodge an external appeal, in accordance with their Enrolment Agreement. However, EQI will not wait for the outcome of an external appeal before notifying the Commonwealth Government of the cancellation of the student’s enrolment.

      Delivery of letters to students and their parents

      For primary school students, all letters should be addressed to the student, care of the parent. For high school students all letters should be addressed to the student and a copy provided to the parent.

      Correspondence to a parent may be sent directly or it may be sent through an agent. If sending correspondence to an agent, it is a good idea to also copy in the parent. If the student is living with an approved relative, it may be appropriate to also send correspondence to them.
      To ensure matters are dealt with in a timely fashion, hand delivering letters to the student while they are at school and emailing letters to parents and agents is the preferred method of communication.
      Time periods are calculated from the date the student is notified, so it is important to keep records about the delivery of letters.

      Hand delivery: if any letters are delivered in person, you must keep a record of the date and time.

      Email: you may wish to ask the person to confirm receipt, so you know they have received your email.

      Australia Post: check the Australia Post website for usual delivery times to calculate the date the student was given the notice.


      Relevant documents​

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      Last reviewed 26 July 2016
      Last updated 23 November 2016