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Home > Census instructions > Student definition (applies to regular full-time and part-time students)

Student definition (applies to regular full-time and part-time students)

There are four requirements that must be met for a student to be included on the Census form as a regular student:

  1. the student (whether full-time or part-time) must be formally enrolled at the school on Census day;
  2. the student must be enrolled in a year level (other than ungraded students), mode of delivery and student-intake type (gender) that the school is accredited for at that location;
  3. the student must have attended the school for at least 11 days for full-time students (or at least the minimum period for part-time students) between the first day of the school year and Census Day; and
  4. the student must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a person with appropriate resident status.

A student who has attended the school for less than 11 days for full-time students (or less than the minimum period for part-time students), however, can be included in the Census if the student's absence was for a reason that was beyond the control of:  

Some examples, expressed broadly, of reasons for absence that are beyond the control of the student's parent/guardian, or the student (if living independently) follow:

While it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of particularised examples to cover all contingencies in schools, see Appendix 2 for some more detailed instances applied to scenarios arising from time-to-time in schools.

In each case where a student has attended the school for less than 11 days for full-time students (or less than the minimum period for part-time students) and been included in the Census form, there must be documented evidence confirming the reasons preventing the student from attending the school during this period. All students who have not met minimum attendance requirements are to be listed in the Full-time students who did not attend the school during the relevant period for the school for at least 11 days of the program or course of study for which the students are enrolled section of the Census form or the Part-time students who did not attend the school during the relevant period for at least the Minimum Period Part-time (MPP) of the program or course of study for which the students are enrolled section, depending on whether they are full-time or part-time.

Note: All enrolment, attendance and related documentation used in completing the Census form must be retained by the school/governing body for a period of five years from Census Day, and in a way that ensures the integrity and security of the data and documents.

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Distance education students

Students undertaking part of their course through a School of Distance Education (for example, undertaking a subject that is not available at their school or is available at the school only at the same time as another subject being studied) are not categorised as distance education students.

For a governing body to be eligible for funding for distance education students, the school must be accredited by the Board to deliver education in distance mode. Only distance education students resident in Queensland, enrolled full-time, undertaking a full service delivery course in distance education and who enrolled at least 11 days before Census Day (or less, if the delay was beyond the control of the parent or independent student) should be included in the Census form.

The school administration must maintain robust management systems of enrolment, attendance, learning activity and teacher interaction with all students who are included in this Census form.

More information is available in Appendix 1.

Type(s) of education

Primary students

A primary student is a student participating in education in the Preparatory (Prep) Year or from Year 1 to Year 6.

Preparatory Year

To be eligible for the Prep Year, a child must be at least 5 years and 6 months old on 31 December in the year of attendance (also refer to section 17 of the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2017).

The principal may enrol a child in the Prep Year if the child will be at least 5 years and 5 months old on 31 December and if the principal is satisfied that the child is ready for education in the year of schooling, considering the child's attributes.

The principal may enrol a child, regardless of age, if the child has started education in another state or country that is equivalent to the Prep Year, and the principal considers the child is ready for education in the Prep Year, considering the child's attributes.

It is compulsory for all students enrolling in Year 1 to have undertaken a Prep Year at a State or non-State school, or equivalent, unless the principal is satisfied the child is otherwise ready to be enrolled in Year 1 of schooling at the school, considering the child's attributes.

Year 1 to Year 6

Section 18 of the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2017 relates to the age for enrolment in Year 1 to Year 6.

Secondary students

A secondary student is a student participating in education from Year 7 to Year 12.

Ungraded students (special unit/class or non-special)

Ungraded students are students attending a primary, secondary or combined primary/secondary school but who are unable to be allocated to a particular year level. The students should be identified as primary or secondary students for grant purposes.

Ungraded secondary students will need to be further classified as being either under 15 years of age (that is, equivalent to Year 7 to Year 10) or 15 years of age or older (that is, equivalent to Year 11 and Year 12) as at 1 January 2021 to meet the requirements under the Textbook and Resource Allowance scheme. Payments under the scheme are made at one rate for Year 7 to Year 10 students and at a different rate for Year 11 and Year 12 students.

Ungraded students may include students with disability. These students may be in special classes or units in regular schools and will have been formally assessed as having a disability, and may or may not be integrated into a regular class for certain curricula activities, for example, mathematics or physical education.

>> Full-time students

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Last updated 28 January, 2021

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