Senior secondary


​​​​Senior secondary pathway designs are the responsibility of registered home educating parents. For eligibility requirements, parents should refer to the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA)​ or the tertiary pathway provider.

When a young person stops being of compulsory school age (16 years) or completes year 10, they enter the compulsory participation phase.

During the compulsory participation phase, a young person must participate in an eligible option.

An eligible option is participation on a full-time basis in 1 of the following:

  • approved education or training (including registration for home education)
  • paid employment
  • a combination of approved education, training and paid employment.

Eligible options for education or training are provided by learning institutions such as schools, universities, TAFE institutes or registered training organisations.

If your child is registered for home education and turns 17 during the year, they will be able to remain registered until 31 December of that year, provided the standard conditions of registration (such as reporting) are met.

Queensland Certificate of Education​

For information regarding a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), please contact the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA)​.

School-based apprenticeships and t​​raineeships

Registered home educating parents should contact the ​Home Education Unit (HEU) prior to commencing any school-based apprenticeship or traineeship opportunities.

A school-based apprenticeship and traineeship (SAT) is employment-based training that combines practical, on-the-job training with a theoretical component, usually conducted by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Children completing a SAT are paid for their hours of work while working towards gaining an industry relevant qualification.

To be eligible to participate in a SAT, a child registered for home education should be in the compulsory participation phase (16 years of age or the equivalent year 10, 11 or 12 with the HEU). In some circumstances, children in the compulsory schooling phase (not yet 16 years of age or year 10 equivalent with the HEU) may be eligible for a SAT with the presentation and approval of a business case. The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider managing the case will be able to provide further information for completing a business plan.

Should a registered child be offered the opportunity of undertaking a SAT, the HEU must be notified. The approval of the manager of the HEU is required for a child registered for home education to participate in a SAT. An agreed schedule of school studies, training and paid employment (ETES), endorsed by the HEU is required to support the SAT. The applicant parent completes the ETES and returns this to the HEU. The school notification form must be signed and dated by the manager prior to the commencement of the contract for the SAT.

Should the child’s registration for home education cease prior to completing the SAT, that is, the child turns 17, the SAT can be transferred to a full or part-time option.

For further information about this option, parents of registered children can contact the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

TAFE at School​

Registered home educating parents should engage with tertiary providers in the first instance.

TAFE at School enables children to work towards joining the workforce sooner by gaining a nationally-recognised qualification while they are still registered for home education.

TAFE at School courses are designed to work with a child’s existing educational program in the compulsory participation phase (16 years of age or the equivalent year 10, 11 or 12 with the HEU). In some instances, children in the compulsory schooling phase (not yet 16 years of age or year 10 equivalent with the HEU) may be considered for a place in the TAFE at School program.

TAFE will notify the HEU of a child’s pending registration in a TAFE at School program for the manager to approve.

For further information, please contact TAFE at School to discuss your options.

Work ex​perience

You will need to put your child's work experience arrangements in writing. The Home Education Unit (HEU) manager must then approve these arrangements before the child starts their work experience placement.

Getting approval from the HEU manager is important as it makes sure your child has appropriate insurance cover before starting work experience. If your child starts work without approval from the HEU manager, they will not be insured.

Registered home-educating parents should contact the HEU at least 3 weeks before the child starts any work experience placements.

You should complete the work experience forms and send them to the HEU at least 10 business days before the work experience is supposed to start.

A work experience agreement is a formal arrangement. The agreement means that children registered for home education can participate in an unpaid, short-term placement with businesses or organisations. While they’re undertaking work experience, children observe different aspects of work within their chosen industry and may assist with tasks allocated by their supervisor, but they should not perform any activities that require extensive training or expertise.

To participate in work experience, children must be at least 14 years of age, and they must also be registered for home education. Children can be doing work experience for up to 30 days in a calendar year. The HEU may also approve work experience of more than 30 days for a child with a disability.​

Useful links​

Last updated 13 September 2023