Distance education

Distance education is an equity program for NSW students who are geographically isolated or whose individual circumstances prevent them from regularly attending school.

Enrolling in distance education for travel

Enrolment in category 2.3 Students travelling within Australia is open to new enrolments for the commencement of the 2023 year.

Enrolments in category 2.4 Students temporarily resident or travelling overseas are also opened.

Please contact the Rural and Distance Education Office or +61 2 6334 8070 to seek further advice.

Principals must use the Distance Education Enrolment Procedures to determine a student's eligibility to enrol in a distance education program.

It is a requirement that a parent or approved supervisor is available to meet child care and protection requirements, as well as support the child complete the learning programs developed by the distance education school.

All distance education enrolments are reviewed annually to ensure students are meeting standards of engagement and participation to satisfy attendance requirements.

Distance education is not home schooling. For information about home schooling you can visit NESA.

Full-time enrolment

Full-time enrolment in distance education is available for students from preschool to Year 12. it is available on a continuing basis or as a temporary provision. Categories for full-time enrolment include:

  • geographic isolation
  • students travelling within Australia
  • students temporarily resident or travelling overseas
  • students with a medical condition
  • pregnant students/young parents
  • vocationally talented students
  • students with additional learning and support needs
  • students with additional learning and support needs temporarily enrolled to assist transition back to school, further education or employment
  • students in extraordinary circumstances
  • students affiliated with the national school for travelling show children.

Single course enrolment

Single course enrolment is available for students in Years 9 to 12 when the home school cannot provide the required breadth and flexibility of curriculum. Generally this is available on a quota basis determined by the home school's enrolments. See the Distance Education Enrolment Procedures for details.

  • Home schools must provide required resources such as textbooks, phone, computer, internet and videoconferencing access as well as supervision and a suitable and safe learning space.

Supervisor support resources

Resources are developed and provided by distance education schools to support student supervisors. For access to additional resources, visit the Distance Education Supervisor Resources page.

A common resource to support distance education supervisors is available online to support enrolments at any NSW Department of Education distance education centre.

Distance education preschool

Distance education preschool is a state-wide service that caters for geographically isolated children who cannot access other early childhood education services. The educational programs are designed to deliver learning activities both online and offline, in the year before school and to support a smooth transition to the child’s closest school.

The provision provides educational experiences for students across NSW and operates from Dubbo School of Distance Education and Broken Hill School of the Air.

In assessing a preschool child’s eligibility for enrolment in distance education, principals will take into account the distance from the applicant’s home to any local children’s services, including community based preschools, mobile children’s services and/or long day care.

See the Distance Education Enrolment Procedures for details.

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