There is no vaccination requirement for enrolment in the compulsory phases of school
Some authorities and schools tell parents that children must be vaccinated to enrol them in the compulsory phases of school. This is not correct, anywhere in Australia.
None of the eight states and territories have legislated a vaccination requirement for enrolment in the compulsory phase of school, regardless of whether the school is private or public.
When does the compulsory phase of school commence?
The compulsory phase of school commences in the year prior to Grade 1, which is called different names in different states:
- Prep in Qld, Victoria and Tasmania
- Kindergarten in NSW and the ACT
- Reception in SA
- Pre-Primary in WA
- Transition in the NT
As there is no requirement for children to be vaccinated to be enrolled in the compulsory phases of school, there is also no requirement for the parents of unvaccinated children to formally conscientiously object to the vaccination of their children.
When enrolling a child in the compulsory phases of school, parents may be requested or required to provide a vaccination status / history statement showing which, if any, vaccines their child has received, when such requests / requirements are authorised by state-based Public Health Acts.
Importantly, such a request / requirement is not a requirement for your child to be vaccinated. This is a documentation request / requirement, not a vaccination requirement.
This information is collected to enable unvaccinated children to be temporarily excluded in the event of outbreaks of so-called vaccine-preventable diseases, when such exclusions are authorised by state-based Public Health Acts.
A Vaccination History Statement can be downloaded from the Medicare website via your MyGov account.
Example of a documentation requirement masquerading as a vaccination requirement
A misleading page found on the WA Health website suggests that vaccination is “essential” for school enrolments. This is completely untrue, as evidenced by the statement in the second paragraph, which shows that there is a requirement for parents to produce a vaccination history statement (documentation requirement), not a requirement for children to be vaccinated. See screenshot below.
Childcare Benefits & Rebates for out-of-school-hours and vacation care
There is no vaccination requirement to enrol school-aged children in out-of-school-hours and vacation care in any state in Australia.
However, because the federal No Jab No Pay law, applicable in all states and territories, requires vaccination for the purpose of eligibility to Childcare Benefit and Childcare Rebate for all children up to the age of 19 years, and even though an unvaccinated child qualifies for enrolment in out-of-school-hours and vacation care, unless the unvaccinated child qualifies for an exemption under the federal law, then the parent/guardian will not qualify for Childcare Benefits and Rebates with respect to this care.
Listed immediately below are links to the current requirements for obtaining medical exemptions under the federal No Jab No Pay law, in order to qualify for Child Care Benefit and Rebate, for out-of-school-hours and vacation care.
- What are the permitted exemptions to the vaccination requirement?
- Medical contraindication to vaccination
- Secretary (of the Commonwealth Department of Human Services) determines in writing that the child meets the immunisation requirement (Example: A child with a disruptive behavioural disorder or developmental disorder who reacts with aggression or defiant behaviour when faced with a medical procedure)
- Natural immunity