Directors
Alison and Ken Taylor
44 Roborough Avenue
Mount Eliza, Vic 3930

PO Box 826
Mount Eliza, Vic 3930 Australia

Telephone 61 3 9787 3245
Facsimile 61 3 9775 2142
Mobiles 0419 545 233
0439 324 501
Email alison@i.net.au
   
 

The Roles of the Student, Education Provider, Accommodation Provider and the Welfare Supervisor in Caring for International Students Under 18.


BACKGROUND

In the welfare and supervision of students under 18 years of age, there are four key stakeholders here in Australia: 

1.                  The student

2.                  The education provider

3.                  The accommodation provider and

4.                  The Welfare Supervisor (commonly called guardian)

The following information sets out and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of these key people.

Whilst all parties have a duty of care for the student, as s/he does her/himself, specific roles and responsibilities are as follows:

1.      The Student

For her/his part the student is required to:

Be aware of and undertake to abide by both DIMIA regulations and the laws of Australia/Victoria (see the end of this document for details)
Abide by these at all times
Show respect and courtesy to the accommodation provider at all times and abide by the rules and expectations of the household, such as curfews, cleanliness and participation in household duties
Give the accommodation provider ample notice if not returning for the evening meal
Respect the rules regarding use of the home phone, security of the home and heating of her/his room
Instigate contact with the Welfare Supervisor from time to time
Inform the Welfare Supervisor in advance about Parent/Teacher Interviews and organise appointments with teachers
Consult with the Welfare Supervisor if s/he wishes to stay out overnight and provide all details of the venue including the people who reside at that address, the landline number and street address
Raise any issues of concern with the Welfare Supervisor and seek assistance and advice when in doubt about anything
Demonstrate at all times a priority for her/his studies
Call on the Welfare Supervisor from time to time with reasonable requests for assistance with moving, excursions, etc

2.      The Education Provider

For its part, the education provider undertakes to

Provide the course for which the student has enrolled
Keep accurate records of student attendance (tertiary institutions are exempt from this requirement)
Report attendance concerns to the Welfare Supervisor
Provide the student with warning letters about attendance rates that fall below 80%
Report to DIMIA with respect to student attendance once it falls below 80% in accordance with the regulations
Ensure that a permission is given by the Welfare Supervisor for the student to participate in any excursions or outings as part of the school/institution program
Provide academic reporting either through written or oral reporting mechanisms
The accommodation provider may be an ‘adult’ relative or friend of the student’s family as selected by the parents but does not assume the responsibility of guardian or welfare supervisor


3.      The Accommodation Provider


must provide

A clean and comfortable bedroom, equipped with a minimum of bed, wardrobe, desk, desk light, chair and heating
Three meals a day, breakfast and lunch may be self serve
Facilities for bathing
Facilities for laundering of clothes
Introduction to the area
Assistance with getting to her/his school/institution on the first day
Enquires about the welfare supervision arrangement for the student and ensures that the student/welfare supervisor make early contact
Monitor the eating, sleeping and study patterns of the student, liaise with the welfare supervisor and report any concerns.
Ensure that the student is clean and dressed appropriately according to school rules and requirements, where they exist.
Ensure that the student is punctual and arrives at school on time.
Make clear to the student any expectations the homestay host has about the latest time a student must be back home and any other rules that relate to the smooth running of the household, including notice given by the student to be absent from meals
Must inform the welfare supervisor if they are going to be away from the homestay overnight or for an extended period of time.
Ensure that the student understands that s/he is not permitted to stay out at night without previously consulting with her/his welfare supervisor.
Ensure that the student understands what is considered acceptable hours for study and sleep here in Australia
Monitor homework patterns where appropriate and report any concerns to the Welfare Supervisor
Students under 18 years of age coming from overseas to study in Australia are required to have a Welfare Supervisor until they turn 18 years of age.  In this respect the Welfare Supervisor must be over 21 years of age and may be: 
      A member of the education provider’s staff 
      A close relative as prescribed by DIMIA who resides in Australia for the       period of time that  the student is under 18 and who has undergone a       police check and should do so every three years while caring for the student
      A care giver accredited by the education provider to undertake this       responsibility.  This may be the homestay family as in the case of Guardian       Homestay or a company independent of  the education provider and the       accommodation provider, dedicated to providing care for  students and who       also agrees to undergo police checks every three years.

4.      The Guardian/Welfare Supervisor

Is the only person authorised to sign on behalf of the parents in cases where parent/guardian’s signature is required for permission to participate in excursions or where medical treatment is required
Has the overall responsibility for overseeing the social, academic, physical and emotional welfare of the underage student
Should liaise with the school/institution, accommodation provider and student to ensure the safety and security of the student
Acts on behalf of, or in support of, the student where there is a concern or grievance with the accommodation provider or school/institution
Ensures that the student is aware of Australian/Victorian laws with regard to students under 18
Ensures that the student is well aware of the conditions attached to the Student Visa in respect of attendance requirements and academic performance
Attends Parent/Teacher Interviews once a year if required by parents or student and report back to the parents, either directly or through an agent
Please note that academic reporting per se is the responsibility of the education provider, not the Welfare Supervisor
Responds to requests from the student with regard to changing accommodation arrangements where there is discontent or dissatisfaction of any kind
Must be available to deal with, or delegate a staff member to deal with, emergency situations if they arise
Act as a ‘safety net’ to support the student at all times
Assists with travel plans back home in the holiday breaks
Makes alternative arrangements for students in boarding houses over exeat weekends and term vacations
Assists the student open a bank account and advise on budgeting and money management, where required or necessary
Assists the student to purchase a mobile phone or SIM card for an existing one
Must be available on call for the student or family, 24 hours a day, including voicemail and email


Australian and Victorian Government Laws Related to Students under 18

Students (both local and international) under 18 years of age are

Not permitted to purchase or consume alcohol  or enter licensed premises unaccompanied by a responsible adult

Not permitted to purchase cigarettes

Not permitted to hold a full driver’s license or drive a car

When students turn 18, they are permitted to purchase cigarettes and alcohol but will need ID and proof of age to be admitted to most venues which do not admit underage students.  However, if a student is driving a vehicle, and is on P plates, there is a NO ALCOHOL restriction so s/he cannot drive and consume alcohol at the same time.

It is a very serious offence in Australian law to drive a car without a licence.
  Students who carry international licenses can only use them for a period of six months after arrival in Australia.  After that, they are required to apply for a Victorian driving licence.

DIMIA regulations state that students under 18


Must live under adult supervision.  This means that students may not live alone in an apartment unless it is purpose built for students, for example, Cherry Tree International House, Unilodge on Swanson or Flinders or Arrow Apartments in the city and any other purpose built student accommodation which meets the security conditions
Must have a Welfare Supervisor, either a close relative over 21 years of age who his residing in Australia for the period of time that the student is under 18, or one approved and accredited by the education provider
May not change that Welfare Supervisor without the permission of the education provider who must notify DIMIA of the change and the reasons for it

DIMIA regulations require all students to:

Remain with the education provider for whom the Student Visa was granted  for 12 months or, if the course is of a shorter duration, for the length of the course, unless adverse  circumstances can be shown as to why the requested change is justified
Attend classes a minimum of 80% of the time including absences accompanied by a doctor’s certificate
Report any absence from their place of study.  Students who are absent from their school/institution for a period of five consecutive days or more without permission from the school/institution, must be reported to DIMIA and the Student Visa will be automatically cancelled
‘Satisfy course requirements’, ie, be passing all aspects of the course.  Subjects may be repeated with the same education provider, but if a student leaves an institution with fails  recorded against them, that provider is required to notify DIMIA that the student ‘has not  met course requirements’, the Student Visa is cancelled and the student given 28 days to leave the country.  There is a right of appeal but it costs $1,400 plus legal fees to do so.  (More details are available about this on request)
A student whose Student Visa is cancelled for non-compliance  is not eligible to apply for another Student Visa for a period of three years, and then risks refusal even then

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