The NSW Minister for Skills, John Barilaro, announced in 2017 that home educated students 15 years and over registered with NESA as secondary students could enrol in Smart and Skilled funded courses at TAFE and private RTOs in NSW. This greatly reduces the fees to access these courses and ensures that this remains a viable pathway to work or further education.
Click here for the eligible courses for Smart and Skilled funded placements.
The simple eligible student criteria includes:
- aged 15 years or older
- live in New South Wales
- an Australian citizen, permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen
The fees that students pay vary widely depending on a variety of circumstances. Students with a disability do not have to pay any fees. Students in low income households (in receipt of the full Family Tax benefit A or youth allowance), or who are Aboriginal, have low fees. If students do not fit into these categories their fees will be more – up to several thousand dollars depending on the course. TAFE has a fee calculator on their website that you can use to help determine what the fees will likely be.
It is no longer a requirement for registered home educated students to have a year 10 certificate for admission to Smart and Skilled funded NSW TAFE courses. If you are asked by TAFE or the private RTO for a year 10 certificate, explain that the student is registered for home education and meets the requirements for eligibility for a Smart and Skilled funded course.
There have been some stories in 2018-2019 where home educated kids were being rejected as not eligible for Smart and Skilled funded placements. This was usually down to poorly trained staff and the best ways to deal with a difficult gatekeeper is to ask:
- Firstly, hand the TAFE admin the Smart and Skilled PDF.
- If that doesn’t work, ask to speak to the supervisor.
- If that doesn’t work, contact Smart and Skilled directly on this link and tell them the branch of TAFE or the RTO you are dealing with and get the answers your child deserves.
If you have experienced discriminatory practices in your state or territory with regards to higher education access, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below this blog or the YouTube video.
Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.