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Information sheet

To complete education under special circumstances (other than apprenticeship/traineeship)

Students enrolled in a non-government non-systemic school or registered for home schooling seeking approval to complete Year 10 under special circumstances (other than an apprenticeship/traineeship), under 21B(5)(d) of the Education Act 1990.

This information sheet is a summary of the relevant section of the Guidelines for Equivalent and Alternative Courses of Study. For full details please refer to Sections 3.1–3.3 of the Guidelines.

Student eligibility requirements

  • these instructions are only for students currently enrolled in a non-government non-systemic school or registered for home schooling
  • unintended and/or unforeseen circumstances must have arisen that prevent the student from completing education following the regular pathways provided in the Education Act 1990
  • documentary evidence of how the student's education program to date provides an adequate basis for the completion of Year 10 of secondary education.

What you need before you start

  • documentary evidence of the student's program of education to date including:
    • a statement of each individual subject or course studied and completed and the result or grade achieved (from Year 7 onwards)
    • the original certificate or any educational qualification achieved as a result of this course of study (where applicable)
    • a statement of record of attendance during the period of study (where applicable)
    • other information relevant to the application
  • Application form.

The steps you should follow

Step 1

Notify the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) of the intention to seek approval for completion of Year 10 under special circumstances.

Information needed: 

  • student details
  • parent/caregiver details
  • brief explanation of special circumstances.

Contact: Board Endorsed Programs Unit via or 02 9367 8036.

Step 2

An Authorised Person from NESA will be assigned and be in contact with you.

Step 3

Parent/caregiver to complete the application form. Please note that you should make copies of the documents that you attach to the application.

Information needed:

  • documentary evidence of student's education program to date
  • associated certificates or qualifications achieved as a result
  • record of attendance
  • other relevant documentary evidence
  • explanation of why the student’s education amounts to an adequate basis for regarding the student’s education as complete.

Step 4

Parent/caregiver to forward completed application with attachments to:

Board Endorsed Programs
NSW Education Standards Authority
GPO Box 5300
Sydney 2001

Step 5

The Board Endorsement Panel will consider the application and make a decision.

Step 6

The parent/caregiver will be notified of the Board Endorsement Panel's decision.

Step 7

If approved the student will receive:

  • Certificate for Exemption from Enrolment at School (for the sole purpose of completion of education under Special Circumstances).

Please note that students must continue to attend school until the approval is received.

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