Inability to secure an appropriate place exemption for under 18s

Circumstances of exemption

Exemptions from full-time study or training under the category 'Inability to Secure an Appropriate Place' can be given to young people aged under 18 years or YA early school leavers (1.1.E.05) who:

  • are unable to get a place, OR
  • are not suited to an available place, OR
  • do not have access to a place.

Each of these reasons is explained more fully in the rest of this topic.

Early school leavers who are unable to secure an appropriate place in an approved course of education or training and are unable to study or undertake training full-time are still expected to undertake education or training or other approved activities appropriate to their capacity. Activities may include participation in part-time education or training or other approved activities.

Act reference: SSAct section 543A Minimum age for YA, section 544DA YA Employment Pathway Plans-early school leavers, section 542H Special circumstances exemption

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.M.160 Mutual obligation requirements, 3.11.9 Mutual obligation requirements for early school leavers

Unable to get a place

Young people who wish to enrol in education or training part way through the academic year, but who are unable to get a place, can be exempted. This exemption extends to young people who have been refused a place, if there is no other education or training place available within a reasonable distance (1.1.R.30).

Example: Refusal of a place on the grounds of violent, disruptive or criminal behaviour.

Act reference: SSAct section 544DA(5)(b)(i) … there is no place available on …, section 543A(2A)(f) … has been refused enrolment …

Are not suited to an available place

Young people who are not suited to or qualified for available education or training places can be exempted on the basis that no appropriate place is available.

Note: Personal choice not to remain in education or training is not sufficient reason for exemption.

Example: Academic, cultural or other personal reasons.

Act reference: SSAct section 544DA(5)(b)(ii) … the person is not qualified to undertake the course …

Do not have access to a place

Young people who physically do not have access to a locally accessible approved course of education or training can be exempted.

If mainstream education is no longer an option for the young person, then alternative approved education and training, such as distance education courses, should be considered.

Example: Early school leavers who have no public or private transport available to them, should consider distance education courses.

Act reference: SSAct section 544DA(5)(a) … there is no locally accessible …

Duration of exemption

The exemption applies until a place is available, usually within 13 weeks. The exemption can be extended, but must be reviewed regularly after 13 weeks. Extension of the exemption should only occur where there is no available place in which the young person or early school leaver is able to enrol, or where the young person cannot meet the requirements of an available course.

Example: Exemption given until the start of the next semester or academic year.

Activity test (1.1.M.160) requirements

An EPP is required. The nature of activities approved will depend on individual circumstances, but could include part-time training or study in addition to job search. Young people aged under 22 will be able to satisfy the activity test by undertaking job search activities.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.11.3 Suitable activities

Last reviewed: 12 August 2019