The Education (Hostels) Regulations 2005: Guidelines

All hostels that fit the definition of ‘hostel’ in the Education and Training Act and the regulations, and their owners, must comply with the regulations.

The definition covers a wide range of boarding establishments – for example:

  • residential specialist schools
  • health camps
  • hostels operated by state and state integrated schools,
  • private hostels serving groups of international students attending registered schools.

It does not, however, cover private boarding where a homeowner provides accommodation to less than five students. Nor does it cover boarding when students attending a registered school are not the main group of people being accommodated.

These guidelines provide further explanation and should be read in association with the regulations. The headings correlate to the relevant parts and requirements of the regulations to make it easy to read the two together.

Part 6: Miscellaneous provisions

This part of the regulations sets out appeal provisions, transitional provisions, relationship of the regulations with other enactments, and matters relating to offences and penalties.

  • Appeals against the authority's decisions or directions
    • The appeal provisions are an important protection for hostel owners. They provide an opportunity for independent and authoritative consideration of decisions made or directions given by the Authority. Because appeals involve filing papers with Courts, it is recommended that you seek legal advice.

  • Transition: Existing hostels deemed licensed for one year
    • A hostel operating immediately before the commencement of the regulations is deemed to be licensed for a one-year transition period. The Authority may, however, require you to apply for a licence within a specified three-month period. This requirement will most likely be used after the first few months of the transition period if the Authority thinks the initial licence applications will be slow to arrive.

  • Offences and penalties
    • These provisions are considered to be self-explanatory. Convictions for offences in these regulations may lead to the Authority reconsidering the fit and proper status of a licensee.

  • Schedule: Fees for applications form or renewals of licenses
    • This schedule sets out the licence fees payable. The fees are calculated in accordance with Audit Office Guidelines to Costing and Charging for Public Sector Goods and Services (1989) to recover actual and reasonable costs incurred for:

      • paper-based assessment activities
      • ongoing database management
      • a limited amount of ongoing training and resources for authorised persons (employed by the Authority)
      • hostel visits and reports made by authorised persons
      • enforcement activities.

      The fees do not include ERO reviews, which are separately funded by government.