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.

Summary overview

  • Part 1: Preliminary provisions
    • Purpose statement, interpretation of certain terms used in the regulations, confirmation of the hostels to which the regulations apply, and how notices are to be served. 

  • Part 2: Licensing for hostels
      • Prohibitions related to unlicensed hostels.
      • Licence applications, supporting information required (including information about the suitability of the applicant) and declarations.
      • The granting and renewal of licences (including with conditions).
      • Formal directions to eliminate non-compliance and the suspension and cancellation of licences.
      • Fees and fee refunds.
  • Part 3: Minimum standards for hostel premises and facilities
      • Provision of necessary spaces, facilities and equipment (recognising that the physical environment can also contribute to ensuring a safe emotional environment – one that supports positive developmental and social activities, quiet reflection, privacy, security and a free-flow of communication with people outside the hostel).
      • Emergency arrangements.
  • Part 4: Code of practice relating to management of hostels
      • Requirements for written policies and operating procedures, including giving boarders:
        • respect and dignity
        • positive guidance and control
        • protection from discrimination, degradation, ill-treatment, solitary confinement or deprivation
        • protection while on leave from the hostel or on hostel excursions.
      • Record keeping.
      • Staffing, security and supervision of boarders and visitors to hostels.
      • Health protection.
      • Food safety and nutrition.
      • General safety.
      • Parents’ contact with or access to boarders.