School: Independent Minors

The Principal of a school has the power to designate you as an ‘Independent Minor’. Once you have been designated as an Independent Minor, you will be treated as a student of 18 years or over under the School Education Act and regulations. This means you can make your own decisions about your education and all things related to your education.


If you attend a non-government school then different regulations may apply.

Designating a young person as an Independent Minor

If you have left home as the relationship with your parent or responsible adult has broken down or you find yourself without a parent or guardian, this should not prevent you from continuing with your education. You may choose to remain at the same school and can do so and be designated as an Independent Minor.


You may choose to enrol at a different school because you are living in a different location to your parent(s). You can enrol without your parents needing to sign if you are designated an Independent Minor.


You can be designated an Independent Minor at any age, however, the Principal must be satisfied that you have the capacity to make your own decisions in relation to:

  • The educational programs at the school.
  • The administrative requirements of the school.


Before the Principal can designate you as an Independent Minor, he/she must take into account the existence or absence of the relationship between you and your parent or responsible adult and the nature of that relationship and be satisfied that no working relationship exists between you and your parents or responsible adult.


If you are designated to be an Independent Minor, this decision:

  • Must be in writing and recorded on your enrolment.
  • Only applies in relation to that school.
  • Has no effect once you are no longer enrolled at the school.
  • Is to be reviewed by the Principal at least once every 6 months.
  • May be reviewed or revoked at any time by the Principal.


If you are in the care of the CEO of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support on a Protection Order (time-limited or until 18), also called a State Ward, then you cannot be designated an Independent Minor.

Please note: Laws are subject to change. Last updated July 2020.

Important: The information provided in this infosheet is for information only. 

It should not be relied on as legal advice. 

Please seek legal advice about your particular circumstances.

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