Is DECV a Valid Education Option?

The letter T for Ballet Theatre Australia and DECVo answer the question, Is DECV a Valid Education Option? we asked Marzia Magris, an educator for over 30 years and parent who has enrolled her child at Ballet Theatre Australia for four years, to comment on the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) registered government school Distance Education Centre Victoria (DECV).

[UPDATE: As of January 2019, Distance Education Centre Victoria has changed its name to Virtual School Victoria (VSV).]

Here are her thoughts.

Having a gifted child with an elite sport or arts talent, often requires training from an early age, with commitments outside of school hours that gradually builds until it creates conflicts for both schooling and training a talent.

It is not unreasonable for a parent to ask the question, “Is DECV a valid education option for my child?” If your child is 12 -17 years of age, enrolling in a full time program at BTA, there are only two valid (legal) options; attending a registered school or being a registered home school. Under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006:

…all children of compulsory school age (6-17 years) must either be enrolled in and attending a registered school or registered for home schooling, unless they have a reasonable excuse. Failure to do so may risk proceedings being brought against the parents of the child under Section 2.1 of the Act.”

DECV and Ballet Theatre AustraliaStudents attending full-time programs at BTA have the option to study at DECV, a registered school, to complete their compulsory schooling and post-compulsory Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). DECV uses innovative interactive online courses, designed to be delivered to students using high-speed web-based technology. Founded in 1909, DECV is now the largest online learning registered school in Australia and offers the widest choice of VCE subjects in Victoria that meet all the requirements set by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) and the Australian Curriculum – AusVELS for Primary and Years 7 to 10 compulsory school.

Online learning suits students for many reasons, including those attending full-time training and commitments in elite sports, dance and gymnastics and allows students to complete compulsory schooling and enroll in VCE courses that lead to pathways at University, TAFE, ACE, training and employment.

DECV course materials are delivered either via the web or through a combination of quality print-based visual and audio learning materials. The learning program is overseen by individual teachers, who are available to the student via phone or email. With the Centre based in Thornbury, a suburb just seven kilometers north of Melbourne’s Central Business District, students also have the option of meeting with their teachers in person. Parents are encouraged to be as involved as they feel necessary and can arrange to meet with the teachers at any time.

Families can confidently explore this 24/7 schooling option that provides a state of the art Victorian school education and pathway options to further education.

For further information, see Distance Education Centre Victoria.


Marzia has a 30 year career in Victorian Education, in both the Teaching Service as a teacher, VCE curriculum developer, career counselor, trainer and author, and Public Service in Senior Project and Policy positions in the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

Her daughter, Naomi has excelled through four years at DECV whilst pursuing a vocation career in dance. The flexibility of online learning has allowed Naomi to successfully complete Year 12 and look forward to applying as a mature-age entrant to any of the viable TAFE and University entrance requirements. Attaining the international industry recognized quality ballet training offered by Ballet Theatre Australia, combined with satisfactory completion of VCE, and an Advanced Diploma of Elite (Dance) Performance, provides all the necessary industry standards with distinct advantages in place for the future.