How to enrol in a public school

Parents and carers enrolling their child in public school need to identify the child’s designated local school and complete the standard enrolment form.

Key enrolment steps

There are several important steps to take when enrolling your child in a NSW government school:

  • Identify the child’s designated local school enrolment area so you can place your child in the right school
  • Discover the enrolment requirements for the level at which you want to enrol your child
  • Complete the application form for enrolment
  • Take note of the privacy protections provided for your personal information.

Enrolment areas

Every child is entitled to enrol in their local public school. It is important that parents and carers are aware that many schools have designated local enrolment areas.

In practical terms, this means that in most cases there is a specific school allocated to the child based on his or her address.

These schools ensure there are places for students who reside in their local enrolment area.

Although it is preferable, the designated local school may not always be the closest public school to the child’s home. Schools work with their local community to provide advice on public transport availability.

Out-of-area enrolments

Schools may accept enrolments from outside the area if places are available after all local students have been accommodated.

If there are more out-of-area applications than available places, the school’s non-local enrolment selection panel assesses the applications. Contact the school for further information. If the demand for local enrolment exceeds the number of places available, out-of-area enrolments will be unavailable.

School finder tool

Use the School Finder tool to find your child’s local NSW Government school. The school principal can help with enrolment inquiries throughout the year.

The Enrolment of Students in NSW Government Schools policy sets out the entitlements and requirements for enrolment.

Additional information for parents (PDF 737.06KB) is available to explain recent changes to the enrolment policy.

Enrolment levels

The following pages contain important information about enrolment at different levels:

The application form

You can download the Application to enrol in NSW Government schools form (PDF 768.4KB) for students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

The application form must be completed in English. However, a translated application to enrol may help you to fill out the form in English.

Please note that information provided on the 'Application to enrol' form is found to be false or misleading may affect the result of your application.

To learn more about the collection of information, see the collection notice (PDF 339.18KB).

Privacy protection

Parents and carers are naturally sensitive about the information they provide to schools.

But there is strong protection under the law for the privacy of their information.

All - Department of Education staff must abide by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW).

The information you provide will be used to process your child's application for enrolment and for associated purposes such as:

  • general student administration
  • communication with students and parents or carers
  • state and federal reporting purposes
  • for health and safety of students, staff and visitors to the school
  • for other matters relating to the education and welfare of the student
  • for any other purpose required by law.

The information will be stored securely. You may access or correct any personal information by contacting the school. If you have a concern or complaint about the way your personal information has been collected, used, or disclosed, you may contact the school.

Protection of health information

The health information you provide about your child in the enrolment form is protected.

By law we must ensure the health and safety of students, staff and visitors on our premises. To facilitate this, a student's health information is collected through the Application to enrol form. Please provide detailed information about any medical conditions such as allergies, including anaphylactic reactions.

The health-related information is subject to the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002. It may be used and disclosed to medical practitioners, health workers, other government departments and/or schools.

The information you provide will assist the school to communicate with you and care for your child while at school.

Parents' occupations and education information

All Australian Education Ministers have agreed on National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-First Century which states that achievement of students should not be affected by discrimination based on sex, language, culture and ethnicity, religion or disability - or by differences arising from social and economic background or geographic location.

All parents across Australia are asked to provide information about family background. We use the information to evaluate whether our policies are effective and to ensure that no group is experiencing undue disadvantage.

Providing information about your occupation and education is voluntary, but your information will help us to ensure the best educational outcomes for your child.

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