This policy is current as at 25/08/2019 11:17pm, AEST. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

Enrolment of Students in NSW Government Schools

Direction for the enrolment of students in NSW Government schools.

1. Policy statement

1.1 The department is committed to providing high quality education to all students enrolled in NSW government schools.

1.2 The department supports parents’ duty to enrol a child of compulsory school-age in a NSW Government school.

1.3 Parents may enrol their child in Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if the child turns 5 years of age on or before 31 July in that year. The Education Act 1990 mandates that all children must be in compulsory schooling by 6 years of age.

1.4 Parents may apply to enrol their child at any school, however are entitled to enrol their child at the local school within the designated intake area which the child is eligible to attend. The Secretary designates school intake areas.

1.5 The department has selective and specialised schools, programs and services, and temporary resident enrolments that are subject to specific procedures, eligibility criteria and assessments.

1.6 A student is enrolled when an application to enrol is certified as accepted by the principal and the student is placed on the enrolment register of a school. Enrolment should be in one school only at any given time, however a student may be in attendance at more than one school in particular circumstances.

1.7 The department makes reasonable adjustments so students with disability can apply for enrolment on the same basis as students without a disability.

1.8 In enrolling a student, the department determines if there is a need to provide additional support for the student, including assessment of:

  • health, safety, and other risks arising from the student’s past behaviour
  • any disclosed wellbeing needs of the student
  • any adjustments for students with a disability
  • any history of unsatisfactory attendance (when the student has been enrolled in another school)
  • any disclosed health needs including whether or not the student has previously required an emergency response
  • any disclosed learning needs and other special circumstances (such as whether the student was bullied at a previous school.

1.9 In enrolling a student, the department may need to make additional enquiries where a student has been absent from the NSW system for a period of time, the enrolment background is unclear or where the student has been overseas and records are unavailable.

1.10 The department values preschool education and a number of government schools have preschool classes, which are subject to specific enrolment procedures.

1.11 A person over 18 years of age may be enrolled in a NSW Government school in particular circumstances.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1 This policy applies to all NSW Government schools.

3. Context

3.1 The Education Act 1990 establishes:

  • the right of every child to receive an education
  • the State’s duty to ensure students receive high quality education through the provision of public education
  • a compulsory schooling obligation upon parents to ensure students of compulsory school age are enrolled and in attendance at a government school or a registered non-government school, or registered for home schooling.

3.2 This policy should be read with the General Enrolment Procedures (PDF 314.76 KB) and the Going to a public school – Enrolment website that includes additional procedures for specific circumstances and Legal Issues Bulletin 43. Additional enrolment and attendance information is contained in the School Attendance Policy and the Distance Education Enrolment Procedures (PDF 253.85 KB).

3.3 In accordance with anti-discrimination legislation, no student will be discriminated against including on the grounds of their race, religion, gender, age, ethnicity, language background, disability, caring responsibilities, sexual orientation, transgender status and marital or domestic status, when enrolling in NSW Government schools.

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1 Parents/carers:

4.1.1 have the duty of enrolling a child of compulsory school-age at a government school or registered non-government school, or to register for home schooling.

4.1.2 when required by the school, provide accurate information and documentation necessary to allow the school to establish a child’s entitlement to enrol and to implement any risk assessments or management plans at the school.

4.2 Principals:

4.2.1 accept or decline applications for enrolment in accordance with this policy’s implementation procedures.

4.2.2 maintain an enrolment register containing accurate enrolment data.

4.2.3 arrange to obtain relevant student information, oversee risk assessments, and develop risk management plans for prospective students with special needs, including students with disability, or with safety, health or wellbeing concerns.

4.2.4 develop selection criteria, which are not unlawfully discriminatory, for non-local enrolment applications for use when demand exceeds the number of places available.

4.2.5 take reasonable steps to ensure that a student with disability can apply for enrolment on the same basis as a student without disability and without experiencing discrimination.

4.2.6 inform parents and community members about the school’s procedures for enrolment.

4.2.7 determine appeals to applications for enrolment and adult enrolment that have been declined by enrolment panels, provided they are not part of the panel.

4.2.8 share information relevant to student and school safety with other principals when transfer of information is requested in order to enrol a child in another school in accordance with this policy’s implementation procedures.

4.2.9 operate within enrolment caps and local enrolment buffer levels.

4.2.10 advise the Director, Educational Leadership of enrolment trends in the school.

4.2.11 have delegated authority to grant exemptions from enrolment for students who have completed Year 9 and been approved to undertake a full-time apprenticeship or traineeship, under section 25 of the Education Act 1990. This applies to secondary, community and central school principals only.

4.2.12 have delegated authority to refuse enrolment where a student has a documented history of violence and under section 34(4)(b) of the Education Act 1990. This is subject to compliance with the requirement to conduct a risk assessment in accordance with Part 5A of the Education Act 1990 and to engage in consult with the Director, Educational Leadership.

4.3 Teachers:

4.3.1 may be nominated to participate in enrolment panels.

4.4 Directors, Educational Leadership

4.4.1 determine appeals to applications for enrolment that have been declined and cannot be resolved by the principal in circumstances where they have had prior involvement in a matter.

4.4.2 monitor implementation of enrolment caps and local enrolment buffer levels in consultation with School Infrastructure NSW.

4.4.3 review and endorse school procedures for enrolment.

4.4.4 assess and approve the principal’s decisions in relation to enrolment applications for enrolment in particular circumstances.

4.4.5 consult with principals proposing to refuse enrolment under section 34(4)(b) of the Education Act 1990.

4.4.6 have delegated authority to grant and cancel exemptions from enrolment for students who have completed Year 9 and have approval to undertake a full-time apprenticeship or traineeship, under section 25 of the Education Act 1990.

4.5 Executive Directors, School Performance

4.5.1 with the responsibility for schools, have the delegated authority to grant exemptions from enrolment in particular circumstances under section 25 of the Education Act 1990.

4.6 Deputy Secretary, School Operations and Performance

4.6.1 has the delegated authority to grant exemptions from enrolment in particular circumstances under section 25 of the Education Act 1990.

4.7 Secretary, Department

4.7.1 may direct a student to be enrolled in a specified school, in certain circumstances under section 26H of the Education Act 1990.

4.7.2 designates school intake areas.

4.7.3 has authority to grant exemptions for students from attending certain classes under section 26 of the Education Act 1990.

5. Monitoring and review

5.1 The Director, School Policy and Information Management monitors the implementation of this policy and reviews its contents for relevance and accuracy at least every three years.

6. Policy contact officer

6.1 Director, School Policy and Information Management, (02) 7814 3870

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