Enrolment of Students in NSW Government Schools
Direction for the enrolment of students in NSW Government schools.
Changes since previous version
2024 Jan 22 - updated the title of the Department preschool enrolment procedures to Public preschool enrolment procedures. Updated policy statement to reflect new wording.
2023 Apr 12 - updated implementation document, General Enrolment Procedures. Updated links, agency titles and Year 6-7 transition process from 2023.
2022 Oct 20 - updated implementation document, Distance Education Enrolment Procedures, with naming, position titles, web links and changes to annual dates.
2022 Oct 10 - updated the Department preschool enrolment procedures to reflect the changes made to the Inclusive Education for students with disability policy. Also added the link to the Inclusive Education policy as a related document
.2021 Oct 29 - updated Distance Education Enrolment Procedures, including updating naming, position titles and web links. Other changes made to improve or clarify the intent of the procedures after advice or feedback from key stakeholders. This includes changes to sections:
- 2.1 clarifying information and requirements for preschool students
- 2.2 combining the isolation criteria of distance from a school transport service and time
- 2.3 and 2.4 clarifying the short-term nature and residential requirements of the provision
- 2.5 including a requirement in the medical category for the treatment protocol to be described
- 2.8 including the possibility to consider a transition plan back to school in this category
- 3.2.6 annual update to include 2022 dates, and clarification of fees.
2021 Feb 04 - Updated the General Enrolment Procedures.
2021 Jan 27 - policy maintenance, which may include but not limited to, updated contact details, business unit or position titles, typographical, text and style changes and repairing hyperlinks, updated Distance Education Enrolment Procedures
2020 Feb 20 - updated 'Department preschool enrolment procedures' and added as an implementation document. Previous preschool enrolment procedures (memo to principals) removed from related documents. The introduction of centrally set enrolment caps. Consolidation of documents relating to general enrolment of students in NSW Government schools.
2019 Jul 22 - updated policy published as the Enrolment of Students in NSW Government Schools Version 2.
Enrolment of children in new and existing preschool classes - Memorandum to principals with preschool classes (replaced with Department preschool enrolment procedures)
Enrolment of Students in NSW Government Schools: A Summary and Consolidation of Policy PD/2002/0006/V01
Enrolment of adults in NSW Government schools DN/09/00335
Enhanced Enrolment Procedures DN/06/00168
Enrolment of Students in NSW Government Schools: A Summary and Consolidation of Policy - Memorandum to District Superintendents and State Office Directors (97/257- S.234)
Choice of Schools 1992
Extension of Dezoning of Schools for 1990
Dezoning of Primary Schools for 1989 (88/296)
Enrolment of Children with Disabilities (88/007)
- Policy statement
- The department is committed to providing high quality education to all students enrolled in NSW government schools.
- The department supports parents' duty to enrol a child of compulsory school-age in a NSW Government school.
- 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.
- 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.
- The department has selective and specialised schools, programs and services, and temporary resident enrolments that are subject to specific procedures, eligibility criteria and assessments.
- 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.
- The department makes reasonable adjustments so students with disability can apply for enrolment on the same basis as students without a disability.
- 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).
- 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.
- The department values public preschool education and a number of government schools have public preschool classes, which are subject to specific enrolment procedures.
- A person over 18 years of age may be enrolled in a NSW Government school in particular circumstances.
- Audience and applicability
- This policy applies to all NSW Government schools.
- 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.
- This policy should be read with the General Enrolment Procedures (PDF 284 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 349 KB).
- 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.
- The Education Act 1990 establishes:
- Responsibilities and delegations
- 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
- 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.
- accept or decline applications for enrolment in accordance with this policy's implementation procedures
- maintain an enrolment register containing accurate enrolment data
- 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
- develop selection criteria, which are not unlawfully discriminatory, for non-local enrolment applications for use when demand exceeds the number of places available
- 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
- inform parents and community members about the school's procedures for enrolment
- determine appeals to applications for enrolment and adult enrolment that have been declined by enrolment panels, provided they are not part of the panel
- 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
- operate within enrolment caps and local enrolment buffer levels
- advise the Director, Educational Leadership of enrolment trends in the school
- 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.
- 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.
- may be nominated to participate in enrolment panels.
- Directors, Educational Leadership:
- 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
- monitor implementation of enrolment caps and local enrolment buffer levels in consultation with School Infrastructure NSW
- review and endorse school procedures for enrolment
- assess and approve the principal's decisions in relation to enrolment applications for enrolment in particular circumstances
- consult with principals proposing to refuse enrolment under section 34(4)(b) of the Education Act 1990
- 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.
- Executive Directors, School Performance:
- Deputy Secretary, School Operations and Performance:
- Secretary, Department:
- Monitoring and review
- The Director, Behaviour and Student Participation monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
Director, Behaviour and Student Participation
02 7814 3869