The different way we work

The issue

Parents currently have to complete a 16-page, handwritten application form when applying to enrol their child in a NSW Government school. The form needs to be printed, hand- filled, then handed in to the school, costing parents significant time and effort.

Upon receipt of the application, school administration staff must manually enter the information into the Department of Education’s system of record, which takes around 35–45 minutes per application.

What the government did

Education, working in partnership with the Department of Customer Service, designed a new online enrolment form to replace the existing paper-based form and an interface so that school administration staff could process the application digitally.

Education worked with staff and parents to understand the challenges faced during the application process and tested ways it could be improved. Six schools piloted the online enrolment system over 3 months, providing feedback from weekly sessions and school visits.

The online enrolment system is now live at 2,033 primary schools.

Using a design thinking methodology

A ‘design thinking’ approach involves placing equal value on the customer experience and the business process, with the aim to deliver a seamless customer experience in the service delivery.

What was achieved

  • The parent and school interface save parents and school staff considerable time and reduces effort, making enrolments easier.
  • The parent interface is now personalised to the student application, meaning parents are only prompted to answer questions relevant to their child.
  • School administration staff no longer need to manually enter the data provided by parents into the department’s system of record as the information provided directly by parents through the online enrolment form can be pushed digitally to the system.


  • Communication and engagement


  • Enrolment

Business Unit:

  • Information Technology
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