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Parents and carers > Enrolment >

Enrolling your child

Primary school enrolment

Primary school consists of Prep to Year 6. Prep is the first year of schooling in Queensland. It is a full-time, school-based program and has a defined curriculum. From 2017, it is compulsory for all Queensland children to undertake Prep prior to commencing Year 1.

The only exceptions to compulsory participation in Prep are where:

To minimise disruption to schools and families, the new requirement will not apply to children already enrolled in Year 1 for 2017.

To enrol in Prep, children must be aged five years by 30 June in the year of proposed attendance. You can enrol your child in Prep by contacting the school directly, and you must provide proof of your child's date of birth (e.g. birth certificate, passport or visa). Early or delayed entry to Prep are options which may be considered in specific circumstances and where it is in a child's best educational interest. These options should be discussed with the principal.

Information is available to help parents/carers support their child's transition to school.

Preparing for the first day at school

Think about how you can best prepare your child for the first day at school:


Students are eligible to enter the first year of secondary school, Year 7, after completing six years of primary education (Prep to Year 6). You may enrol your child in the local secondary school by contacting the school directly.

For many students their secondary school will be the closest to their homes; however, some parents choose to send their child to a different secondary school. This may be because of the curriculum that is available, or because the school has a specific focus.

It's a good idea to consider your preferences early in the previous year and see if your child is eligible to attend the school of your preference.

Parents are encouraged to attend information sessions at local schools to assist them to choose a school for their child.

Transition from primary to secondary school

The transition from primary to secondary school is an exciting time for students and their parents. It is the next stage in a lifelong educational journey leading to new experiences and challenges. The more informed you are, the more likely the experience will be positive for you and your child.

After the relatively familiar surroundings of the primary school, it can be daunting to move to a secondary school where there are many more teachers, new surroundings and a different approach to scheduling.

Secondary schools have different ways of introducing primary students to their school. Most students settle in quickly in response to the carefully designed transition programs initiated by schools.

Primary and secondary schools cooperate to ease students through this transition.

Choosing a state school

Parents are able to send their children to the state school of their choice, depending on available places. Some schools have an enrolment management plan in place that means students may not be able to attend unless they live within the designated catchment zone.

Parents should contact the relevant regional office of the department for more information about available schools in a specific area, or can search for schools in their local area. Below are some matters you might wish to pursue with prospective schools:

Copies of the school rules or code of conduct, newsletters, prospectus and annual report will give you further information about the school and its activities.

Changing schools

When changing schools:

If your child is enrolling from a non-state school to a state school (or vice versa), the new school can request a Transfer Note Adobe PDF document External Link from the previous school.

If your child has moved to Queensland from interstate, the new school can request consent from you to obtain your child's information from the previous school using the Interstate Student Data Transfer Note External Link. This system enables the new schools to support the educational placements of new students.

A Transfer Note is not required for students transferring their enrolment from one Queensland state school to another (including primary to secondary).


School leadership teams, in conjunction with the parents and citizens' association, decide on a student dress code, which reflects the needs and circumstances of that school community.

Hours of operation

Most schools hold classes from 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday, except for public and school holidays and student-free days. See term dates and vacations. Principals may change school hours to suit local conditions. Some secondary schools also have flexible arrangements for students involved in vocational education and training and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

Outside school hours care

Many schools offer outside school hours care, before and after school, as well as school holiday programs. All children who are eligible to attend the school, including those enrolled in Prep Year, are eligible to be enrolled in outside school hours care subject to available places. These services are organised and operated by either parents and citizens' associations, non-profit community groups or commercial providers. Parents should contact their local school to determine if a service is available at their school.

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This page was last reviewed on 25 Oct 2016

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