Local catchment area
A school's local catchment area is the defined geographical area from which a state school accepts its core intake of students.
The school’s catchment map is available from
Students within catchment
Any student whose principal place of residence is within the school's catchment area(s) is (subject to the Act) entitled to enrol at the school. The school Principal will reserve places for students who move into the catchment area throughout the school year.
Parents or legal guardians who wish to enrol their child at the school will need to demonstrate that the student's principal place of residence is within the catchment area. Current proof of residency at the address indicated can be provided by way of one of each of the following:
- One primary source — a current rental/lease agreement, or rates notice, or unconditional contract of sale.
- One secondary source — a utility bill (e.g. electricity, gas) showing this same address and parent's/legal guardian's name.
If the Principal is not satisfied that the documentation provided by an applicant demonstrates adequately that the address stated is the student's principal place of residence, then the Principal may request further sources of proof of residency. Examples may include (but are not limited to):
- additional utility bills (e.g. water bill) or a series of bills at for the same address over a sequential period to demonstrate continued/ongoing residency
- electoral roll verification letter
- mobile phone statement (with current address details)
- statutory declaration
- driver's licence (with current address details)
- bank statement (showing current address details; financial details are not required)
- tax assessment notice (financial details are not required)
- documents demonstrating recent change of address/re-location to within the school's catchment area (e.g. proof of sale or termination of lease for the previous principal place of residence in a different catchment).
The Principal may also request a properly sworn statutory declaration from the enrolling parent or legal guardian attesting that the student’s principal place of residence is the place nominated in the enrolment application.
In addition to the documents listed above, students living with a relative/other person within catchment must provide the following:
- Properly sworn statutory declaration from the student's parent/legal guardian.
- Properly sworn statutory declaration from the person(s) the student will be residing with in-catchment.
The Principal may also request additional pieces of proof of residency and interview(s) with all parties to discuss the living arrangement.
Applicants should note that a false statement/assertion about the student’s principal place of residence may amount to an offence and may be reported to police. The school Principal may repeal a decision to enrol a student in such circumstances.
Other students who are entitled to enrol as if in-catchment
The following groups of students will be entitled to enrol, even though they may reside outside the school’s catchment area.
- Children and young people who are subject to child protection orders that grant guardianship or custody to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.
- Siblings** of current students at the school (excluding siblings of Program of Excellence students and siblings of students who were placed at the school as a result of exclusion from another school). Where a school has both a primary and secondary campus, siblings are only entitled to enrol in the same campus as the currently enrolled student.
- Students who (during school term) reside at the school's boarding facility.
- Students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by the school.
- Students who live outside the catchment area and are verified with a disability can enrol in the school to attend the specialised disability program if it is the closest program to their home and meets their individualised needs.
- Students whose principal place of residence is further than 55km to their nearest state school are entitled to enrol at any neighbouring school.
- Students who have been excluded from another school, dependent upon the conditions related to the exclusion, subject to agreement of the Regional Director.
- Students in remote/regional locations who access a School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS) bus service, provided by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR), to travel to their closest school, as determined by the DTMR bus route.
**To be accepted under the sibling provision, the:
- applicant must meet the definition of sibling in the School EMP procedure
- enrolled sibling must not have been enrolled in a Program of Excellence at the school (i.e. siblings of Program of Excellence students are not automatically entitled to enrol)
- intended enrolment commencement and/or attendance of the sibling must be concurrent with the attendance of current student for the application to be valid. For example, if the applicant will be commencing in 2019, but the current enrolled sibling finishes school in 2018, then the application will not be valid.
Applications from any other person, not meeting the criteria outlined above, is an out-of-catchment application. Enrolment of students from outside the local catchment area is restricted to ensure that enrolments do not exceed the student enrolment capacity. This school can only enrol out-of-catchment students:
- if there is sufficient spare capacity after reserving places for students who move into the catchment during the year
- after taking into account the school’s projected future enrolment growth.
Out-of-catchment students applying for enrolment at the school are placed on a waiting list, assessed in order of receipt.
Under the department’s
State Education Fees procedure, a principal of a state school with an approved School EMP is able to charge a fee for recouping costs of enrolment processing (subject to consultation with the Parents and Citizens' Association) where:
- the enrolment management plan permits the enrolment of a student living outside the catchment area based on cultural, sporting or academic merit
- the significant number of prospective students living outside the catchment area and applying to enrol results in abnormal administrative costs to the school, for example, enrolment examination supervision and marking.
Acceptance and assessment process
Out-of-catchment enrolment applications will be recorded on a waiting list in order of receipt, by date and time. These applications will remain current only for the school year in which they are applying to enrol.
Decisions on enrolment
The Principal is responsible for all decisions on enrolments.
Where a principal forms a preliminary view that an application will not succeed, applicants will be notified in writing. Applicants may respond to the Principal's preliminary view by making a submission to the Principal, no later than seven (7) school days after receiving the preliminary view letter.
If no submission is received, the Principal's preliminary view will be treated as the final decision and no further notice will be provided.
If a submission is received, the Principal will consider the submission and make a final decision. A final decision notice will be provided to the applicant as soon as is practicable. There is no internal review of the Principal’s decision.
If a person is dissatisfied with a principal’s enrolment decision, they can find information about the department’s
Customer complaints management framework on our website. The complaints process cannot overturn or change these decisions, it can, however consider other matters such as staff conduct and behaviour during the decision-making process and whether policies and procedures were followed.
There may also be a right of review under the
Ombudsman Act 2001. Visit the
Queensland Ombudsman website for more information.