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Enrolling in a Public School


Your local public school has a place for your child to learn, develop and reach their potential.

ACT public school enrolments for 2020 open at 6am on Monday 29 April 2019. This is for all enrolments from Preschool to Year 12.

For applications received by 7 June 2019, offers will begin to be made from 29 July.

You are encouraged to get your application in before 7 June, so your school can start planning for your child’s education. However, every child from Kindergarten to Year 12 is guaranteed a place at their local public school, regardless of when you apply.

Our enrolment process has been updated. To avoid disappointment, and before completing your enrolment form, please read carefully the information below so you can make the best decision for your family from the options available.

Online Enrolment Form

Use this form for

In some cases you will need additional information before you fill out the enrolment form. In the following circumstances, please consult the relevant links prior to completing the enrolment form:

Students applying for Years 11 and 12 are encouraged to list course preferences on the online form. See the College Guide for information on courses.

The application form can be saved at any stage. Please record the code for your reference. Applications CANNOT be altered after they have been submitted. If you have made an error or need to update details, you will need to submit a fresh application. The system will automatically cancel the previous application.

Enrolling in Kindergarten to year 12 (K-12)

Every ACT child from Kindergarten to Year 12 is guaranteed a place at their local public school.

Your local school is a great school, just like every public school in our system.

Like all our schools, your local school is dedicated to providing high quality education for every child and young person.

Your local school will put your child at the centre of their learning.

Your local school offers a broad choice of curriculum, with exciting learning opportunities and advanced technology.

See further Enrolling in Kindergarten – Year 12.

Finding Your Local School

Your local school is determined by “Priority Enrolment Area” (also called PEA).

You can check which is your local school using the interactive map, or the list of Priority Enrolment Areas.

ACT public schools are welcoming and inclusive to children and young people from a range of learning abilities.

Inclusion

For every child and young person, feeling as though they belong, feeling confident and being engaged fully in their class and school activities is vital to their success at school.

ACT public schools aim to create a positive school culture and environment, to help all children and young people feel safe, connected and respected, achieve success and be fully engaged in their learning.

Students with Disability

ACT public schools have a place for every child and young person.  Your local school is able to make reasonable adjustments for the needs of children with disability.

We have a range of programs and services to help all students reach their potential.

If your child has a disability and is looking to start at an ACT public school for the first time, please contact the Education Directorate on (02) 6205 5429.

If your child already attends an ACT public school, make an appointment to talk to your school Principal about the programs and supports they could be eligible for.

Which School can I Enrol My Child in?

Kindergarten – Year 12

Enrolments in public schools have been growing rapidly in recent years and they will continue to grow. However, every child from Kindergarten to Year 12 continues to be guaranteed a place at their local public school (by Priority Enrolment Area or PEA).

Some parents and carers may like to enrol their child at another school (referred to as an out of area school) but there is no guarantee that the application will be successful. All schools can only consider enrolment applications from out of area students against specific criteria on the basis of legal considerations as well as exceptional cases related to student wellbeing.

When parents and carers who are seeking to enrol their child in an out of area school are completing the online enrolment form, they will be asked to provide a reason for the out of area application. These are outlined below.

Categories of Schools

We divide our schools into two categories so that parents and carers can more easily see if the school of their choice is readily able to accept enrolments from out of the school’s area.

Category A Schools

These schools are generally not able to accept students from out of their area primarily due to their capacity for students both now and in the near future.

These schools will only consider applications from out of area students against the following criteria, in the order of priority. When completing the online enrolment form, you will be asked to provide a reason for your out of area application. Please refer to these criteria:

  1. legal considerations where a court order identifies that a student needs to attend a specific school
  2. exceptional circumstances based on student wellbeing which mean the child cannot attend the PEA school and must attend the school they have applied for. Where a student cannot attend the PEA school (due to compelling (exceptional) circumstances based on student wellbeing) but does not have to attend a specific alternative school, the family will be supported to consider options at schools that are able to accommodate out of area enrolments.
  3. Subject to capacity, siblings of concurrent students who currently reside in the ACT (siblings include step/half and cultural siblings of current students that may now be out of area). Subject to capacity, siblings (residing in the ACT outside the PEA) of children that are enrolled in, and concurrently attending an ACT public school, will be offered a place at the school attended by their sibling.
Category B Schools

These schools have some capacity to accept out of area enrolments.

These schools will consider applications from out of area students on the basis of legal considerations, exceptional cases related to student wellbeing and some additional considerations. When completing the online enrolment form, you will be asked to provide a reason for your out of area application. Please refer to these criteria:

  1. legal considerations where a court order identifies that a student needs to attend a specific school
  2. exceptional circumstances based on student wellbeing which mean the child cannot attend the PEA school and must attend the school they have applied for. Where a student cannot attend the PEA school (due to compelling (exceptional) circumstances based on student wellbeing) but does not have to attend a specific alternative school, the family will be supported to consider options at schools that are able to accommodate out of area enrolments.
  3. Subject to capacity, ACT siblings of concurrent students (siblings include step/half and cultural siblings of current students that may now be out of area). Subject to capacity, siblings (residing in the ACT outside the PEA) of children that are enrolled in, and concurrently attending an ACT public school, will be offered a place at the school attended by their sibling.
  4. Specialist bilingual language programs

Subject to capacity, these schools may also consider out of area applications on the following criteria, in order of priority:

  1. Student needs to access curriculum choices not available at PEA school;
  2. Student is from a designated high-demand PEA (i.e. Gungahlin);
  3. Student is out of area seeking to continue their education with their cohort from their primary school;
  4. Student is a sibling of a formerly enrolled out of area student; and
  5. NSW-based siblings of concurrently enrolled students.

Early Childhood Schools

As early childhood schools do not have a designated Priority Enrolment Area, principals make offers of enrolment according to the criteria in the following order:

  1. well-being considerations (evidence from a registered psychologist or medical specialist required)
  2. child lives in the ACT and has a sibling attending the school (P-2)
  3. child lives in the ACT and attends the long daycare program at the school
  4. child lives in the suburb where the school is located
  5. child lives elsewhere in the ACT
  6. child lives outside the ACT.

See further Early Childhood Schools (Public).

Enrolling in Preschool

The ACT government wants to make sure every child in the ACT gets the best start to life, including preschool education. The period from birth to eight years sets the foundation for every child's social, physical, emotional and cognitive development.

Preschool is not compulsory but is encouraged.

All four-year old children in the ACT can access 15 hours per week of free early childhood education at a public preschool.

Every four-year-old is guaranteed a place in an ACT public preschool.  However, due to capacity limits, you may not be guaranteed a place in the preschool location of your choosing.

See further Enrolling in Preschool.

School Age Calculator

Use our calculator to determine when your child can start school.
Please enter your child’s date of birth (dd-mm-yyyy):

Note: If the calculator does not provide a year date refresh your browser with Ctrl + F5 and re enter the date of birth.
Preschool
Kindergarten

See further Who needs to enrol? for more information on what ages students can be enrolled.

Assistance

For more assistance, including assistance with the online enrolment form, you can contact