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Applying for out of zone high school - experiences


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#1 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:54 PM

If anyone wouldnt mind sharing Im curious what is taken into account when applying for an out of zone high school.

I have read the DECD website list of points and we would satisfy all of them, but I have also heard they ask for previous school reports and letters from teachers. Has anyone been asked for Naplan results? What about sporting results or other interests?

For a number of reasons I really don't want my children to attend our zoned high school.  Any of the others around would be preferable and its not even the closest, in fact there are 2 closer.

-ETA public, obviously

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 18 October 2019 - 02:57 PM.


#2 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 18 October 2019 - 03:04 PM

Also, would location of their Grandparents house be taken into consideration if both parents worked full time and they were to go there after school?   This is not 'made up' - they will be picked up from primary school by grandparents when I return to work.

#3 alwayshappy

Posted 18 October 2019 - 03:42 PM

I know the process fairly well.
You can apply to any school you wish, but if they are at capacity, they will knock you back unless you are in their zone.
Some schools have capacity to accept out of zone enrolments, and others don't.
If they knock you back, you have to appeal to the Principal of that school. If they still knock you back, you then need to appeal to the region, using the DET transition guidelines. High priority is placed on compassionate grounds, even those these are further down the list.
I have not heard of previous school reports and letters from teachers being a big part of the process - it really depends upon what grounds you are appealing.
I've also not heard of NAPLAN results being asked for, though it does depend on your groudns for appeal.
Grandparents location and an inability to collect children by parents would not really come into the decision making, unless there were other factors that were also important.
I hope this helps.

#4 José

Posted 18 October 2019 - 04:20 PM

View PostWannabeMasterchef, on 18 October 2019 - 03:04 PM, said:

Also, would location of their Grandparents house be taken into consideration if both parents worked full time and they were to go there after school?   This is not 'made up' - they will be picked up from primary school by grandparents when I return to work.

In my state the location of grandparents wouldnt be a factor.
Dont even mention it.

#5 Expelliarmus

Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:01 PM

My experience was a flat no. This has been the experience for most people I know.

#6 hills mum bec

Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:25 PM

DECD - are you in SA?  If so they won’t take grandparents into account.  I’ve got a friend who lives NE, her ex lives south and tried to get her DD into Adelaide High so that it would be central to both houses because they had 50/50 care and it was rejected and rejected again on appeal.  Most SA high schools will accept out of zone enrollments but there are a few that won’t take out of zone under any circumstance.  It just depends on their capacity and numbers and things change every year.  The schools will have a certain amount of spots after filling zoned students and the closer you are to the zone the better chance you will have.  I don’t think they take school results and Kaplan into account.

#7 Coffeegirl

Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:37 PM

My two have both attended high school as out of area students.

It’s not an easy process.


Our school has had up to 200 applicants for 20-30 spots each year so the application process has to be strict.    They have had instances where one sibling met the criteria and another didn’t

A couple years back they almost had to deny every out of area applicant that year as they simply did not have enough room, nor enough teachers to cover the size of the year.   My son was an applicant that year.  Even though his sister was already attending and our ‘local school’ was over a 2km walk and crossing two major highways.  He wasn’t afforded a ‘priority’ placement.  

Yes, they will look at NAPLAN, sports achievements, academic records, music ability, language ability.  Really they will look at everything that your child may have to offer the school.   They also have discussions with teachers from local schools in regards to both the in are and out of area students. Students who apply based on musical ability have to perform an audition  

I’m on the P&C so I know how hard they review the applicants and that each student’s file is reviewed by no less than three people and they all make notes and discuss their reasons for acceptance or denial.

The committee who review the applicants takes the job very serious and I know they struggle with some of the decisions at times.  :(

Oops!  Sorry. I came in from We are discussing.   My experience is in NSW.

Edited by Coffeegirl, 18 October 2019 - 09:32 PM.


#8 Expelliarmus

Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:38 PM

View Posthills mum bec, on 18 October 2019 - 08:25 PM, said:

DECD - are you in SA?  
It's in the South Australia forum ;)

The only students I know who successfully appealed an out of zone refusal were close to the actual zone or are ATSI. We too had all of the things that satisfy criteria but we do not live close to the zone. DD's friend did win an appeal but lives only one street from the zone boundary.

The Eastern suburbs high schools rarely take out of zone. I believe the schools more north are more likely to take out of zone. A colleague who lives in the western suburbs says the high schools there are getting full and zones are enforced there too.

Edited by Expelliarmus, 18 October 2019 - 08:39 PM.


#9 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 19 October 2019 - 03:54 PM

View Posthills mum bec, on 18 October 2019 - 08:25 PM, said:

DECD - are you in SA?  If so they won’t take grandparents into account.  I’ve got a friend who lives NE, her ex lives south and tried to get her DD into Adelaide High so that it would be central to both houses because they had 50/50 care and it was rejected and rejected again on appeal.  Most SA high schools will accept out of zone enrollments but there are a few that won’t take out of zone under any circumstance.  It just depends on their capacity and numbers and things change every year.  The schools will have a certain amount of spots after filling zoned students and the closer you are to the zone the better chance you will have.  I don’t think they take school results and Kaplan into account.

Yes sorry I meant to add SA to the title and cant work out how to edit it!

We are literally on the border of the catchment. When we bought the house we were in the catchment for a school we were happy with.

We are willing to move if it comes to that but we also need another bedroom so weighing up move vs renovate.

#10 ddasil

Posted 19 October 2019 - 04:58 PM

I'm in the western suburbs.  The post popular school around here is not even taking out of zone siblings anymore.  They are having to make room for the year 7's starting in 2021.  I am guessing most high schools will be in the same situation of having to find places for the year 7's.  I did manage to get my 2 younger children into our preferred out of zone school but they did do year 8 at a different school and then transfer.

Good luck.




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