The Department for Education’s enrolment policy and procedures have been consolidated in a move to ensure South Australian children and young people have the opportunity to attend their local school or preschool. The consolidated documents, which help principals and preschool directors manage the process, will be supported by the introduction of online registration from next year to make it easier for parents to enrol their child. The changes are the result of a comprehensive 2 year review and consultation process involving principals, preschool directors and other stakeholders, with significant research undertaken to inform the review to ensure best practice and consistency with other states.
The new policy and procedures will help schools and preschools manage enrolments with greater consistency to provide families with uniform and transparent advice. Placing students at their local school remains the priority, and processes will be aligned to ensure all schools and preschools have the ability to plan to accommodate local children. Under new provisions, siblings living outside the local area will continue to receive automatic entry for the coming school year in schools. From 2020, children living outside the local area who enrol through a selective entry program will not have their younger siblings automatically eligible for enrolment at the same school. However, younger siblings may be accepted through the regular enrolment process if places are available.
The changes do not apply to current year 7 students applying now to start high school in 2020 who have an older sibling already at the school in a selective entry program. Automatic entry will still apply for younger siblings of students already attending the school through a special interest program when they apply for high school, provided the school is not on a capacity management plan. The changes support maintaining sustainable enrolments for local students, balanced with making specialist programs and initiatives available for all students to apply and participate in based on their specific interest and talents. This move will ensure that the growth in special interest programs and subsequent enrolments are accommodated, with recent years seeing greater student interest in music focus schools, bilingual and STEM education, along with the future programs available through the new entrepreneurial schools and International Baccalaureate diploma program.
The policy and procedures will apply to all schools and preschools unless a gazetted Capacity Management Plan (CMP) is in place. A document setting out the enrolment policy is available from www.education.sa.gov.au. Additional information about school enrolment is available at www.sa.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Anne Millard, Executive Director Partnerships, Schools and Preschools
The consolidated policy and procedures will help manage growth and ensure South Australian children and young people have the opportunity to attend their local school or preschool. This review has been carefully considered for a number of years to support schools and preschools to balance their specialist offerings and specific focus with their responsibility as a local school.
The changes will enable schools and preschools to manage enrolments with greater consistency, and reduce any misinterpretation of administration and legislative requirements.
The change to sibling rights brings South Australia into line with other states and ensures that local students have priority access.
We have taken care not to break up families by protecting automatic entry for out of zone kids applying to high school with an older brother or sister who is currently enrolled in a special interest program.
However, families accepting a place in a special interest program from next year should be aware that any younger brothers or sisters won’t have the automatic right to follow.
The move helps deliver the core principle of local schools for local kids, while ensuring that we continue to have sustainable programs available to those students with a specific interest and talent.