Enrolment information for all states and territories is provided. This is for initial enrolment at the commencement of school careers and is based on the government school system. Each section contains links to specific areas of information related to enrolment. Helpful documents are suggested at the beginning of each section.
In addition, two extra sections are included. The first covers suggested procedures when transferring your child between schools, whether in the same system, state or country. It does not cover every option but provides the basics. The second gives information about the transition from Primary to Secondary education and that enrolment procedure.
While directly linked to government systems, for those enrolling children in non-government schools, enrolment would be the same or very similar.
This page looks at procedures when changing schools, transition from Primary [Elementary] to secondary and other information seen to have relevance.
The First Page looks at enrolments in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Queensland.
The Second Page looks at enrolments in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
Each year more than 80 000 school students move interstate with their family. Schools play an important role in helping mobile students adjust to their new environment and ensuring educational development of the student is not impeded as a result of a move. Parents can assist by providing the new school with information on their child’s educational background, by familiarising their child with the school and by monitoring his/her progress.
Even though it has been archived, you might also find the Choosing a School page can provide additional information when looking at areas below.
Irrespective of which state/territory or overseas country you are moving to, the following points remain applicable.
Contact your child’s Present School and notify them your child is leaving. At the same time :
- Obtain a Transfer Certificate. If you are moving interstate, you can gain an Interstate Student Data Transfer Note. Details are found here for those in Government Schools. and here for Non-Government Schools. Find a Parent Fact Sheet, School Fact Sheet, FAQs and more on both pages. Translations in several major community languages are available here.
- Collect Samples of Work - either a Portfolio or a range of work samples in different subject areas;
- Talk to the class teacher[s] and see if they can give you any additional Information;
- Make or obtain notes on any Special Programs in which your child is involved and that need to be continued. Some detail of where they are at in a program would be valuable;
- Changing Secondary Schools in
Contains sections on Transferring up to Year 10, Transferring in Years 11 and 12 and School transfers, school types and structures by state/territory.
This site could prove useful in seeing what may be needed [and suggested above] to assist a smooth transition.
Make sure you Return Equipment which belongs to the school, e.g. library books, readers, etc..
If you have Uniforms no longer of use to you, consider donating them to the Clothing Pool, to another family, or check if they will be usable at the new school.
Thank the school for what it has done. It is surprising how often people who are happy with their child’s school never do this.
Contact your child’s New School and let them know your child will be enrolling. Do this as soon as possible. Have the following information available :
- name, age and birthday;
- the year/class they have been in and the state/territory/country they are coming from;
- any special programs they have been in and indicate you wish to discuss these when you visit the school for your child’s enrolment. This includes things such as acceleration as well as programs relating to special needs, English as a Second Language, etc..
When you visit the school for the first time to enrol your child :
- take all Documentation and give it to the school during the initial meeting. You are advised to keep a copy for yourself;
- discuss Special Programs and your desires in regard to them. Find out whether the programs will continue or what options exist either at this school or another school;
- as well as meeting the Principal or designated enrolment staff, ensure you meet your child’s Class Teacher/Year Advisor, so you know who they are for future reference;
- ensure you are aware of what Equipment [stationery, calculator, instruments, special clothing, etc.] your child must have. Most schools provide a list, either separately or as part of a booklet of information;
- arrange a Tour of the school for yourself and your child [if not offered] so you know where things are;
If your child is Not Starting Immediately, make sure you find out :
- what day/date/time they are to commence;
- what things they need to bring;
- where they have to go when they arrive;
- whether they will be able to purchase food, and what sort, during the day;
- where they have to go for Transport Options [bus/train/bicycle/car pickup/etc.] at the beginning and end of the day;
- what time they finish so you have an indication of the time they should be home following the end of the school day OR what time to pick them up;
- whether Outside School Hours Care is available and its details;
- details regarding Fees and/or contributions and their payment;
- the dress code/Uniform requirements.
If they are starting Immediately, check any items listed above which still apply.
If you wish to become involved in school activities, this could be the time to ask , especially if you have done so in the past [e.g. helping in classrooms, in the Canteen, Reading groups, other specialist skills, etc.]. You may, however, wish to leave this until you have settled into your new home and your child has settled into the school.
Check to see who you should Contact if you have further questions. This may not be the Principal or even the class teacher, depending on the circumstances. It is far better to contact the school if you are not happy or not clear about something than to let this go on to become a bigger problem in the future.
Once you have done the above, place your child in the school’s capable hands and leave as soon as you have said a brief farewell.
If a Problem that requires your attention occurs, they will be the first to contact you regarding this.
Transition - Primary to Secondary
Normally, the process of transition from Primary schooling to secondary school will commence during the first half of the last year of primary school. This will include some/all of the following depending upon the specific state/territory. Helpful pages are found at Tips for starting [Primary and] Secondary School which, while Victorian oriented, contains things common to all systems. Similar pages include Getting ready to start secondary school [downloadable Word document, Queensland], Starting Secondary School [Raising Children Network], while there are support materials on Starting High School available from NSW, including Getting ready for high school, which provides information plus a number of checklists of things you should consider as part of the process. Going to a Public School brings a number of areas together. Moving into Year 7 in a NSW Government school, ‘An information guide and expression of interest form for parents/carers’, is available here in multiple languages.
- Parents & students are asked to nominate a Secondary school. This is usually done during Term 2 [Tasmania - by June] of the last primary year of schooling.
- In each state/territory you may have a choice of applying for one, or more, of the following.
- your local secondary school;
- a range of non-local secondary schools;
- different kinds of secondary schools e.g., sport, selective, technical. This depends on the structure within the state or territory system.
- You are often asked if your child will not be attending a government secondary school, i.e. if you are going to choose a non-government school. This allows schools to gain an idea of the number of students they can expect to have enter the first year of secondary school.
- In some states, e.g. New South Wales and Western Australia, there is a special examination for potential entry to selective/specialist secondary schools. This occurs during the first semester of the year. See details on the Selective High School Entry NSW or Selective Schools WA pages.
- Once your child has been approved for placement at the selected secondary school you should be notified, either through your child’s primary school or direct from the secondary school you applied to for enrolment.
- The secondary school is formally notified, by the system, that your child is coming to them in the following year and a place is reserved for them.
- Your child will take part in an Orientation process. Depending on the state/territory this could involve one or more visits. They could be for a whole, or part of, a day.
- Some states/territories will hold all of these on the same date, others on dates developed between secondary schools and feeder primary schools.
- The Orientation is usually held either in late November or early December.
During the Orientation experience, students [and sometimes parents] are normally :
- given a tour of the school;
- given details regarding uniform/dress code, school materials required, etc.;
- told about fees and other requirements;
- told about subjects to be studied;
- introduced to a number of staff who will work specifically with them;
- told the exact date/time when they are to come to the secondary school to commence in the following year;
- given an opportunity to talk with existing students at the school.
Parents may be invited to take part in the Orientation. You should check with the school concerned if you are not sure about this and wish to be involved. Discuss this with your child prior to involvement and find out how they feel about you being there. Many could find it a difficult experience
Your child then has to be at the school on the nominated date, at the nominated place, at the commencement of the new school year
If you are in doubt about any aspect of the process to be used, contact your child’s primary school no later than the end of Term 2 [Tasmania - by June].
If you wish to know more about the commencement at the new school year in secondary school, contact the secondary school your child will be attending.
If your child is to attend a non-government secondary school, then you will be involved directly in all aspects from the application onward, and you should already be aware of all that is involved. If not, ask !
Education rights for children with disability
‘Children with disability have the same rights to education as all other children. They can go to mainstream government, independent or Catholic schools. Education rights are protected by the Disability Discrimination Act  and the Disability Standards for Education [2005, currently under review]. The NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary supports that enable your child with disability to go to school’. Pages on the same site cover The National Disability Insurance Scheme : FAQs and Children with disability : school.
the right school for your child
While done for South Australian Independent Schools, it could well help you not miss an important consideration when enrolling your child in any school.
- School Readiness
Learning Difficulties Coalition of NSW.
- Starting Age for First Year of School
Requirements for each state collated by Kidspot. Another table showing the State and Territory Information is at this site. [You can also check Enrolment pages 1 and 2 on this site].
- Most schools provide a Handbook [in some form] listing relevant information about school life from “Absences” to “Visitors” and everything in between. A majority of [if not all] schools now have online sites containing all the information required, such as here and here.