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School catchment areas

School catchment areas ensure every Queensland student from Prep – Year 12 is able to enrol at their local state school.

Your local state school (primary or secondary) is the school which is closest to your home. This is measured by the shortest, most direct route by road—to and from the main entrance of the school.
Find your local school using the EdMap website—you can either search using your home address or enter a school’s name to see if your home is within its catchment area.

Contact your school for more information. School contact details are available by phoning 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or searching the schools directory.

Out-of-catchment enrolments

You can still apply for enrolment at a state school outside of your catchment area, however, enrolment is not guaranteed.

A state school’s ability to accept students who live outside its catchment area depends on the school’s:

  • spare enrolment capacity once all in-catchment enrolments are met
  • allowance for students relocating into their catchment area during the year
  • ability to ensure an even spread of students across all year levels while maintaining class size targets
  • ability to ensure their out-of-catchment enrolments do not reduce their capacity to meet in-catchment enrolments.

Students from outside the catchment area applying for enrolment are placed on a waiting list. Applications are processed and assessed in the order in which they are received.

Contact your school for more information. School contact details are available by phoning 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or searching the schools directory.

School Enrolment Management Plans

School Enrolment Management Plans (School EMPs) are used by schools when they are close to, or have reached their enrolment capacity, in order to manage and restrict out-of-catchment enrolments. School EMPs ensure:

  • enough places are kept for local students (i.e. those living in the school’s catchment area)
  • a fair process for assessing enrolments for students living outside a school’s catchment area.

View a list of Queensland schools that have School EMPs in place, including information on their:

  • catchment area
  • enrolment capacity (i.e. maximum number of students)
  • enrolment criteria and policy
  • proof of residency requirements
  • acceptance and notification processes.

New schools

Often, new schools are required to draft a School EMP before opening as they may attract a large number of students who live outside their catchment area in the initial years of operation.

Related links

Policies and procedures

There are 4 main policies and procedures guiding school staff in student enrolment matters. These are:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
10 December 2014

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