School Placement Policy

School policy – Placement

Purpose of this policy

To ensure students have access to neighbourhood schools and the freedom to choose other schools subject to facility limitations.


Eligible children have the right to be placed in their designated neighbourhood school.

The regional director has the authority to effect placement of students.

Designated neighbourhood school

The designated neighbourhood school is the school that is nearest the student’s permanent residence, unless the regional director:

  • needs to restrict new enrolments at a school
  • has designated the neighbourhood boundaries for the school.

This table defines the measure of the nearest school (not withstanding if a neighbourhood zone has been put in place).

If the student resides in Then the nearest school is measured by
  • the metropolitan region
  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo or
  • Geelong
a straight line from the student’s residence.
any other area the shortest practicable route.

Permanent address guidelines

The Permanent Address Guidelines for Schools (docx – 166.89kb) supports the application of the Placement policy and provides fair and consistent information for schools to assist in the verificiation of a students permanent address.


  • each campus of a multi-campus school has its own designated neighbourhood
  • students must attend the nearest school to be entitled to free school contract bus travel or a conveyance allowance.

Priority order of placement

Where there are insufficient places at a school for all students who seek entry, students are enrolled in the following priority order:

  1. Students for whom the school is the designated neighbourhood school.
  2. Students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time.
  3. Where the regional director has restricted the enrolment, students who reside nearest the school.
  4. Students seeking enrolment on specific curriculum grounds.
  5. All other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.
  6. In exceptional circumstances, compassionate grounds.

Appeals – Schools not providing a Year 7 place

Any appeals by parents/guardians against a school’s decision not to provide a Year 7 placement are:

  • considered by the placement committee at the desired school
  • escalated to the regional director when they cannot be resolved by the desired school.

Appeals are considered based on the following department placement principles:

  • provide each child with a place in the designated neighbourhood school
  • provide parents/guardians with an opportunity to enrol their child at the same school as an older sibling who resides at the same address
  • allow parents/guardians to send their child to any alternative school where space is available
  • contain enrolments in each school within the limits of available resources as determined by the regional director.

Department resource

The Placement Policy Guidelines (docx – 679.08kb) clarify how to prioritise students if a school’s enrolments are approaching capacity, noting that there is no change to the existing Placement policy.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006