Statewide timeline for Foundation (Prep) enrolments
The first year of primary school is called Foundation or Prep.
The statewide timeline for enrolling in Foundation (Prep) for the 2025 school year has been released.
The timeline advises families when and how to enrol their child into Foundation (Prep) at a Victorian government school. The timeline seeks to make the enrolment process simpler, clearer and fairer for families.
The timeline applies to children starting Foundation (Prep) in 2025. All government primary schools, including P-9 and P-12 schools, will follow the timeline.
The timeline does not apply to government specialist schools. For information about how to apply to enrol your child in a government specialist school, you should read enrolling in a school.
The timeline does not apply to non-government schools (Catholic or Independent schools). If you wish for your child to attend a non-government school, please contact individual non-government schools for their enrolment processes.
If you are seeking to enrol your child in Foundation (Prep) for the 2024 school year, you should read about enrolling in a school and contact a primary school directly.
Steps to enrol your child in Foundation (Prep) for the 2025 school year
To start primary school in 2025, your child will need to turn 5 years old by 30 April 2025. Schooling is compulsory for children who have turned 6 years old.
If your child is starting Foundation (Prep) in 2025, you will be able to apply to enrol your child in a Victorian government primary school from the start of Term 2, 2024 (Monday 15 April 2024).
What you need to do:
- Use Find my School to locate your designated neighbourhood school (referred to as your local school) and other nearby government schools.
- Contact a government primary school to book a school tour or to learn more about the school and the enrolment application process.
- Download the ‘Foundation (Prep) Enrolment Information Pack for Parents and Carers.' The pack will be available from Monday 15 April 2024 and will include an application form. The school may also provide you with a copy of the form to complete.
- Submit an enrolment application for Foundation (Prep) by Friday 26 July 2024.
- You will be notified of the outcome of your application between Monday 29 July and Friday 9 August 2024. If you receive an enrolment offer, you should accept the offer by Friday 23 August 2024.
- Take part in enrolment information and transition sessions during Term 4, 2024.
- Your child will start Foundation (Prep) from Wednesday 29 January 2025.
Enrolment applications submitted after 26 July 2024 will be processed by the school as they are received, in accordance with the Department of Education's Placement Policy.
Your child has a right to enrol at their local school. Your child’s local school is determined on the basis of their permanent residential address. Visit Find my School to locate your child’s local school. The enrolling in a school page can also help you to confirm your child’s address for enrolment.
If you are seeking to apply to enrol your child in a school that is not their local school, you should read about school zones and how they work and how applications are prioritised using the Department of Education’s Placement Policy found on the enrolling in a school page.
Enrolment information pack for parents and carers
The pack will be available from Monday 15 April 2024.
Additional supporting materials
A factsheet and poster providing a summary of the Foundation (Prep) enrolment process are also available to complement the Enrolment Information Pack for Parents and Carers.
The factsheet includes key dates in the 2025 enrolment process and Frequently Asked Questions.
The poster provides a step-by-step guide of the enrolment process (without any specific dates for 2025 enrolment).
Factsheet for Foundation (Prep) enrolment process
Information for families in additional languages
Enrolment information pack for the early childhood sector
Early childhood education and care service providers and services are invited to share information about the statewide Foundation (Prep) enrolment timeline with families and staff.
The ‘Enrolment Information Pack for the Early Childhood Sector’ (available from 15 April 2024) will contain information about the enrolment process that you can provide to families and staff, with resources including a poster, factsheet, template website content, social media content and newsletter text. Please share available through your own communication channels.
Once your child is enrolled
Read our tips for starting primary school to learn how you can support your child.
Appealing a Foundation (Prep) enrolment application outcome
If a school decides not to accept your enrolment, you can appeal the decision. This situation can happen if you request to enrol at a school outside of your school zone, and the school does not have enough places.
If you decide to appeal the decision, you should lodge a written appeal to the school in the first instance. The timeline for appeals to the school will be detailed in the Foundation (Prep) Enrolment Information Pack for Parents and Carers (available 15 April 2024).
Appeals are considered by the school's enrolment committee and/or principal. They will check the school has correctly applied the Placement Policy. They will consider whether the school’s Enrolment Management Implementation Plan (if it has one) has been followed.
They will also consider appeals on compassionate grounds on a case-by-case basis. Families will need to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances make an enrolment at their local school unsuitable for their child.
If your appeal to the school is unsuccessful and you are not satisfied the school has correctly applied the Placement Policy or adequately considered your circumstances, you can escalate the appeal to your local regional office. The timeline for appeals to the regional office will be detailed in the Foundation (Prep) Enrolment Information Pack for Parents and Carers (available 15 April 2024).
Appeals to the regional office are considered by a panel of senior department staff who provide advice and a recommendation to the Regional Director.
The Regional Director makes the final decision and communicates the outcome in writing to the parent or carer and the school.
If you have questions, contact a government primary school or a Community Liaison Officer in the regional office.